all about SOLO Critics’ Choice

We’re Only Alive For A Short Period of Time
Written and Performed by David Cale
Directed by Robert Falls
“We’re Only Alive For A Short Amount of Time” reflects on Cale’s memories of growing up, escaping his parents’ fraught marriage by singing in his bedroom, and tending to birds in his backyard animal hospital. Until one day things change.
Twisted Melodies
Written and Performed by Kelvin Roston, Jr.
Directed by Derrick Sanders
This powerful one-man show is based on the life of ’70s soul singer and composer Donny Hathaway, perhaps best known for his duets with Roberta Flack. Twisted Melodies is an immersive and crushing play about the brilliant musician’s compelling inner struggle.
The Pink Unicorn
Written by Elise Forier Edie
Performed by Alice Ripley
“Trisha Lee is a Christian widow living in a conservative Texas town. Her life is suddenly upended when her 14-year-old daughter Jolene announces she is “gender queer” and starting a chapter of the Gay and Straight Alliance at the local high school. In ‘The Pink Unicorn,’ Trisha recounts her story about facing a crisis she never saw coming, at a time when transgender people and gender issues weren’t even on her radar.”
Baba Brinkman’s Rap Guide to Climate Chaos
Written and performed by Baba Brinkman
Baba Brinkman breaks down the politics, economics, and science of global warming, following its surprising twists from the carbon cycle to the energy economy, in a pull-no-punches performance that confronts both the scale of the challenge and also the failings of human psychology that make it such an easy problem to ignore.
Made In Puerto Rico
Written and performed by Elizardi Castro
“Made in Puerto Rico” is a show about family, music and cultural identity. It’s a celebration of diversity and a bold commentary of Spanglish culture. Through his captivating storytelling, former attorney now comedian, Elizardi Castro takes us on a journey through Puerto Rico, its beautiful people and its traditions.
Accidentally Brave
Written and performed by Maddie Corman
Courageous, daring, and unflinchingly honest, “Accidentally Brave” is Maddie Corman’s inspiring true story about discovering a new normal when her world falls apart. This new play challenges perceptions, captivates audiences and sparks an emotionally charged discussion that will leave you wondering. . . what would I do?
Say Something Bunny
Written, Performed, Co-Produced, Researched, and Co-Authored by Alison S.M. Kobayashi
Two spools of thin steel wire were found tucked inside an obsolete sound device purchased by a collector at an estate sale. There were no labels; no dates, no names, and no context. Through her obsessive research and active imagination along with hundreds of times listening through, Kobayashi decodes the rich dialogue in the recording and discovers the detailed history of an unforgettable Jewish family from New York that bursts with humor, surprise and drama.
The Art of the Audition: From Falling Apart to Nailing the Part
Performed and conceived by Lena Hall
Experience the ups and downs of a Broadway life through reenactments of Lena Hall’s most unforgettable—and regrettable—musical theater auditions, from epic fails to career-defining “Nailed it!” moments.
Inheritance: A Litany
written and performed by Janis Brenner
A journey into the myriad ways a daughter has “become” her late parents. She inherited “her father’s nose, her mother’s singing voice, her father’s sarcasm, her mother’s fragile bones”…but also a lifetime of their objects and even their thoughts, revealing a family’s story.

performed by John Fisher

John Fisher brings you World War II from the D‑Day invasion to the Fall of Berlin. He also provides useful information about the best books on the subject, the cutest generals, and the hottest actors who played them in the movies.

performed by Anne Torsiglieri

Broadway veteran Anne Torsiglieri combines her family’s personal story with verbatim interviews and a medley of striking new songs exploring autism’s many joys, struggles, and complexities. Redefining happiness at every unexpected turn.

written and performed by Jose Sonera

It’s October 1976 at the IMPROV comedy club. Freddie Prinze, Sr. is giving his last performance months before his death. Moving between the stage and the dressing room, Sonera interlaces Prinze’s best comedy sets with original monologues that illuminate his life.

written and performed by Jake Austin Robertson

A reading of a Russian short story gradually transforms into a living exploration of a mind rebelling against reality. Exciting and terrifying, this queer actor’s journey into insanity blurs the line between performer and madman.

written and performed by Mikel Murfi

The “astonishing” Mikel Murfi (New York Times) brings to life the characters of a bustling Irish town through the story of its two most disparate residents: the bashful, solitary cobbler Pat Farnon, and the indomitable football manager and woman‑about‑town, Kitsy Rainey.

