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MARIAN OR THE TRUE TALE OF ROBIN HOOD

“a sheer comic delight. This gender-bending, myth-rending gallivant through Sherwood Forest and Prince John’s keep boasts the funniest and most appealing band of Merry Men you’re likely to meet in Manhattan."

Blogcritics

"a sweet farce.”

Timeout New York

"the show thrives on its own playfulness and silly energy while still tying everything up at the end. Marian manages to present something important without taking itself too seriously – and that makes it all the more resonant. It doesn’t need to overstate anything. This is feminism in action (in all its beautiful, heroic glory).”

Theatre Is Easy

"95 minutes of first-class writing, acting, and directing.”

Show Showdown

"Adam Szymkowicz creates a rollicking, gender-bending romp that unveils the large and small ways leaders can inspire internal revolutions in those around them.”

New York Theatre Review

 

 

CLOWN BAR

Critic's Pick; "Adam Szymkowicz’s script is unabashedly silly but also shrewd, paying homage to film noir and pulp novels."

New York Times

"Mr. Szymkowicz has created a new world out old parts, breeding a brand new species of creative animal. He is, in fact, making his own rules – and the pleasure of obeying them is all ours."

New York Theatre Review (2013)

"Throughout the show, enjoyable pauses in the action allow for a song, dance, joke, a reenactment, shoot-out, etc. It is a testament to the strength of Mr. Szymkowicz’s writing that the tight narrative framework of Clown Bar supports these kooky interruptions. Clown Bar is a really gratifying theatrical experience, silly but also moody and mysterious."

New York Theatre Review (2014)

"completely ridiculous and utterly heart-wrenching."

Charged FM

"(an) exceptional theatrical experience."

Theater Pizzazz

"Clown Bar is a top notch immersive event that is unique and bound to be a cult favorite."

Theatre In The Now

"Due to the cleverly written script by Adam Szymkowicz, the show is such a marvelously detailed and novel spoof of the genre."

Theater Scene

"…Adam Szymkowicz, has created an ingenious narrative…"

The Gone Cat

"a campy and clever play… Written by gifted scribe Adam Szymkowicz … Clown Bar is an entertaining riff on the old Hollywood crime dramas from the 1940s. A charming indulgence, we recommend donning your best clown nose and catching this scrappy production before it packs into its clown car and zooms away."

Flavorpill NY (2013)

"The script is tight and funny—hard-boiled schtick. "

The Fifth Wall

"Adam Szymkowicz’s script is a case study in meticulously crafted playfulness… some of the most quotable lines ever heard in a play… Clown Bar is a fantastic way to spend your evening. If you love clowns, go see this show. If you hate clowns, go see this show."

nytheater.com

"Clown Bar does detective story spoofs one better by employing every single familiar crime-movie trope — brooding hero, crazy crime boss, conflicted gun moll, hooker with a heart of gold — and making them all... well, clowns. It’s weird how well this works: playwright Adam Szymkowicz has combined two inherently ridiculous forms of entertainment and created a perfect storm of ridiculousness."

Theatre Is Easy

"There’s not a streak out of place in Clown Bar‘s greasepaint; I can’t think of a better nightcap than the shot of extra funny currently being served by Pipeline Theatre Company."

That Sounds Cool

"original and terrific… a wonderful idea, dark and funny with priceless moments."

Time Square Chronicles

 

HEARTS LIKE FISTS

Critic's Pick; "hysterical... Hurting for a laugh? These Crimefighters should save the day."

New York Times

"Hearts Like Fists... is a silly, over-the-top, and adventurous comic book-style play that offers a fun, twisted exploration of what it means when someone Hulk-smashes your heart on the ground into a million piecse... Fists argues that the most important moments in life are the ones directly in front of us, and that we shouldn't let being hurt in the past affect our decisions moving forward. It's goofy. It's absurd. But it hits hard where it counts--right in the ticker."

Village Voice

"Szymkowicz is a wistful wit with a broken-romantic's ear for the big Urban Lonesome."

