It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s an Okay Play…

By Ernest  Kearney  —  A super hero on a Freudian’s couch is an interesting enough way to begin a play.

The Human Fly (Brendan Brandt) is agonizing over his existential quandary of whether, on a moral level, he has any justification in calling himself a “hero.”

Later back at the Super Lair he meets up with the rest of the crime fighting crew of Sate City.

There’s the sinewy Leopard Woman (Chelsea Brandt), Rhino Man (David Schwartzbaum) with a large silver horn protruding from his forehead, phallic-like, and the anal-retentive Silver Streak (Jeff Kongs).

With crime at an all-time low, there’s really not much for our crime fighters to do but sit around and bicker.  That is until Simpson (jaimyon Parker) arrives from the city to do an audit on the Super Lair — budget cuts are on the way.

Now we find out our heroes aren’t really trained to do anything else but protect the citizens of Sate City from super villains, which there’s been a dearth of since The Human Fly accidently fell off a building and landed on the last one.  Rhino Man even confesses he only took the job because it was easy.

From here there follows much name calling and the such.

Meanwhile Back at the Super Lair by Greg Kalleres can’t seem to decide whether it’s a Mad Magazine parody or a film by Robert Downy Sr., and Director Jack Stehlin hasn’t addressed that issue either.

There are some good performances, especially from Parker (who captures the tone of a Downy film) and Kongs (who commits to the parody), but otherwise the piece seems unfocused (the Playwright’s fault) and unsure of its footing (the


The show is either low silver or a high Bronze, and because it’s the first show I’ve seen, and it was pre-preview for the production, I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt and call it Silver Medal (via The TVolution)Silver.

A low silver.

♦    ♦    ♦

NOTE: Above in Featured Image — (l-r)  Ronald Auguste, Jade Sealey, Christopher Frontiero, Robert Cicchini and Jeff Kongs in Meanwhile, Back at the Super Lair … (Photo by Jeannine Wisnosky Stehlin, Courtesy of New American Theatre)

Meanwhile Back at the Super Lair… by Greg Kalleres

Director Jack Stehlin

Playing thru June 23 during the Hollywood Fringe 2018

Venue: New American Theatre Company , 1312 N.Wilton Place

Complete show information:


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An award-winning L.A. playwright and rabble-rouser of note who has hoisted glasses with Orson Welles, been arrested on three continents and once beat up Charlie Manson. His first play, "Among the Vipers" was a semi-finalist in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition and was featured in the Carnegie-Mellon Showcase of New Plays. It was produced at the NPT Theater in Ashland, Oregon and Los Angeles’ celebrated Odyssey Ensemble Theatre. His following play, “The Little Boy Who Loved Monsters” was produced at The Hollywood Actors Theater, where he earned praise from the Los Angeles Times for his “…inordinately creative writing.” The play went on to numerous other productions including Berlin’s The Black Theatre under the direction of Rainer Fassbinder who wrote in his program notes of Kearney, “He is a skilled playwright, but more importantly he is a dangerous one.” Ernest Kearney has worked as literary manager or as dramaturge for among others The Hudson Theater Guild, Nova Diem and the Odyssey Ensemble Theatre, where he still serves on the play selection committee. He has been the recipient of two Dramalogue Awards and a finalist or semi-finalist, three times, in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition. His work has been performed by Michael Dunn, Sandra Tsing Loh, Jack Colvin and Billy Bob Thornton, and to date, either as playwright or director, he has upwards of a hundred and thirty productions under his belt, including a few at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater as puppeteer. Kearney remains focused on his writing, as well as living happily ever after with his lovely wife Marlene. His stage reviews and social essays can be found at and Follow him on Facebook.

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