written and performed by Bellina Logan

A hilarious, touching and inappropriate overshare of a codependent bastard child’s life with her acerbic English mother and the deep bond they forged. A thought‑provoking piece about time and memory.

written and performed by Juha Sorola

Over a safe childhood, where war only happens on TV, hangs the memory of WWII and a burden of duty that a little boy is expected to fulfill. But the heroes he finds along his journey are far from conventional.

written and performed by Yu Ling Wu

Directed by Zishan Ugurlu, the piece explores how a young first-and-a-half-generation immigrant sees her family dynamics parallel those of America’s current sociopolitical climate.

written and performed by Hope Salas

Directed by Erika Latta, “Hope” is a dark exploration of a woman’s mind as she grieves her mother and all they had experienced, and accepts their shared humanity. It is a breathtaking piece of art.

written and performed by Kelsie Huff

Chicago-based comedian and storyteller Kelsie Huff’s hilarious and poignant journey to sobriety reveals an America in which vice is a part of life, and the biggest challenge is learning to accept who you are.

written and performed by Kassi Dougherty

Co-producer Brian Barnhart, director Marcus Bishop‑Wright, and musical director Jody Shelton join their forces to create a psychedelic one‑woman rock opera set in the 1970s.

written and performed by Amy Mihyang Ginther

Eager to leave everything behind? Director Lisa Marie Rollins creates a piece, which captures Amy, a Korean American transracial adoptee, and her travels, as she tries to define what home means for her.

performed by MESHELLE

You ever wonder what a comedian who’s a married mother of 3 has to go through to make it to a comedy club on any given night? Staunchly maintaining her MILF status with 3 kids in tow; you’ll FOLLOW the hilarity anywhere MESHELLE leads!

written and performed by Catherine Waller

A dark and compelling look into humanity on the fringes of the norm. Raw, interactive and funny, these characters love to talk, and the audience is encouraged to talk back.

performed by Marco Michel

Once regarded as the village idiot, the Swiss‑Italian painter Antonio Ligabue later became famous as the “Italian van Gogh.” Mr. Michel, directed by Mario Perrotta, embodies Ligabue with stunning intensity and draws large charcoal portraits, which become his co‑players on stage.

performed by Dennis Elkins

In “box.” (directed by Karla Knudsen) Mr. Elkins asserts that possessions help define who a person is, and can just as significantly remind others who a person was. Sometimes it takes something as extraordinary as “box.” to remind us of that fact.

written and performed by Anthoula Katsimatides

A tenacious seeker looks far and wide for her calling in order to overcome the major core of her adult life: loss. But her overbearing Greek parents, her determination for greatness, and an unrequited love all get in the way. Bring Kleenex.

written and performed by Roni Graham

Her transitions between the light and the dark were so seamless, oftentimes the audience only noticed the severity of a particular story at the apex of its tragedy. Ms. Graham is a star on the rise, and “Laughter is Therapy” is sterling evidence to support that claim.

written and performed by Sarah J. Kennedy

Directed by Alicia Dattner, Ms. Kennedy debunks the idea that females shouldn’t be curious about their own bodies. In fact, similarly to the stories collected by Eve Ensler in “The Vagina Monologues,” Ms. Kennedy looks deep into her life experience to discuss how silence around the subject affected her psychologically and physically.

written and performed by Meirav Zur

This is the story of her struggles with reproduction and fertility. Meirav Zur, looks and sort of sounds like Gillian Jacobs from Netflix’s “Love.” And you instantly like her. This is the story of her struggles with reproduction and fertility. And you instantly like her.

written and performed by Ananda Bena-Weber

Ms. Bena‑Weber has the natural ability to portray a variety of colorful characters or none at all, emptying her face and body of expression, and becoming a mirror of those around her. There is no disputing that she gives a star performance in “Fancifool.”

written and performed by Elizabeth Seldin

A solo show about grief, courage, magic and the resilience of the human spirit. Ms. Seldin has a gift, not only of magic, but also of words. Her prose, poetry, music and aura are bewitching.

written and performed by Eliza Martin

This feminist piece taps into women’s defiance, and their reluctance to express it out of fear that the consequences wouldn’t be worth it and their rebellion wouldn’t make a difference.

performed by Miha Rodman

A touching and inspiring story about the darkest period of European history between 1935 and 1945, particularly because it is narrated by a dog who understand the people’s language, but not their world. Cyrus, the dog, is an unforgettable character.