NY Magazine

"It's hard to imagine a better night at the theater.... Like the best comic books, the story has a bright, action-packed surface with deeper complexities at work beneath. 'Hearts Like Fists' delivers an enviable double blow: humorous and profound at once, it demonstrates that the boundaries of what can be done with speculative storytelling onstage are limitless, and always have the capacity to astonish."

io9

"... Adam Szymkowicz, one of the leading theatrical voices of his generation, intertwines themes both humorous and mature together... Szymkowicz provides plenty of sugar to make his complicated medicine about crooked hearts go down smoothly. His dialogue comes riddled with memorably arch lines... that aren't just hysterical, they're psychologically accurate. He has created a fun show that refuses to be dumbed down."

NY Press

"Hearts Like Fists is a charming, light-hearted comedy about love, gallantry, and the endless human propensity to fall for the wrong person. Adam Szymkowicz's script is a comic book hero inspired romp from lights up to lights down. He goes to great lengths to twist and torture the heart–the metaphor of the heart I mean–contorting it between mechanical tool and symbol of the pulse that through the green fuse drives the flower. The result is a gently absurdist send up of the romantic calculus that informs most of the present day mythology of love and dating.... An accomplished playwright, Mr. Szymkowicz's play has no rough edges and no obtuse angles."

Cultural Capitol

"Although Adam Szymkowicz's hilarious new play Hearts Like Fists is ostensibly a play about comic book-style Superheros and Supervillains, deep down it's an utterly charming and goofy romantic comedy. Which is not to say it's not a hilarious sendup of superhero tropes, because it is that as well. The comedy fires on all cylinders from the beginning and almost never lets up."

Broadway World

"Playwright Adam Szymkowicz has constructed this story like a sandwich: knife-fulls of surprise and suspense are smeared across meaty gymnastic fight sequences, with all of it packed between the twin slices of our desire for connection and our fear of what that connection might do to us. It's a tasty concoction."

New York Theater Review

"... the play, written by Adam Szymkowicz... is, in all probability, unlike anything most theatergoers have ever seen. Running some 90 intermissionless minutes, it flies by, scarcely leaving time for the actors or the audience to catch their breath. The innovative play, which questions the purposes and passions each individual has in life, has come up with situations and lines that are at once ludicrous and hilarious."

Queens Chronicle

"Right now, it feels as if Adam Szymkowicz has cornered the market on shows that feature figuratively and literally broken hearts... "

That Sounds Cool

"If you have one aorta of desire to know what love is, you will enjoy Flux Theatre Ensemble's production of Hearts Like Fists by Adam Szymkowicz."

nytheater.com

"Author Adam Szymkowicz has written an extremely funny script that alternates long lyrical monologues with staccato noir-ish one-liners. It's both poignant and hysterical... Like Fists is fabulous and smart fun."

Show Showdown

Critic's Choice; "A trio of buxom superhero babes is taking names and kicking butt in "Hearts Like Fists," Adam Szymkowicz's graphic novel come to irresistible life at Theatre of NOTE... Staged for what is surely less than Christopher Nolan's weekly tea budget, Hearts Like Fists is the perfect summer date show: exhilarating, nerdy-sexy, and silly-smart. Try finding that on Fandango."

LA Times

Pick Of The Week; "Fun well done neatly sums up this brazenly silly and irresistibly funny show... Love unrequited is the recurring motif in this gender-bent spoof; it fuels the dastardly doctor's crime spree; inspires Peter, a dedicated physician with a damaged heart, to design an artificial one; and plagues the peace of mind of all and sundry, even the staunch and sturdy Amazonian crusaders and the hitherto dazzlingly invulnerable Lisa."

LA Weekly

"A chop-socky cartoon on stage, Hearts Like Fists, written by Adam Szymkowicz, is an action-packed adventure romance set in the surreal world of female crime-fighting superheroes. Nurses by day, skilled warriors by night, a band of ferocious and feisty femmes battle the dastardly and elusive Dr. X and his deadly war against romance... Don't miss this show!"

Arts Beat LA

"Hearts Like Fists by Adam Szymkowicz is an homage to Film Noir and Marvel Comics and when blended together produces a hilarious theatrical experience! You won't want to miss this truly fun production!"

Hettie Lynn Hurtes of NPR Station KPCC

"In Hearts Like Fists, Szymkowicz has written a play that is both campy and clever, but also full of heart and hope, another notch on the prolific young playwright's belt... one of this summer's most exciting thrill ride-like treats."

