“New Kid on the Block” Needs a GPS

By Ernest Kearney  —  Playwright John Patrick Daly has his heart in the right place, and one senses he truly is concerned about the homeless people of L.A.  His show explores the realm of the destitute; dwelling on the streets of downtown through the prism of an ambitious blogger who decides living for a week on the seedy streets of the inner city might score him a lot more followers on his podcasts.

Regrettably, for all Daly’s good intentions, New Kid on the Block is a ramble-scramble of styles and moods, which never fall into place.  There are points where he seems to want to tickle your funny bone, at others to tug at your heartstrings or touch your humanity, and then at others you kinda suspect the playwright wants to play tiddlywinks with your spleen.

It’s hard to tell, because Daly never chooses.

The result is a piece that’s neither fish nor fowl.

Silver Medal (via The TVolution)Director Michael McClain fails to bring any focus to the production and having five actors on stage, playing assorted characters, only adds to the farrago.

Daly as the blogger has some brief moments, but these moments can’t go or build anywhere without the solid foundation of a firm concept.  Adding to the muddle are the five other cast members playing an assortment of characters with little in the way of definition.

Having his heart in the right place earns Daly a SILVER MEDAL.


  ♦    ♦    ♦


New Kid on the Block

Played During the Hollywood Fringe Festival 2018



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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 TheTVolution.com and workingauthor.com. Follow him on Facebook.

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