performed by Austin Archer

“Good Standing” is a powerful narrative about hope and community. While the protagonist loses his relationships with some of his peers, he comes to recognize the love of those who will accept him no matter what.

performed by Andre de Vanny

It’s 1965 in Ireland, and Occi is the illegitimate child of a single mother. When his beloved mammy spirals into alcoholism, Occi must venture beyond his village and fight his way to adulthood in a dog‑eat‑dog world.

written and performed by Amy Conway

Ms. Conway plays mini‑games with the audience. Only together can you slay the Darkness! A powerful, moving and humorous performance that explores, through the prism of gaming, what depression is like, and what it is like to fight it.

written and performed by Mike Folie

Mr. Folie explains the ways he’s come to characterize his dreams about his dead wife, and his misguided attempts to honor her memory, through an acorn. “My Dead Wife” is a beautiful memorial filled with optimism and love.

written, directed, and performed by Vincent Clark

Vincent Clark is the unhealthiest man alive, but he doesn’t want your pity. He doesn’t do drugs or drink alcohol, because he “is already high on life.” He may not want your pity, but he will get your laughter with corny one‑liners that are as surprising as they are creative.

co-written and performed by Paola Hadjilambri

“Melina” brings to life the dynamic, larger-than-life persona of Melina Mercouri, whose international acting achievements on stage and screen, and her zestful commitment to Greek art and politics, defined her as Greece’s most celebrated national heroine.

written and performed by Kyra Knox

Through her journey from a young adult to an old lady, a woman realizes life would’ve been so much easier if she had just listened to her grandfather.

written and performed by Amber Topaz

An arousing, amusing, anecdotal romp through life, love, and libido. “The Rude Awakening” is a joyous, shameless and wholehearted embrace of sexuality, with all the variety and weirdness that comes with it.

written and performed by Jerry Franklin

It’s funny and serious. It teaches a real, practical lesson: how to work through grief. Grief is an emotional Olympics. It’s a blessing to have workouts like “Wake-Up Call.”

directed and performed by Marek Probosz

“The Auschwitz Volunteer” tells the story of Captain Witold Pilecki, a Polish intelligence agent who infiltrated the Auschwitz concentration camp in 1940. Michael Schudrich, the Chief Rabbi of Poland, said that Pilecki was “an example of inexplicable goodness at a time of inexplicable evil.

written and performed by Niv Petel

Sacrifice is a crucial part of any soldier’s story, fictional or otherwise, but the families of those soldiers are often sacrificing just as much. Illuminating this “other side” of sacrifice is Mr. Petel’s focus in “Knock Knock,” and it’s one that he hammers home with shocking pathos and remarkable beauty.

written and performed by Mihal Grass Sherman

A meeting with a director who uses sexual remarks provokes a suppressed memory. This show deals with the awkwardness of the different perceptions, combining movement and humor. Based on a true story.

performed by Seiphemo Motswiri

Be a Better Dog” presents social commentary not only reflecting how human beings treat their animals, but also how human beings treat each other. It teaches us to be a better friend, a better partner, and a better citizen.

written and performed by Beverley Elliott

This 75‑minute extravaganza more than evokes a kind of life that many of us will never experience, one that many assume is tame. Ms. Elliott’s story truly disproves that notion. Hers is a story that has to be seen to be believed.

performed by David Sauvage

Through a series of personal stories and audience readings, Mr. Sauvage demonstrates his psychic powers in a one‑of‑a‑kind piece that’s part confession, part circus act. “Empath” is a must‑see.
Bette Davis Ain’t for Sissies
written and performed by Jessica Sherr
“Bette Davis Ain’t for Sissies,” written by and starring Jessica Sherr, is a 90‑minute one‑woman show about the 1930’s icon, Bette Davis, on the night of the 1939 Academy Awards.
written and performed by Bob Brader
“Smoker” (directed and developed by Suzanne Bachner) has the rare quality of feeling at once comfortable and natural, but also carefully planned and well‑thought‑out, without ever losing balance.
conceived by Migguel Anggelo
Donning three‑inch heels, Mr. Anggelo stomps to the syncopations of flamenco, proving he is just as skilled a dancer as he is a singer. He asks: What is masculinity? What is femininity? What is love, for that matter?

Disclaimer: The All About Solo Critics, freelance writers, and other related parties  offer a  subjective response to stage work being performed, within a light of freedom of expression, in response to open, public performances. Such parties are taking the full responsibility of expressing their opinion on the All About Solo website, its social platforms, and other constituencies.

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