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Three True Stories

nytheatre.com q&a preview by Neil Genzlinger
June 30, 2013

What is your job on this show?
Writer and performer.

What is your show about?
Three monologues, written at 13-year intervals, that explore how parenting has simultaneously made me wiser and stupider.

What do you do when you’re not working on a play?
I'm a television and sometimes theater and film critic at the New York Times.

What are some of your previous theater credits? (Be specific! Name shows, etc.)
I've tried the other side of the footlights a couple of times before, though never as a solo performer working at this length. The thing I'm most proud of is writing a full-length stage adaptation of "The Last Detail" that was performed at the 2004 NY International Fringe Festival.

Why did you want to write/direct/produce/act in/work on this show?
Last December, after not having done anything on or for the stage in years, I tried one of these monologues at a small performance space in Pa. and was surprised by the response. That got me thinking that I should pair that piece with a couple from the past and see if I had something resembling a show. I hope it makes for an amusing arc, a sort of hope-to-despair-to-acceptance 3-step program.

Which cartoon character would you identify your show with: Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Mickey Mouse, Marge Simpson?
I'll go with Daffy, because the whole notion of a critic crossing the footlights is a bit daffy. So is the notion that everyday domestic oddities might make watchable theater. I guess we'll find out.

Who are your heroes?
Anyone who takes an idea, however small or quirky or unusual, and puts it out there in front of an audience (and of course critics) is a bit of a hero to me, because doing that is a big ol' leap of faith.