Stage Scene LA

 

"Pow! Hearts Like Fists connects. Adam Szymkowicz's crowd-pleaser is a smashingly funny mash-up of action comics and rom-coms."

CurtainUp

6 StageSceneLA Scenie Awards including one of the "Best World Premiere Plays of 2012"

THE WHY OVERHEAD

"... genuinely funny... It's a decent play that pushes against its own boundaries... weird but likable vision."

New York Times

"... this highly praised young playwright continues to be someone to watch.... engaging, silly fun with a satisfyingly intelligent underpinning. Some of Szymkowicz's humor is low and some of it is slyly sophisticated, but all of it comes from well-observed human truths."

Theatermania

"The Why Overhead" entertains because of some fine and funny lines... in bursts of inspired dialogue and in soaring, silly monologues that are near-poetic comic riffs."

Backstage

"charming and funny"

nytheatre.com

"And while Szymkowicz has brought to life a collection of quirky call center workers with presumably simple problems revolving around office feuds and crushes, he doesn't fail to ask some very difficult questions regarding why people continue to do things over and over again without seeming to move forward with their lives.... enjoyable from start to finish. It's sure to provide a lot of laughs and one good hobo song you'll be singing the rest of the day."

New York Theatre Review

RARE BIRDS

"And regardless of how fun it may be, Rare Birds is a story the world needs to hear.”

Charged FM

"As an adult, it's easy to look back on younger days and dismiss pubescent troubles and feelings as superficial expressions of overactive hormones, but director Scott Ebersold has this talented cast delivering every well-written line with emotion so perfect that you can't help feeling compassion for each and every character's problems. And when the tension reaches its peak and you think you foresee how it's all going to end, Szymkowicz's script throws you a curve that has you asking yourself whether what you just saw is what really would happen—only to convince you moments later that yes, now, it all makes perfect sense.”

Opplaud

“After a sequence of smoothly escalating episodes of conflict and cruelty, gentle good humor mingles with nail-biting anxiety in the climactic sequence. We’re left shivering with angst, yet aware of the possibility that goodness can sometimes triumph."

Blogcritics

"What’s rare is Szymkowicz’s gift for naturalistic dialogue."

Blogcritics

"The overall impact is strong and sobering, getting across a message of anti-bullying without being preachy or polemical."

The White Rhino Report

"well written, with dark comedy, intense drama, and an intriguing plot arc."

Theatre Is Easy

 

UBU

Critic’s Pick: “Obeying its inspiration’s spirit (if not its letter), Adam Szymkowicz’s Ubu shocks and delights by the expedient method of sitting on you and bouncing up and down till you surrender to it in gasping, helpless glee."

Time Out New York

"Twisted and hilariously absurd, ‘Ubu’ is a play that refuses to be ignored."

Show Business Weekly

"It's raucous and profane and visceral as all get-out… And Szymkowicz seems here to be stretching in an exciting and surprising way. These artists' collaboration exemplifies the kind of raw, unusual work that NYC's summer festival scene specializes in."

nytheatre.com

"a surrealistic ejaculation of noise and ideas and motion which constantly breaks convention. If you like daring, vigorous and unconventional theater, do not miss this play."

Theater Pizzazz

"worth a good look."

New York Theatre Review

"It's raucous and profane and visceral as all get-out... And Szymkowicz seems here to be stretching in an exciting and surprising way. These artists' collaboration exemplifies the kind of raw, unusual work that NYC's summer festival scene specializes in."

nytheatre.com

INCENDIARY

"Firefighting and fire starting get the noir-camp treatment in Adam Szymkowicz's Incendiary, which tackles the whimsical dilemma of star-crossed lovers in the arsonist and arson-investigator fields.... this nutty love triangle of boy, girl and inferno is charmingly original and genuinely suspenseful."

Time Out Chicago

"hilariously ornate in the best world-weary, film-noir fashion"

Chicago Theater Beat

ELSEWHERE

"Szymkowicz dissects the angst and malaise of modern life within eighty minutes of hyper-literate verbiage that comes filled with plot twists, moonlight rambles and the aforementioned shovel. Although the characters are adults, they behave as churlish children; the actors pull that off with skill and grace - and provide a marvelous glimpse into the psyche of people just doing whatever the hell they want without any regard to the feelings of others... From the first knock of the door to the last, 'Elsewhere' sparkles with wit, comedy and quirky characters... Don't dig holes in the backyard. It never ends well.

