Playreading

Download PDF – Updated 1/20/2014

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Plays

Men Are Dogs (Joe Simonelli)

Comedy

2m, 6f

Cecelia is a successful psychologist who, among many sessions, runs a support group for singe and divorced women. She’s got troubles of her own, but it’s her ensemble of neurotic patients who provide the action when a “volunteer” role-player becomes the hapless victim of their not-inconsiderable ire.

Prisoner of Second Avenue (Neil Simon)

Comedy

2m, 4f

Mel Edison is a well-paid executive of a high-end Manhattan firm, which has suddenly hit the skids, and he gets the ax. His wife Edna takes a job to tide them over, then she too is sacked. Compounded by the air-pollution killing his plants, and with the walls of the apartment being paper-thin, allowing him a constant earfull of his neighbors private lives, things can’t seem to get any worse…Then he’s robbed, and his psychiatrist dies with $23,000 of his money. Mel does the only thing left for him to do-he has a nervous breakdown and it’s the best thing that ever happened to him.

Last of the Red Hot Lovers (Neil Simon)

Comedy

1m, 3f

Middle-aged and married, overworked and overweight, Barney Cashman wants to join the sexual revolution before it’s too late and arranges three seductions: the first, Elaine Navazio proves to be a foul-mouthed bundle of neuroses; Bobbi Michele is next, a 20-ish actress who’s too kooky by half; finally comes September and Jeanette Fisher, a gloomy, depressed housewife who happens to be married to Barney’s best friend.

Plaza Suite (Neil Simon)

Comedy

7m, 5f

Hilarity abounds in this portrait of three couples successively occupying a suite at the Plaza. A suburban couple take the suite while their house is being painted and it turns out to be the one in which they honeymooned 23 (or was it 24?) years before and was yesterday the anniversary, or is it today? This wry tale of marriage in tatters is followed by the exploits of a Hollywood producer who, after three marriages, is looking for fresh fields. He calls a childhood sweetheart, now a suburban housewife, for a little sexual diversion. Over the years she has idolized him from afar and is now more than the match he bargained for. The last couple is a mother and father fighting about the best way to get their daughter out of the bathroom and down to the ballroom where guests await her or as Mother yells, “I want you to come out of that bathroom and get married!”

Run for Your Wife (Ray Cooney)

Comedy

6m, 2f

This superb example of the British farce had audiences rolling in the aisles in London and New York! A taxi driver gets away with having two wives in different areas of London because of his irregular working schedule. Complication is piled upon complication as the cabby tries to keep his double life from exploding. For a side-splitting sequel, read Caught in the Net.

Sealed for Freshness (Doug Stone)

Comedy

1m, 5f

Doug Stone has set his play in 1968 during the heyday of Tupperware parties. Hostess Bonnie invites a group of neighbors over for a party. The guest list: perky, rich Jean, Jean’s cranky and very pregnant sister Sinclair, ditzy-blonde Tracy Ann, and new neighbor Diane, who’s made quite a career selling Tupperware, but at the expense of her marriage. The mix of personalities and the number of martinis consumed lead to a great deal of absurd high jinks plus revelations of an equal number of secrets and insecurities.

Nana’s Naughty Knickers (Katherine DiSavino)

Comedy

3m, 5f, 1m or f

Bridget and her Grandmother are about to become roommates. However, what Bridget saw as a unique opportunity to stay with her favorite Nana in New York for the summer quickly turns into an experience she’ll never forget. It seems her sweet Grandma is running an illegal boutique from her apartment, selling hand-made naughty knickers to every senior citizen in the five borough area!

Will Bridget be able to handle all the excitement? Will her Nana get arrested – or worse! – evicted?

The Game’s Afoot (Ken Ludwig)

Comedy

4m, 4f

It is December 1936 and Broadway star William Gillette, admired the world over for his leading role in the play Sherlock Holmes, has invited his fellow cast-members to his Connecticut castle for a weekend of revelry. But when one of the guests is stabbed to death, the festivities in this isolated house of tricks and mirrors quickly turn dangerous. Then it’s up to Gillette himself, as he assumes the persona of his beloved Holmes, to track down the killer before the next victim appears. The danger and hilarity are non-stop in this glittering whodunit set during the Christmas holidays.

Never Kiss a Naughty Nanny (Michael Parker)

Comedy

4m, 3f

Mr. Broadbent, a developer and builder, has created “THE HOUSE OF THE FUTURE”. He has filled it with gadgets such as: self lighting fire places, a self cleaning bathroom, central trash disposal units, automatic closets, hidden telephones, and his masterpiece “The Personal Ion Chamber”. The house, however, has remained unsold for four years, probably because, as we see in the course of the play, most of the innovations of the future fail to work properly.

He has, at last found prospective buyers, Fred and Gladys McNicoll, and invites them to stay in the house. He is determined to offload this huge “White Elephant”. He bribes two members of his staff, Casey Cody and Ben Adams, to pose as a married couple, who are renting the house. They are to extol its virtues and explain how everything works. He is pulling out all the stops. The fridge is full of expensive wine and he has hired a chef to prepare a gourmet meal. Unknown to the McNicolls’, he even has his maintenance man Eddie Cott on hand to make running repairs. He thinks he has all the bases covered.

When Gladys hears Casey refer to Mr. Cott by name, the cat seems to be out of the bag, but Casey quickly recovers by saying she didn’t say “Mister Cott” but “Ms Turcotte”, the children’s nanny. Eddie Cott now spends the rest of the play as Nanny Turcotte. A surprise visitor, Mr. Brooks, takes an almost insane fancy to “Nanny” who now has to defend ‘her’ honor, as well as fix the gadgets, all of which, without exception, misbehave.

