Nick Pupo: ‘Addicted’ – Could Be Habit Forming

By Ernest Kearney    Nick Pupo oughta be locked up behind the concrete-lined granite and steel-reinforced walls of Fort Knox because he is 24-carat comic gold.  Flashing a practiced Lenny Bruce smirk, Pupo works his audience with a skillfulness that harkens back to Sahl, Newhart, and Benny.  I kid you not, for a connoisseur of comedy witnessing the finesse and vigor of Pupo’s performance was reminiscent of watching the film which showed Jackson Pollock painting.  Then there was his show, Addicted, which did everything an audience wants a show to do.  But though it hit all the bases, it wasn’t a home run.  The show works because Pupo and Director Brett Johnson have worked it.

Platinum Medal

Addicted isn’t a bad show, it’s just too much show, and that excess is smothering the tale at its core, of a friendship destroyed by drug abuse.  Pupo and Johnson need to clear some excess to grant that story some clarity.  Then Pupo will have a great show in which to put his great performance.

A Platinum Medal for Pupo now, and for the show to come.


Addicted is playing at the Hollywood Fringe Festival 2023 at  The Broadwater (Studio), in Hollywood.

ADDED SHOWS: 6/29 @ 9:30PM AND 6/30 @ 6:30PM

For Hollywood Fringe Festival Details, Addicted 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 and Follow him on Facebook.

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