Naples News

"New York playwright Adam Szymkowicz packs his deliciously devious play with oddball characters, sharp-edged dialogue and plenty of surprises (including an unexpected dip into Broadway-musical territory)... You'll laugh. You'll cringe. But you likely won't forget it."

News Press

"... quirky and thoroughly entertaining dark comedy... Mr. Szymkowicz knows what he's doing. His work contains layers and, like a good comic, he knows how to slip in moments of truth and hit you with a punch to the gut while you're laughing."

Florida Weekly

NERVE

"sweet, sexy, neurotic friendly."

—The New York Timeshe New York Times

"…frequently laugh-out-loud funny, and in the end a neat little demonstration, if you needed one, of how much better live theatre can be than TV or movies when it comes to convincingly recreating human relationships in all their delicious complexity.”

—The Gothamist

"With Nerve, playwright Adam Szymkowicz ventures into the minefield that is online dating and emerges with a wickedly entertaining and darkly comic romance. Cyber-dating may be rife with tales of nightmarish encounters with neurotics and sociopaths, Szymkowicz seems to say, but don't sociopaths deserve love, too" Anyone who sees Nerve will be inclined to say yes. "

—OffOffOnline.com

“a first-rate production of Szymkowicz's dark, quirky comedy.” 

—Miami Herald

Nerve illustrates the hopefulness of people who've been hurt before, who keep looking for the one person who will love them and stick by them in spite of the fact that they're clingy or obsessive or just plain weird. Nerve is ultimately an uplifting play, and the Naked Stage production is funny and entertaining.”

—Miami Art Zine

“This is a well-crafted and tight little show (it runs about an hour), that's thoroughly engaging…The Echo Theatre Company's production of Nerve is essential viewing. It's incredibly funny, and you'll have the opportunity to see a pair of terrific performers.” 

—Broadway World (St. Louis)

“So much ground is covered during this brief piece, it's as if the script is trying to compress the evolution of an entire relationship into one hour…On this spare set that is little more than two chairs and a table, beer bottles assume unexpected importance. For Elliot they are a kind of life preserver, something to clutch as he treads the dark waters of dating. As this no-man's-land of a tabletop becomes cluttered with bottles, Susan and Elliot are forced to emerge from their protected lairs on either side of the table. As they move ever closer to each other, we in the audience move closer to them.” 

—River Front Times

“Playwright Szymkowicz keeps the impossible relationship alive with wild, honest disagreement and funny, funny misunderstandings all the way through. I completely understand that the fact that it's all crammed into one single hour might initially make it seem like a gyp to the ticket-buying public. But the sheer work-load and any and all outside distractions being utterly removed in favor of clever, fast-talking back-and-forth, makes an indelible comic impression, no matter the length.” 

—Talkin’ Broadway (St. Louis)T

“This is what one wants from the stage: our world reflected with such singularity that we see its strangeness afresh, with unexpected richness and depth… This is very much a play of its times, by, for, and about today’s instant-access generation. Subject matter touched upon, besides computer dating, includes tattoos, piercings, bondage, cutting, bathroom sex, stalking, restraining orders, antidepressants, suicide hotlines — oh, and love everlasting. But this list tells you little about Nerve, a play that bravely, incisively slices through such superficial features to reveal what lurks beneath.” 

—Mountain XpressT

Nerve's quick-witted dialogue is reminiscent of the banter heard in the romantic film comedies of yesterday, but the play boasts a modern sensibility . A multi- discipline work that incorporates charmingly bizarre dance sequences (Karen Getz's over-the-top choreography is hilarious) and puppetry, Szymkowicz balances the line between fantasy and reality & Szymkowicz has a keen ear for dialogue and is an expert at capturing not only the tension, but also the highs and lows of a first date & The play's conclusion (which manages to be sweet without being sappy) is immensely satisfying...” 

—Philadelphia WeeklyT

“Adam Szymkowicz's double hander about a nightmarishly neurotic couple of internet daters is sharp, heartfelt and very, very funny ... One to watch.” 

