Posted in Adam Green, Alex Breaux, Allison Dougherty, Cezar Williams, Eric Lane, Geoffrey Cantor, lossKnicks, Miriam Silverman, one act plays, Peter Jacobson, Roger Hedden, Shane Patrick Kearns, Summer Shorts, Warren Leight

Short, poignant and sweet: "Summer Shorts" Series A

“Sec. 310, Row D, Seats 5 and 6,” Warren Leight’s crowd-
pleasing one-acter in “Summer Shorts Series A” at
59E59 Theaters. Pictured Peter Jacobson and Geoffrey Cantor
in a photo by Carol Rosegg.

If brevity is the soul of wit, the short short play should prove the embodiment of that spirit.

Some do so with heart, some with humor, but all three of the “Summer Shorts: Series A,” at 59E59 Theaters through August 30th, are entertaining and interesting. Each in its own unique way.

The most pleasing of the lot is “Sec. 310, Row D, Seats 5 and 6,” Warren Leight’s ode to men and sportsfans. Three season ticket holders in Madison Square Garden nosebleed seats share the agonies of being Knick fans as their lives unfold over some twenty years. It’s a funny and well-played little drama. Geoffrey Cantor, Peter Jacobson, and Cezar Williams give nicely tuned performances under Fred Berner’s direction.

Alex Breaux and Shane Patrick Kearns in “The Sky and The Limit” by
Roger Hedden at “Summer Shorts Series A.” Photo by Carol Rosegg.

Did spirtuality or too much weed drive George (Shane Patrick Kearns) to jump off a cliff? This mesa was where he wanted to celebrate his marriage. Aldie (Alex Breaux) lives with the regret of cracking wise when he should have been attentive to his friend. Allison Daugherty rounds out the cast in Roger Hedden’s “The Sky and the Limit.” Under Billy Hopkins’ direction, this simple story simply told has depth and humanity.

Miriam Silverman and Adam Green in a scene from Eric Lane’s “The Riverbed.”
Photo by Carol Rosegg.

Filling the spaces of loss with a calm that belies their emotions, Adam (Adam Green) and Megan (Miriam Silverman) take turns retelling the story of the death of their daughter Lucy. Eric Lane’s “Riverbed” is about the consequences of one moment of inattention. Megan and Adam are nice people struggling to reconnect after their younger child drowns. It’s the unexpected in their story that makes this monologue come powerfully together.

For more information about “Summer Shorts,” please visit www.59e59.org.

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Posted in Albert Innaurato, Daniel Reitz, Eric Lane, Henny Russel, Jack Hofsiss, JJ Kandel, Maria Mileaf, Neil La Bute, Roger Hedden, Throughline Artists, Victor Slezak, Warren Leight, Will Dagger

Putting on our "Summer Shorts" Series B

There are many iterations of the short story. Probably that look your mama gave you is the shortest. The tales Lydia Davis tells are almost haiku like. For most playwrights, the short form is aka the one-act. 


Traditionally, “Summer Shorts,” a Throughline Artists production in repertory at 59E59 Theaters through August 30th, have upped the ante on short by curtailing the action to a mere fifteen or 20 minutes. Developing a storyline from top to bottom in that time is a challenge. This year’s offerings are a bit longer, running into regular one-act territory.

Some of these succeed better than others.

Henny Russell and Will Dagger in
“Napoleon in Exile,” from Series B,
“Summer Shorts”.
Photo by Carol Rosegg.

One that does so brilliantly is “The Mulberry Bush.” 

With every chatty line of dialog, Neil LaBute builds tension, so that you wonder where his story is going and how or if it will resolve. What seems casual is deliberate and taut.

The poignancy in Daniel Rietz’ “Napoleon in Exile” burns beneath genuine humor. Henny Russell and Will Dagger are natural and charming as mother and son.

Albert Innaurato disappoints with a ranting sketch comedy– of excessive length at 40 minutes–that aims to offend. Innaurato’s liner notes on the trajectory of his career are the best part of his contribution. The piece, entitled “Doubtless,” no doubt as a not so subtle pun on John Patrick Shanley’s “Doubt,” gets a little help from Jack Hofsiss’ lively direction and a fearless cast.

Victor Slezak and JJ Kandel in Neil LaBute’s “The Mulberry Bush,” Part of “Summer Shorts Series B.”
Photo by Carol Rosegg.

The acting in “Summer Shorts 2014, Series B” is universally excellent with stand-out performances by Victor Slezak and JJ Kandel in “The Mulberry Bush.”

For more information on “Summer Shorts 2014,” visit www.59e59.org or http://summershortsfestival.com/.