Review: Camille


“Ridiculous theatre”, a tradition of queer theatre born in New York in the 1960s, has its own particular acting style that mixes high camp, high energy, maniacal precision and an almost supernatural conviction. Director John V. N. Philip’s entertaining revival of Camille by Charles Ludlam – Ridiculous theatre’s most accomplished playwright – succeeds best when the actors involved have a command of that vivid, kaleidoscopic acting style.

Ludlam adapted Camille from Alexandre Dumas, fils novel La Dame Aux Camelias as well as lifting liberally from other other versions of the Dumas story, such as Verdi’s opera La Traviata, and George Cukor’s 1936 film Camille starring Greta Garbo. It follows the life of the Marguerite Gautier, a Parisian courtesan suffering from tuberculosis, who falls in love with a provincial young man, Armand Duval.

Marguerite is a tour de force of a role that Ludlam wrote for himself, and any production of his Camille must have a powerhouse in that role. Steve Hayes more than fills the bill, attacking the role with fearless sauciness and breathtaking comic brio. Ludlam reportedly had a sense of danger and moments of sudden deep seriousness in the role; Hayes doesn’t have that, but finds other ways to scale this particular mountain.

A couple of other actors nail the Ridiculous style: Mariah Bonner gives the maid Nanine a New Yawk accent and buckets of insouciance, which works terrifically well. Phil Stoehr plays Olympe de Taverne in high drag style, all plumminess and hauteur, another great success. Bruce-Michael Gelbert even injects a bit of grand opera – by way of La Traviata – into the proceedings. The rest of the company is more uneven. At best, they attempt the Ridiculous, but execute it less expertly; at worst, they perform in an ersatz operetta style that is just all wrong here.

Designer Andrew Loren Resto’s costumes are appropriately over-the-top, but his set sits uncomfortably in the tiny Casa Mezcal stage, and has some pretty bad problems with sight lines. Something simpler but flashier would have been better. Overall, though, this is a mostly successful take on Ludlam, and in any event lots of fun.

For tickets, click here.

Review: Glengarry Glen Ross

Glengarry Glen Ross

I liked Glengarry Glen Ross more than I thought would. That is, I didn’t like it that much, but I didn’t hate it. It’s no secret that I’m not in any way, shape or form a fan of playwright David Mamet, in fact I’ve really detested some of his shows.

As a matter of fact, my expectations were decidedly low for Glengarry. Theplay has a reputation as being the sine qua non of “manly straight man” Mamet territory, which I generally find really boring (in this area, Sam Shepard does everything Mamet does, but better, with genuine fire and wit). This, however, is better than Mamet’s other work in this area; I have long thought Mamet is a good comic writer, and Glengarry, as desperate and mean as its characters are, is essentially a comedy – it is certainly the most spirited and animated Mamet play I’ve ever seen.

Even the tragic things that happen to some of its characters happen in the context of a comic world. That is, while the stakes are indeed high, nobody falls from a great height, these schlemiels are almost already finished from the word “go.” That comic world is a fly by night real estate office in 1983 Chicago (Mamet himself worked in a real estate office in Chicago in 1969).

Al Pacino plays Shelly Levene, the only character whose fall is sad rather than laughable, but he’s more pathetic than really tragic. Pacino knows this, and plays Levene as a delusional sad sack who half realizes that his best days are behind him, and weren’t that great. Bobby Cannavale, charismatic and sexy as always, puts in a solid performance as Richard Roma, a slick up-and-comer who also seems to be the only person to see the good in Shelly.

So, yes, now that I’ve seen Glengarry, I can see the good in Mamet. Not the great, not even the marginally insightful, but the good. The other side of that: as far as I can tell, he wrote this well exactly once, which doesn’t justify his reputation. Finally my estimation of him remains the same: a talented, quirky comic writer who wilts when he gets serious and yet somehow still gets called a genius.

For tickets, click here.