—The Independent (London)T

“Seldom is such an occasion as hilarious or as crazy as this one, though the play is bound to ring a few bells for those playing the online dating game these days; mostly, it will ring peals of laughter.” 

—the Examiner (Orange County)T

“Still, in the world the very talented Szymkowicz has created for these would-be lovers, two entirely messed up individuals may make for an absolutely right-for-each-other couple–that is if they can both stick around long enough to make it happen. Nerve is that rare play, one that can appeal equally to those who enjoy taking a walk on the wild side when they go to the theater, and those whose eyes tear up when they recall a rain-soaked Audrey Hepburn embracing George Peppard and that lost-and-found Cat in Breakfast At Tiffany's.” 

—Stage Scene LAT

“What's most striking about the play is the way Szymkowicz takes concepts such as 'normal' and 'typical' regarding dating and opposite-sex interactions and forces us to constantly re-examine and redefine them . In fact, throughout all of'Nerve,' the playwright toys with our perceptions through both characters, first as individuals and then as a potential couple.” 

—The Orange County RegisterT

“The format of Adam Szymkowicz's two-hander from 2006–a young couple at a bar at the end of their first date–is not only deceptively simple, it's also a meditation on a number of issues related to love and romance, marriage, pairing off, and self-image and identity. ... Most eerie is how shards of dialogue may ring in your ears from your own relationships past, a tribute to this skillful script and the talented caste.” 

—Backstage (West)T

"This is a dark and laugh-out-loud funny play."

Art Attack (Canada)

"gleefully awkward"

L.A. Times

"... a carefully constructed analysis of emotions that mirrors the history of a full relationship - all in one evening of drinks, dancing, and confessions & Szymkowicz's taut comedy touches on our fears and uncertainties about opening up to another human being at the risk of getting hurt. The script is deceptively simple in its execution, but the beauty of the play is in the playwright's ability to transcend the superficial banter of two complete strangers desperately trying to connect and achieving an underlying subtext that gets under your skin and tears away at your own insecurities."

Edge L.A.

"The play considers the challenges of opening up one's heart to a less-than-perfect suitor. How much emotional baggage is too much for us to accept in a prospective mate? ... "Sex and the City" with psychotic undercurrents."

Backstage (L.A.)

"Presumably, though not explicitly, named after the once-voguish internet dating forum, Nerve engagingly deconstructs the phenomenon of love at first sight between two would-be lovers who aren't sure they can stand the sight of themselves."

LAist

4 StageSceneLA Scenie Awards 2010-2011 (Chance Theater Production)
5 StageSceneLA Scenie Awards 2011-2012 (Sixth Ave Production)

FOOD FOR FISH

“fabulously weird and weirdly fabulous . . .the reconsidered stereotypes and unexpected observations keep coming.”

—The New York Times

“a smart, well done play. . . Catch it before it’s gone.”

—nytheatre.com

"...Szymkowicz has written a refreshingly perceptive work about how love, work and interior narratives act to both blind and free the individual."

—LA Weekly

“Adam Szymkowicz puts a fresh spin on Anton Chekhov's most popular play in this hilarious facelift of The Three Sisters . . . Examining the least flattering tendencies of human nature both draws the siblings closer and threatens to pull them apart, showing that, as in life, tragedy and comedy exist side by side.” 

—Flavorpill LA

“Szymkowicz is a gifted young playwright with an imagination on overdrive . . . Szymkowicz and Single Carrot truly offer a plate of characters and a tribute to the powers and the prisons that we live in as we desperately try to find dates, sneak kisses, get published, and work magic.” 

—Baltimore City Paper

“Is this a play about how well does anyone really know their true self" What keeps us from murdering our insane bosses or pushing a stranger in front of a train, as Dexter contemplates" Is it a play about loss, the painful transitions that occur as we grow from boy to man to husband, from girl to woman to wife, or the pain of never growing up at all" Perhaps all of the above.” 

—Baltimore Examiner

“…one smart play… a wild, strange trip, full of black humor, and something to really challenge the mind.”

—Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“This play by the brilliant young playwright, Adam Szymkowicz, is one strange work of art … it is compelling, humorous, and I would give it a 9 on the proverbial scale.”

