That Are PROVEN Crowd Pleasers
Theatres all across the country have performed my plays.
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Here are just a few examples of recent productions of my plays:
The dynamic Joe Pine shakes, rattles, and rolls his pelvis in a production of "Elvis of Nazareth." This absurd comedy also won the Porter Fleming Literary Prize, sponsored by the Greater Augusta Arts Council. It premiered in Washington, DC to standing room only at The Source Theatre Company.
THE WILY RAY RILEY
Ray Riley is a gypsy fortune teller at a traveling carnival. But a local church pastor accuses Riley of being a "phoney faker," that is -- one who has legitimate powers yet pretends to perform tricks using sleight of hand. The pastor wants Riley to reveal the secret power and allow him to persuade his congregation to donate $12 million for the construction of a new fellowship hall.
"The Wily Ray Riley" was the winner in the Drury University One-Act Playwriting Competition. The Malibu Stage Company's production featured Justin Henry, who was nominated for an Academy Award for his outstanding work in the motion picture "Kramer vs. Kramer."
That's the very lovely and talented Tracey Rooney putting her own special spin on the character as "Madam Riley" in the Malibu Stage Company's sold out production of "The Wily Ray Riley," directed by Jeff Seckendorf.
HARD LUCK SINGS THE BLUES
"Hard Luck Sings the Blues" is about a comic character in search of his Creator . . . the Playwright. It's a two-act self-conscious comedy about a self-conscious guy who will do anything to win the woman of his dreams.
He seeks counsel from a mail-order minister who's written more than 1,200 how-to books -- everything from "How to Reach Spiritual Perfection" to "How to Fix Kitchens and Baths." He hires a woman from an escort service to help him "practice" for a big date. He fasts for three days and three nights to get the Creator to answer his prayer.
And as he struggles with his faith, he wonders why the Playwright puts so many obstacles in his way; why can't he simply win the girl and go home? In the end, he learns about life, love . . . and about himself.
It's the perfect play for dinner theatres -- as proven by recent productions at the Opus Nostrum Dinner Theatre, as well as at the Intentional Theatre, and the Little Theatre of Mechanicsburg.
Tim Shrimplin as "Heinz" has his hands full when Mary Zuzik as "Penelope" tries to help him woo the woman of his dreams in "Hard Luck Sings the Blues."
TWELVE BAR BLUES
- Can be be performed by an ensemble cast of 8 as they double up playing multiple comedy roles
"Twelve Bar Blues" is a two-act collection of 12 comic sketches – all taking place on one simple set, a bar called The Jungle Room.
Throughout the evening, two cocktail waitresses and a bartender encounter a crazy cast of barflies, including:
- Jones, a music major who is earning his fine arts degree in playing the maracas
- Dean, who wants his date to mother him – complete with baby bonnet and bib
- Malinda, a ventriloquist who’s come to the bar to find her dummy. Or as her ex puts it, "I know she likes to manipulate men – but this is ridiculous!"
Here's what Cathy Rosczewski of The Vagabond Players Theatre Company in Hollywood, California had to say about their production of "Twelve Bar Blues":
"It's part Monty Python, part Saturday Night Live, part Carol Burnett Show – all reinvented with a contemporary, easy-to-stage approach. This is zany, maniacal, over-the-top comedy that is sure to please any funny bone. The dialogue is crisp and inventive. The various plots are imaginative and clever. And the unique structure of the play keeps the viewer wondering what crazy antics will follow. Our audiences loved this fast-pace style. It's a highly commercial work that puts people in the seats. I believe you can fill the house with this one."
When you produce one of my plays, you get FREE marketing help to promote your production and fill more seats in the house. Here's an example of a poster that we created for Hollywood's Vagabond Players Theatre Company's west coast premiere of my screwball comedy "Twelve Bar Blues."
RUNS, DRIPS & ERRORS
The lighter side of baseball is turned on its head when a home plate umpire has to deal with a catcher who has smelly feet and a batter who has a chronic case of jock itch. Throw in a spectator who heckles him mercilessly and a manager who wants to get thrown out of the game to attend his grandmother's wedding, and you've got a side-splitting comedy that will leave your audience crying with laughter.