I am directing “Hard Sparkle: The Short Plays of J. Stephen Brantley”

This October I will direct Hard Sparkle: The Short Plays of J. Stephen Brantley. Performances are for two nights only October 29 & 30 at The Duplex.

I have collaborated with J. Stephen more frequently than any other playwright. He is the most singular American playwrighting talent I’ve come across in any context, one of the most distinctive voices in the country. I am honored – astonished almost – to have worked with him as often as I have. He has rich reserves of humanity and compassion, and wry humor. His writing – which vibrates with rock and roll energy and yet possesses sweetness and aching psychological subtlety – is highly stimulating and challenging. He is very inspired by the voice of individual actors, and rehearsal (which he loves) especially fires his deeply theatrical imagination. I am thrilled to be pulling together some of his best work for this special, two-night-only showcase.

The plays are:

Nevertheless – After nearly stabbing her husband at the breakfast table, Iris walked out of her Park Avenue apartment bound for Nashville, Tennessee. Returning to the dingy barroom where she misspent her twenties, she hopes to recapture some of the excitement of a bygone era. What Iris finds is Trevor, a washed-up-before-he-started country crooner, the hard truth, and a new start.

Hard Sparkle – Actress Anne Eaton-Hart has taken to her bed. Swindled of millions and having lost an Emmy to Susan Lucci, Anne is convinced she’s dying. While her devoted accountant Eddie does his level best to lift her spirits, nothing less than divine intervention will resurrect the self-obsessed star.

Break – During the late hours of a summer night on the coast of Eastern Long Island, a displaced Englishman and the drug addict who breaks into his home confront their differences and, more importantly, discover their secret similarities.

Hard Sparkle runs October 29 & 30 at 7pm. The Duplex is located at 61 Christopher Street at Seventh Avenue. Tickets are $12 plus a 2 drink minimum. To purchase tickets, call (212) 255-5438 or visit

For more about my  directing work, see

Review: Alec Mapa

I’m more than a little partial to comedy that tells a story; Lily Tomlin’s Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe and Jonny McGovern’s Dirty Stuff are two of my favorite performance pieces ever. I also really like evenings that combine stand-up with gay-themed narrative, like most of Judy Gold’s recent work. So I’m not in the least surprised that I positively love Baby Daddy, the act that “America’s Gaysian Sweetheart” Alec Mapa is currently doing at the Laurie Beechman Theater.

The show is mostly about what has happened since Mapa and his husband, documentary film producer Jamison Hebert, adopted a five-year old black boy from Compton. Mapa has structured the act very intelligently, starting with up-to-the-minute topical material (Ann Romney’s “you people” gaffe was one of the first subjects the night I went), passing gradually to stuff about the funnier side of parenting, and zeroing in the more touching side of parenthood only as the show approaches its end.

Alec includes every side of his life in this act: lost luggage on the way to gay cruises, mid-life crisis circuit partying, and musing on the possibility that Christina Crawford was a thankless brat. Mapa is my favorite kind of comedy writer, one who realizes than scatological humor and intellectual wit aren’t mutually exclusive, as a matter of fact they can happen in the same line.

Mapa name-checks musical theatre in general – and Dorothy Loudon in particular – as being the well-spring of his desire to perform. Mapa self-deprecatingly says that this show isn’t going to reach Loudon-worthy heights (though for my money it gets much closer to that kind of incandescence than stand-up usually does). Mapa spins gay parenthood into show biz gold – ya better not miss it, kid!

For tickets, click here.

Interview: Scott Wittman on “Jukebox Jackie”, 54 Below and “Smash”

Scott Wittman is a busy man. In addition to writing lyrics every week for Smash‘s show-within-a-show Bombshell (and serving as an executive producer for the NBC hit), and working as Creative Consultant for the much-anticipated new cabaret space 54 Below, he has conceived and directed Jukebox Jackie, currently playing at LaMaMa ETC. Jukebox Jackie: Snatches of Jackie Curtis is a collage of scenes, poetry, music and dance culled from the works of Jackie Curtis, who performed as both a man and a woman throughout his career in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, stating, “I’m not a boy, not a girl. I’m just me, Jackie.”

