Altogether, this play has twenty roles. The roles of David Gold and Judith Gold are each played by one actor. However, the other roles can be played by from four to sixteen other actors, with actors possibly playing more than one role. In the first production, a total of six actors were used – the minimum for this play, with each actor playing four or five roles.
Many of the characters in this play have androgynous names or descriptions, and can be played by either a male or female actor.
Secret Rose Theatre, Los Angeles, CA 2014
“I’m Not Just A Comic Genius” lives up to its name Posted by Corina Roberts , June 21, 2014
Loren Ledesma, Jerry Weil and Duane Taniguchi in “I’m Not Just a Comic Genius” a new play by Art Shulman Wordsmith Revealed – Shulman’s play defines genius “I’m Not Just A Comic Genius” – the latest play by Art Shulman, is aptly titled. The veteran storyteller weaves bold and outrageous comedy into a dry and strained familial relationship as David(Morry Schorr) and his daughter Judith (Michele Tannen) try to piece their lives back together after the passing of David’s wife (Judith’s mother). Housebound since her death, David is encouraged by his daughter to take up writing plays. “I’m Not Just A Comic Genius” evolves in a series of diverse, hysterical, edgy one act plays framed by the subsequent evolution of a father-daughter relationship.
Shulman’s versatility as a writer is showcased in this fast-moving, precisely executed play – it is effectively seven or eight different plays wound into a single story. It is hilarious, disturbing, superbly written and immediately engaging. The dialogue is tight, the acting spot on. Loren Ledesma delivers particularly memorable performances in all of her vivacious incarnations. Duane Taniguchi and Jerry Weil move fluidly and believably between characters. Karen Knotts transforms herself into the core of every role. Truly, Shulman’s genius is revealed in the final act, when David performs a passage about his own imminent mortality; a monologue that leaves the audience powerless against their own tears. Shulman provides his audience the full spectrum of emotional experience while demonstrating a boundless capacity for creating scene and situation. The props are minimal. The cast is intimate. The result is an intense dramedy.
“I’m Not Just A Comic Genius” contains adult material throughout the swift-flowing play. It will leave you emotionally alive and in awe of Shulman’s creative depth. A masterful work.
I’m Not Just A Comic Genius Resolves Conflict By Mary Mallory on June 11th, 2014
Demonstrating that an old dog can learn new tricks, I’m Not Just a Comic Genius blends existential elements with hilarious comedic scenes to show a man reconnecting with life. David (Morry Schorr) remains bitter and standoffish after his wife’s death. His daughter Judith (Michele Tannen) suggests he start writing again to occupy his time and keep himself entertained. Writer Art Shulman reveals David connecting with himself and his daughter Judith through the writing process. Shulman blends hilarious segments with poignant moments to show David evolving and loosening up.
Director Rick Shaw creates a nice energy and flow between the writing segments and the imagined outcomes, keeping the show from being too episodic. The layout of the stage makes the action slightly static however. Schorr brings just the right amount of sarcasm and resentment to David without becoming too strident. Schorr possesses a nice, easy rapport with Tannen, enhanced by her sweet, warm character. Jerry Weil’s expressive annoyance and attitude adds some zing, particularly his spelling bee announcer oozing attitude. Karen Knotts gives her characters a slightly off-kilter but vulnerable outlook and demeanor.
Riotous comedy sequences, nice wordplay, and fine acting make I’m Not Just a Comic Genius entertaining and enlightening.
Approximately 110 minutes
Preview available here