‘Tourrorists’ — A Concept In Search of a Play

By Ernest Kearney — Right from the start there are flashes of cleverness in Tourrorists, a comedy based on the January 6th attack on the nation’s capital.

It begins with the vetting of the audience to find those who do not wish to participate in the show’s immersive aspects. Those who wish to remain unmolested are given a large paper medallion to wear with the cartoon figure of a smiling “snowflake.”

The play opens with an aide being trapped in Nancy Pelosi’s office, by a motley gang of protestors, and who out of self preservation passes himself off as a Capitol tour guide.

As this tour progresses they pass through the capitol’s National Statuary Hall. Here cheap action figures are held aloft to represent the marbled personalities housed there, like Darth Vader for Jefferson Davis.

Among the “tourrorists” is Marty, who is only there to be with his wife a MAGA patriot who has swallowed the “Big Lie.” Marty, who is a bit of a history junkie, offers a running commentary that points out the utter stupidity of the mouth breathers, knuckle draggers and others that fill the ranks of the “deplorables.”

For example, when a Teenage Ninja Turtles’ blanket is used to denote the familiar “Stars and Bars” banner most people believe was the flag of the south during the Civil War, Marty is quick to point out that it wasn’t the flag of the Confederacy, only the Battle flag of the Army of Tennessee.

And when he laments that Americans are so ignorant about their history his wife quips, “We can fake history, we don’t need to learn it.”

Unfortunately, these sparks of cleverness never manage to flare up into a firestorm of fun.

I’m finding a depressing number of shows in this Fringe that smack of having been thrown together without much thought or deliberation. This is one. Writer Emma Gardner took a strong concept and squandered it. Under Ben Wendel’s direction, I bet rehearsals were a blast, but it doesn’t seem much work was done.

All of which is a great pity.

A well thought-out, well-crafted farce about that madness known as the “Trump Presidency” and the dark events of January 6th is precisely the tonic this country so desperately needs.

But to quote Sid Caesar, “You gotta take comedy very serious.”


bronze ribbon - Fringe Festival


is playing during Hollywood Fringe Festival 2022



Asylum @ Stephanie Feury Studio Theatre
5636 Melrose Ave



June 5 – SOLD OUT
June 11 – SOLD OUT
June 19 – SOLD OUT
June 26 – SOLD OUT
New dates added:
June 19 (late show)
June 25 (matinee)

For Additional Informationa and Tickets



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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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