The man who said, “I’m just me, Jackie” was, in fact, a fixture during those radical years in New York’s clubs and theatres, including La MaMa, where Curtis was much-loved by La MaMa’s late founder and artistic director Ellen Stewart. Curtis pioneered the glam rock style of the 1970s, performing in drag in lipstick, glitter, bright red hair, trashed dresses and torn stockings. David Bowie was an early fan. Curtis went on to become one of the stars of Andy Warhol’s inner circle. Curtis began writing his own plays with casts starring fellow Warhol “superstars” Candy Darling and Holly Woodlawn, also at La MaMa. He wrote and often starred in such plays as Glamour, Glory and Gold (Robert DeNiro’s first stage appearance in 1967), Amerika Cleopatra with a cast featuring Harvey Fierstein and Femme Fatale with Patti Smith, Jayne County and Penny Arcade.

I sat down with Scott in a sunlit La MaMa rehearsal space to catch up on all of his fabulous pursuits.

Did you have a personal connection to Jackie Curtis?

I think that when I first came to New York and I saw Jackie – I didn’t know Jackie – but I saw some plays that Jackie was in, which made me want to be part of that. Jackie really influenced my aesthetic when I first came to New York, and was always in my head. What I’ve hoped to do with this is show Jackie as a writer. Jackie was part and parcel as a cast member in the plays he wrote – but when you take a step away and take a look at the vast amount of paper, of writing that he did, it’s really fascinating.

What’s really fascinating about Jackie is the variety of styles: from absurdist comedies where he would pull character names out of racing forms, to very structured pieces like one called Glamour, Glory and Gold – we do some scenes from that one – with a beginning middle and end and a clearly defined story, to the large number of poems he wrote, which I wasn’t aware of. We do one of those poems intact, called “B-Girls”, a really beautiful, evocative poem all about the denizens of Slugger Ann’s, which was at 12th Street and Second Avenue [Later gay bar Dick’s and currently the 13th Street Ale House]. Jackie’s grandmother was the bartender, and Jackie lived upstairs.

So what’s the format of Jukebox Jackie?

We’re trying to do for Jackie what Mamma Mia did for Abba. [Laughs.] All the people in the show are “fractions” of Jackie, because Jackie was many people, male, female and in between. There are four characters who speak from Jackie’s mind. All of the written material is by Jackie, every word, every journal entry. There’s a book called Superstar in a Housedress by Craig Highberger and that’s really been a touchstone. I gathered from other sources. I started to stumble on these songs that Jackie did in a cabaret act, which Jackie wrote lyrics for and someone else wrote the music, in one case Peter Allen. In our show there’s a song that Jackie only wrote the lyrics to, that I had Lance Horne write the music to. I also wanted to have songs that were in the soundtrack of my life at the time.

Jackie described New York as being like Brigadoon with steam coming out of a manhole cover, and that to me describes the creative period when I first moved here. It was kind of a magical time in New York. The scene we dive into in Jukebox Jackie has a lot of foul language and blow jobs and drugs, but there’s also a certain innocence to it which is so different from now. [To give you a taste of that era, here’s a YouTube video of 1970 SoHo loft party that Curtis attended]

Our cast, Justin Vivian Bond, Bridget Everett, Cole Escola, and Steel Burkhardt – to me, if Jackie were alive now these are the people he would be using in his shows. Justin is a singular interpreter of material, just like Jackie. It’s not a literal imitation, instead we’re really trying to evoke a time musically and creatively. This whole cast is fabulous storytellers. Bridget reminds me of Bridget Polk, Cole Escola is very much like Taylor Mead, Steel is very much like Joe Dellasandro, they all somehow preserve an element of those times.

What kind of shadow does Warhol cast on Jukbox Jackie?