Other Parker shows to consider:

Musicals

All Shook Up

5 m, 5 f plus chorus

Inspired by and featuring the songs of Elvis Presley. It’s 1955, and into a square little town in a square little state rides a guitar-playing roustabout who changes everything and everyone he meets in this hip-swiveling, lip-curling musical fantasy that’ll have you jumpin’ out of your blue suede shoes with such classics as “Heartbreak Hotel,” “Jailhouse Rock,” and “Don’t Be Cruel.”

Baby

3m, 3f plus ensemble

BABY, the musical from acclaimed duo Richard Maltby, Jr. and David Shire, examines how parents-to-be experience the emotional stresses and triumphs, as well as the desperate lows and the comic highs, that accompany the anticipation and arrival of a baby.

BABY tells the story of three couples on a university campus as they deal with the painful, rewarding and agonizingly funny consequences of this universal experience. There are the college students, barely at the beginning of their adult lives; the thirty-somethings, having trouble conceiving but determined to try; and the middle aged parents, looking forward to seeing their last child graduate from college when a night of unexpected passion lands them back where they started.

Bunked! The Musical

3m, 2f

Bunked!: The Musical is a touching coming of age comedy about five summer camp counselors during that pivotal summer before the beginning of college. With easily relatable characters experiencing their first tastes of independence and a catchy pop score, Bunked!taps into the uncertainty of trying to find oneself while forging first adult relationships. Exploring themes of first loves, growing up, and identity, the show asks the questions “who am I?” “where do I belong?” and “how do I make a name for myself?” with both humor and poignancy.

ReWrite

3m, 3f

ReWrite, a musical comedy triple feature is comprised of three wild musicals that connect in surprising and dangerous ways. Nelson Rocks! is a pop/rock show about a young dude who needs to fix his life before the ‘You better get to class’ bell rings. Populated by adolescents, the show throbs and pulses along a locker-filled hallway, barreling towards its inevitable showdown. Miss Marzipan is a dizzy musical about the life changing preparation that goes into a high stakes dinner party. In this heightened look at the suburban experience, a little bit of blood is spilt, but nothing that some kitchen towels can’t clean up. The Process deals with a writer. With a deadline. As the Dunkin Donuts fills with the voices in his head, the writer must conquer his writer’s block and finish his musical. The Dunkin Donuts counter lady acts as our guide through this passionate look into one man’s writing process.

Love Songs: A Musical

3m, 3f

Love Songs is a truly extraordinary musical theatre experience, the return of romance to the stage! Believe in the healing power of love and romance once again. Steven Cagan’s glorious work expresses the truth, beauty and hopefulness that we all strive for in this journey called life through the story of three couples. Jeremy is stuck out of town on a business trip for Roy’s ad agency, trying frantically to get back in time for his nuptials. His betrothed, Gaby, is anxious for him to return. Sarah, who has been engaged to Ben for six years, is weary of his failure to commit to her. Ben has been idealizing a kind of love that does not really exist. Roy and Rose, lovers for many years, just enjoy themselves. How will their stories work out? Love Songs is timeless in its appeal. Let there be harmony evermore!

Me, Myself and I

1m, 3f

Mrs. Mary Yately is no run of the mill housewife – she has been chosen by the Evening Echo as Mum of the Year. And, Mrs. Yately is no ordinary character in this brilliantly inventive new musical by Britain’s comic master – she is three separate personalities, played by three actresses. One actor plays all the men in Mary’s life, all of whom are, shall we say, not on this world to make her life easier.

Funny Business – the Musical

3m, 2 f

When low morale threatens the Toronto branch of Chime Communications Canada, five ordinary office workers must mount a team-building talent show to save their jobs. Meet Stuart, the lovable yet inappropriate office manager, Marcus, the smooth talking sales rep, Diane, the tough as nails marketing manager, Brie, the perky and scheming receptionist, and Jack, the awkward guitar-playing intern. Together, they must use their hidden talents to sing, dance and manipulate their way through the talent show, which ultimately degenerates into a every-man-for-themselves battle of office skills, where only one will walk away without a pink slip. Featuring a sales versus marketing salsa, a fowl-mouthed printer puppet, and more office backstabbing than HR can handle, the team must learn to keep it together without tearing each other apart.

This fast-paced, comedic romp through office culture features a catchy, original pop-musical score, and five unforgettable characters that you’re bound to recognize from around the water cooler. An exciting and fun new musical, Funny Business is the perfect production for cubicle dwellers and blue collars alike.

Polyester: The Musical

3m, 2f

The story of The Synchronistics, an over-the-hill ABBA wannabe group that reunites after 20 years to perform at a public access TV telethon, put their differences aside, and try to save the station from going under.

The year was 1979 and The Synchronistics were big. Big enough to be on Johnny Carson. Their hit single, “Better Together” rose to number two on the Billboard Charts. Then something terrible happened that drove the group apart. And now, 20 years later, they’re back together in Maple Valley, their home town, to perform at the 1999 WKLN public access TV Telethon. Will they overcome their differences from 20 years ago, act professionally and help save WKLN from going under? Probably not. But you never know what to expect when this dysfunctional group gets together…one last time.

It’s Mamma Mia meets Spinal Tap! Featuring 16 original songs including “The Funk Train” and “Bump Your Booty Rump.”

I Love You, Because

2m, 2f

I LOVE YOU BECAUSE is a modern twist on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice , set in New York City. A young, uptight greeting card writer’s life is changed when he meets a flighty photographer. Along with their eccentric friends and siblings, they learn to love each other not in spite of their faults, but because of them.