Here's an excerpt from a review in The Auburn Citizen:
“Runs, Drips & Errors begins with a hysterical rendition of the National Anthem by Courtney Johnston, who then proceeds to the bleachers to heckle the remainder of the cast throughout the play. Monnin, Knight and Crawford are the umpire, catcher and batter, respectively, and all do nice work. Crawford has the funniest moment in the evening's funniest of the three plays with his phone call from the batter's box to order flowers for the umpire. As good as all four are, it's the performance of Mike DeForrest that steals the limelight as a manager eager to be tossed from the game to attend a wedding."
One of theatre's funniest baseball arguments takes place when Mike DeForrest gives Tim Monnin an earful in the hilarious "Runs, Drips & Errors." This photo courtesy of New York's Harlequin Productions, directed by Robert Frame.
TRILOGY FOR TWO
Two dissatisfied artists, Marty and Jerry, try to revive their sagging careers, but their struggle to be artistic forces them to deal with their lust for attention and success. Working on a new script, they improvise scenes to help jumpstart ideas. Some of the improvisations include:
- Bad actors performing Hamlet
- First-timers at a nudist colony
- Mail that's never delivered to Buenos Aires, South Africa
- A man who is publicly disgraced because he sleeps with his pillow before he marries it
Jerry, always the comic, backs out of the situation every time it gets too serious as Marty presses him to confront the serious moments of the work.
"Trilogy for Two" won the Premiere Performances International Playwriting Competition.
Director Rob Adams called it, "A proven crowd-pleaser, that's easy to stage and gives the audience a roller coaster ride of belly laughs combined with intense character driven drama."
Russ Morris as "Marty" and David Thrapp as "Jerry" in the Pennsylvania Playhouse's production of "Trilogy for Two," directed by Rob Adams. This production was voted "Judges' Favorite" and "Audience Favorite."
And here's a bonus picture for you: That's me on the right in the crazy shirt as "Jerry" (alongside Billy Stroup as "Marty") in Jacksonville University's production of "Trilogy for Two," directed by Amy Galbreath.
OTHER PLAYS OF MINE INCLUDE:
- THE CHURCH OF DIMINISHING MARGINAL RETURNS -- a full-length comedy premiered at the Tennessee Stage Company and featured at The Horse Trade Theatre Group in NYC.
- THE SING SING SUITE -- a full-length comedy that was a winner in the Robert J. Pickering Award for Playwriting Excellence and was also featured at the Daytona Playhouse.
- PLUMBER'S BUTT -- a one-act comedy that was the winner in the McLaren Comedy Festival and was produced by the Midland Community Theatre.
- IT HAPPENED AT KINGS ISLAND -- a one-act comedy which was produced in New York by Harlequin Productions and is set to run again in Ohio at the Hopedale Players.
- BOB JUAN -- a one-act comedy about Don Juan's little brother Bob and how he deals with living in the shadow of the famous womanizer. It just wrapped another New York production.
Jeff Knight and Tim Meyers get more than they bargained for from Alissa Gristwood in this scene from "Twelve Bar Blues."
Playwright Jay Huling. P.O. Box 14171 Jacksonville, FL 32238.
©2018 by Jay Huling. All rights reserved.
To his rescue come historic figures from the Bible -- including Moses, King Solomon, a Roman centurion, and Jesus himself.
"Elvis of Nazareth" was selected as one of last year's top plays, and it's included in "The Best American Short Plays 2007-2008" published by Applause Books. Available online at Amazon.com, other fine online booksellers, and retail book stores nationwide.
The yet-to-be-discovered Elvis Presley has an inexplicable foreknowledge of his future life events. As he waits to make a personal recording for his mama's birthday at Sun Record's famed Memphis Recording Studio, he ponders the meaning of his life. And he's torn between making the record or traveling down another road.
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