There’s an element of that – The Factory was like MGM and Warhol was like Louis B. Mayer to Jackie and his other “superstars”, and we do pay some tribute to that, Cole embodies that a little bit. I also try to make it clear that it wasn’t a scary place like it has sometimes been portrayed. I’m sure I’ve gone the other direction and romanticized it a bit, you know the way Joan Crawford would say “I love Louis B. Mayer now.” Some of the music is the Velvet Underground, which also came out of the Factory, which adds another current to it.

Tell me about 54 Below, the new cabaret below Studio 54, how did that come about?

The guys who are doing that were producers on Hairspray, which was such a blessed experience. A few years ago Richard Frankel came to me and said we want to open this club, and we want you to be a sort of curator or “fairy godfather.” So I said I’d love to do that; when I came to New York it was the renaissance of cabaret – you couldn’t swing a cat without hitting one. For me, I would spend most of my nights in Reno Sweeney’s on 13th Street, where you see Edie Beale, Peter Allen, Barbara Cook – a really broad, eclectic booking policy. So with 54 Below’s director of programming Phil Bond, we’re trying to make that same thing happen with 54 Below. Justin Bond will be performing there, Jackie Hoffman – where else in three nights could you see Jackie, Justin and Patti LuPone. That to me feels right, it seems fun. It’s not like Feinstein’s it’s not like the Carlyle or Joe’s Pub. I think there’s a place for it. I remember being able to go to many cabarets, there was Freddy’s and the Grand Finale and Brothers and Sisters.

And this little television side project, Smash. What’s that whole experience been like for you?

Marc Shaiman and I love songwriting so that’s been great, being able to write and have a wide audience appreciate it. Writing new material every week, and then there’s six million people listening to your songs, which would never happen on Broadway. My proudest achievement, though Marc and I didn’t have much to do with the cover songs, was getting Anjelica Houston to sing “The September Song” in episode 14, that was my absolute favorite moment.

You even had a brief cameo in that scene, didn’t you, and Marc was the piano player…

I wanted to be there for her, it was a big moment, for her to sing, she had never sung in her life – and she did so beautifully, there’s nothing she can’t do.

So, with doing that for a year, and Catch Me if You Can in all of its incarnations around the world, there’s a lot of people telling me to “do this, do that, cut this, move that, stop here, no that part doesn’t work” and working on Jukebox Jackie has been a real tonic for me. I’ve wanted to come home and Ellen Stewart had asked me a few years ago, and it’s nice to be in an atmosphere with just a few people – some I’ve known a short time, some I’ve known a long time – that’s more relaxed. I also think Jackie needs to be recognized as the wonderful writer he was – I really hope by the end of the evening you’ll have a really good sense of the person and the work, the music and the time. It’s been fun – Jackie collaged life and I’ve re-collaged Jackie.

For tickets, click here.

I’m directing “Love in the Time of Chlamydia” in the Frigid Festival

I am pleased to announce that I will direct Nicole Pandolfo’s one-woman show, Love In The Time Of Chlamydia as part of the Frigid Festival from February 23 through March 4, 2012. It tells of one woman’s search for love in a world full of absent dads, dirtbag boyfriends, and premature ejaculators. “Once in the hot tub, we take the leftover vicodin Amber has from getting her wisdom teeth removed, wash it down with some Mad Dog 20/20, and pass a joint…” Nicole Pandolfo’s paean to the perils of sex and booze takes her from suburban Jersey basements to Manhattan barrooms, and from morning-after despair to chemically induced ecstasy on a funny, poignant, empowering journey of self-discovery. Love In The Time Of Chlamydia boldly goes there: awkward adolescence, flying bodily fluids, underage drinking – way underage. Aided by projections (and beer), this wickedly funny one-woman bender takes on frat boys, revenge fucking, venereal disease and Valentine’s Day with the comic insight of someone who knows…better.

For tickets, click here.

