Heart of Golden Tar – Sinks Into Its Own Sludge

By Ernest Kearney — Writer/Performer Drew Petriello has given his audience a war drama, a swashbuckling derring-do, a medical tearjerker, a tragic romance, a psychological mystery, a sexual psychodrama, poetic musings and philosophical speculations all wadded up in an allegorical fantasy played out within a human heart.

Such ambition is doomed to flounder in incoherence and flounder it does. 

Directed by Miles Berman, Petriello burst forth at full speed, In Heart of Golden Tar (HFF23), guns blazing…and stays there, losing any delineation beneath the unaccommodating dynamics of his delivery.

bronze ribbon - Fringe Festival

While sporadically some strong writing and solid acting manage to rise above the befuddlement, Petriello’s transitions from concept to mode with a rapidity that leaves his audience blinded and baffled in his dramatic dust.

Too many ideas are always a bad idea.

For what does show through a Bronze Medal.


Heart of Golden Tar
playing at the Hollywood Fringe Festival 2023
 The Broadwater (Studio) in Hollywood.

For Hollywood Fringe Festival Details, Heart of Golden Tar Show Information, and Tickets Click HERE.

Written by

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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