For more about my directing work, see

News: Performances Begin Tonight for “Now the Cats with Jewelled Claws”

I am proud to announce that the New York premiere of Now the Cats With Jewelled Claws by Tennessee Williams and directed by yours truly Jonathan Warman, will begin performances tonight  Thursday, October 27, at 10pm, at The Club at La MaMa, (74A E 4th Street between 2nd Avenue and Bowery). Direct from a sold-out run at the 2011 Provincetown Tennessee Williams Festival,  Now the Cats With Jewelled Claws will play October 27-November 13, 2011. Now the Cats With Jewelled Claws plays Thursday through Saturday at 10pm, with a Sunday performance at 5:30pm, at The Club at La MaMa, 74A East Fourth Street at Second Avenue.  General admission tickets are $18; student/senior tickets are $13. For tickets and information, visit or phone 212-475-7710.

Society matrons and street hustlers intent on enjoying a cocktail-laden lunch break into song-and-dance numbers as apocalypse approaches. The production features John Waters phenomenon Mink Stole, as society lady Madge, together with Everett Quinton, a core member of Charles Ludlam’s Ridiculous Theatrical Company, as a lecherous and prophetic restaurant manager.The remainder of the cast of Now the Cats With Jewelled Claws is Erin Markey (NIGHT MOTHER with Cole Escola and Kenny Mellman, Jeffery and Cole Casserole, and her solo musical, Puppy Love: A Stripper’s Tail); Regina Bartkoff (Love, Medea, Struck/Break); Joseph Keckler (Stuck Elevator at the Sundance Theater Lab, John Moran’s experimental opera Saori’s Birthday, You Will Experience Silence, Jobz, Human Jukebox, A Voice and Nothing More); Max Steele (You Will Experience Silence, Jeffery and Cole Casserole); and Charles Schick (The Strangest Kind of Romance, Back Bog Beast Bait , Humanity at The Living Theatre, Love, Medea).

Mink Stole’s career as an actor began nearly 45 years ago, when she was introduced to John Waters in Provincetown in the summer of 1966.  She has since appeared in 13 films directed by Mr. Waters, creating such roles as Connie Marble in Pink Flamingos, Taffy Davenport in Female Trouble, and Dottie Hinkle in Serial Mom.  Among her non-John Waters roles, she has played Natasha Lyonne’s mom in Jamie Babbit’s But I’m a Cheerleader, and a bible-addled death row inmate in Steve Balderson’s Stuck!  In last year’s All About Evil, directed by Joshua Grannell, she was Evelyn, the too-talkative librarian, and this year she continued her recurring role as Aunt Helen in installments Four and Five of the popular Eating Out film series by Q. Alan Brocka. On stage, Mink was lucky to have the chance to work on two shows with the late, great Charles Ludlam, Love’s Tangles Web, andSecret Lives of the Sexists.  She worked with the legendary Cockettes in the early 1970s.  More recently, she appeared as Autolycus in the L.A. Women’s Shakespeare Company’s production of The Winter’s Tale, a role which led her to her new passion, music.  With her Wonderful Band (West Coast and East Coast editions) for the last few years she has been performing a cabaret act, Do Re MiNK, and her Christmas show.  She is currently working on her first CD.

Everett Quinton has recently appeared in The Witch of Edmonton at Red Bull Theater, as FlorenceWexler in Devil Boys from Beyond at New World Stages, as Dr. Caius in The Merry Wives of Windsorat the Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, D.C., and as Jacob Marley in The McCarter Theatre’s A Christmas Carol. Everett is also a member of Cleveland State University’s Summer Stages where he appeared as Madam Rosepettle in O Dad, Poor Dad, Mama’s Hung You in the Closet and I’m Feeling So Sad. Everett previously appeared at Red Bull Theater in Women Beward Women (2008 CallawayAward, Best Actor). Everett was a member of The Ridiculous Theatrical Company and served as its Artistic Director from 1987-1997. He has appeared in Charles Ludlam’s MedeaThe Secret Lives of the SexistsSalammboGalasThe Artificial Jungle and the original production of The Mystery ofIrma Vep (Obie and Drama Desk Award). He was also seen in Georg Osterman’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Brother Truckers (Bessie Award); Richard and Michael Simon’s Murder at Minsing Manor(Drama League Award); as well as in his own plays: Carmen, Linda, MovielandA Tale of Two Cities(Obie Award), and Call Me Sarah Bernhardt. Everett has directed revivals of Charles Ludlam’s Big Hotel, Camille, Der Ring Gott Farblonjet and How to Write a Play. He also directed Brother Truckers(in New York, London and as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival), Carmen, Sebastian Stewart’sUnder the Kerosene Moon, as well as The Beaux Stratagem at the Yale Rep and Treasure Island at theOmaha Theatre for Young People. Film and TV credits include Natural Born KillersBig Business,Deadly IllusionForever Lulu, “Miami Vice” and “Law & Order.”

Director Jonathan Warman’s New York theatre credits include Andru’s Head at NeoNeo Theatre  (new musical, featuring Brooke Elliott  from Lifetime’s “Drop Dead Diva”),  J. Stephen Brantley’sStruck / Break (Emerging Artists Theatre), American Fabulous (NeoNeo Theatre). International credits: Dreams Reoccurring (Clubul CFR, Iasi, Romania and Nu Festival, Timisoara, Romania),Break (Dublin Gay Theatre Festival). Regional: Murray Mednick’s Heads (Omaha Magic Theatre),The Strangest Kind of Romance (2009 Provincetown Tennessee Williams Festival, with national tour). Notable assistant credits: Stage Directors & Choreographers Society 50th Anniversary Gala (Assistant to SDC Board President Karen Azenberg), Three Sisters (La MaMa ETC, dir. Richard Schechner),Rosencrantz si Guildenstern sunt Morti (Teatru National Vasile Alecsandri, Iasi, Romania, dir. Ovidiu Lazar). He has served as Artistic Director of NeoNeo Theatre Company and Literary Manager for Access Theater, and is conceiver of White City, a new musical with music and lyrics by Pete Townshend of The Who, currently in development.Now the Cats With Jewelled Claws has choreography by Liz Piccoli (Erotic BroadwayCrazy Sexy Disco) and original music by Trystan Trazon (Here Come the Alligators, The Animal Cracker Box,  EDIT (Kafkafest @ Columbia University)).

The scenic design for Now the Cats With Jewelled Claws is by Jonathan Collins (GreenwoodAwesome Allie, associate set designer for Lysistrata Jones  and Everyday Rapture); costume design is by Karl Ruckdeschel (Vital Theatre’s The Country Wife, associate costume designer on Rock of Agesand Avenue Q); lighting design is by Yuriy Nayer (The Mire, Colored People’s Time, assistant designer on The Shaggs  and The Night Watcher).

The stage manager is Allison Carroll; dramaturg is Thomas Keith; assistant director is Jonathan Chang; production consultant is Adam Weinstock.

La MaMa’s 50th season has been titled “Homecomings” as it will be comprised of more 40 productions by a wide array of artists whose work has been performed at La MaMa through the years, along with resident and international companies, and emerging artists who will make La MaMa their ‘home’ for the first time.

La MaMa is a remarkable arts institution with a world-wide reputation for producing cutting-edge work in theater, dance, performance art, and music. Founded in 1961 by theater pioneer and legend, Ellen Stewart, La MaMa has produced and presented more than 3,000 theatrical productions to date and is a vital part of the fabric of cultural life in New York City and around the world.

La MaMa provides a supportive home for artists and takes risks on unknown work. Artists such as Sam Shepard, Lanford Wilson, Philip Glass, Robert Wilson, Harvey Fierstein, Blue Man Group, David and Amy Sedaris, -and others whose names you haven’t heard of yet – began their careers at La MaMa.

International artists introduced to America by La MaMa include Tadeusz Kantor, Andrei Serban, Kazuo Ohno and, more recently, the acclaimed Belarus Free Theatre.La MaMa has been honored with more than 30 OBIE Awards, dozens of Drama Desk and Bessie Awards, and, in 2006, Ellen Stewart was recognized with a special TONY Award for “Excellence in the Theatre.”

Now the Cats With Jewelled Claws plays Thursday through Saturday at 10pm, with a Sunday performance at 5:30pm, at The Club at La MaMa, 74A East Fourth Street at Second Avenue.  General admission tickets are $18; student/senior tickets are $13. For tickets and information, or phone 212-475-7710.

Review: A Strange and Separate People

Jon Maran’s play The Temperamentals, about the formation of the United States’ first gay rights organization, the Mattachine Society, was one of my favorite gay-themed plays of the last few years. So I was excited to hear about his new play A Strange and Separate People which deals with homosexuality among 21st Century Orthodox Jews on the Upper West Side. It doesn’t have the epic breadth and power of The Temperamentals, but is, nonetheless, an engrossing play on an intriguing subject.

Dr. Stuart Weinstein, a newly Orthodox gay doctor, befriends Phyllis, a housewife with a side business as a caterer. As he gets to know Phyllis and her husband Jay – a psychiatrist who sometimes performs reparative therapy on his gay clients – things get increasingly complicated. Things all three of these intelligent people love – religion, learning and each other – come into ferocious conflict.

Once again Marans deals with very compelling ideas, and has created well spoken characters with a sense of humor that comes to their aid even in their most wrought moments. Director Jeff Calhoun has done a terrific job creating fluid and expressive staging, but hasn’t quite modulated the plays strong emotions and intense arguments to the acoustics of the tiny Theatre Row Studio. It’s not as though the actors are shouting throughout the entire production, but they do it often enough to be a bit grating.

What I most appreciate, though, is Maran’s willingness to look so unsparingly at the need for change in communities that are having a hard time adjusting to homosexuality, or even the modern world in general. I didn’t love A Strange and Separate People with the same intensity that I loved The Temperamentals, but I like it well enough, and find it to be a truly thoughtful play that deserves attention.

For tickets, click here.

To learn about Jonathan Warman’s directing work, see

News: I’m directing “Jeffrey Dahmer Live” at FringeNYC

Photo Credit: Dixie Sheridan

This August, I will be directing Avner Kam’s Jeffrey Dahmer Live at FringeNYC.

Jeffery Dahmer Live combines personal stories and hummable songs as it explores disturbingly mundane and human behind the extreme actions of the infamous title character. The setting: the jailed Dahmer, struggling to understand what has happened, creates a solo show with the aid of the prison drama club.

In 2011 it is 20 years since Dahmer’s “big reveal”, but he is still present, mentioned daily on the web; last year, Ke$ha, released “Cannibal” where she name-checked Dahmer, reaffirming his position as a cultural brand.

The show examines the case from various angles. The stories are factually correct, but the internal thought process and songs are creative extensions of the actual confessions. The character is placed in the cultural context of his time and prior, though the humor is, naturally, current.

Stories, songs and performance are by Avner Kam; he previously mashed his personality with those of Roy Rogers and Britney Spears. His previous solo show, The Singing Cowboy and His Invisible Backup Singers, played off-off Broadway, and the award-winning video for his signature song “I Want to Be like Roy Rogers (Yee Haw!)” played on MTV. Mr. Kam has honed his storytelling skills at The Moth where he won story slams. He is currently developing his next solo show: Helen Keller Live. Avner Kam is involved with FringeNYC behind the scenes. He is serving as their International Ambassador for the last 8 years, and his column, The Personal Shopper, humorously summarizes the yearly trends within the festival for their Propaganda publication.

For exact dates and venue for Jeffrey Dahmer Live, please consult or

For more information on my directing work, see