Robert Heller, Publisher's Feature Service (Atlanta)

PRETTY THEFT

"disturbing but touching ... Mr. Szymkowicz writes quirky plays about contemporary topics like online dating and gender roles, but there always seems to be something — a knife, a rope, a dead body — in an unexpected place. In 'Pretty Theft,' the undercurrent of danger goes beyond quirkiness; it’s more subtle and ultimately more horrifying. The play takes place in a terrifying world where reckless people get hurt, and so do more or less innocent bystanders." 

—New York Times

“Szymkowicz has not only taken the notion of theft and flipped it on its head — he’s taken a story about human beings at their worst and shown how we can claw our way back from the brink by finding the good within ourselves.” 

—The Villager

"To go with its jigsaw-puzzle structure and precision dialogue, Adam Szymkowicz's fine psychological comedy-drama Pretty Theft has pathos, sharp humor, a dash of horror, dancing, and many scene changes. It's the kind of play that demands an exceptional production, and that's just what it gets … Szymkowicz's brilliant stroke is to paint the evil that men do right into the pretty rainbow of yearning that defines humanity. And all with a twinkle, a laugh, a pirouette, and a shiver." 

—Blogcritics Magazine

“a sometimes sad, sometimes funny, and at times nostalgic coming-of-age story.” 

—Flavorpill NY

“…as anyone familiar with the playwright’s work can attest. Szymkowicz’s plays are of a more irreverent ilk. His dialogue is quirky but character-appropriate and while his plots aren’t quite linear, they’re not crazily labyrinthine either. Characters travel along jagged lines that occasionally intersect. This is refreshing because while we can’t foresee the path Theft takes, its destination seems completely justifiable when it is reached.” 

—offoffonline

"a near-flawless production that kept me spellbound from start to finish. Indeed, as the play ended, I found I needed several minutes to both dry my eyes and process the elegant beauty of what I had just witnessed." 

—Theatre Knights (& Daze): News & Reviews

“…quirky-funny but generally unsettling play which is distinguished by a playful Mee-like collage surface and unifying undercurrents of sadness and of danger. I mean no disrespect to the theatrical economy of Angela Astle’s clarifying direction nor to the playwright when I say that the material could be easily shaped into a screenplay: it has indie-movie sensibilities and attitude.” 

—Just Shows To Go You

“I’ve never been involved in a bank heist but if I were, I could never be tasked with the role of Getaway Driver.  I can’t navigate with any certainty when the car is required to do above 30 mph on a city street.  Ask me to drive at break-neck speed through urban obstacles and then set you down at the end safely and I assure you: I can’t do it.  But Adam Szymkowicz can … he shows us how he navigates those narrow streets and dark alleys like a pro… Eventually when the two stories crash into each other, as inevitably they were meant to do, there is a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach as you watch what you can’t believe you’re watching … I won’t give it away, but it’s certainly one of the most disturbing scenes I’ve ever seen played out before me in live theatre.  And then, right before you cover your eyes the steering wheel is given one final expert turn and you’re deposited safely at the end of the road with your heart in your throat but your feet back on terra firma.” 

— Neighborbee

“Adam Szymkowicz has written a play full of interesting people…The dialogue and humor in this play are excellent…It runs a lean, intermission-less 90 minutes and is very satisfying… This would be good theater for young women not only to see but also to perform.”

—nytheatre.com

“Truly, a unique piece of psycho dramatic comedy, this show will have its audience laughing constantly at the characters, while they nervously anticipate the inevitable dreaded conclusion. This is a production you won’t want to miss.”

—RetroVision Media

“In the broad scheme of things, everything is stolen from us: our beauty, our senses, our minds. The far more specific now of Adam Szymkowicz's latest play, Pretty Theft, dares to show us--elegantly--what's left behind after such robberies. . . But what delivers Pretty Theft is the varied tone of the script, from Bobby's pompous "My kiss is devastating" to Suzy's "incredible discounts" (i.e., shoplifting) and Joe's checklist of questions--a heartbreakingly succinct attempt for him to connect with something, anything, from the outside. These different voices, set against one another, sound a dissonant chorus of disappointments and disaffections, and it's as if no-one is able to give anything, only to take.” 

—That Sounds Cool

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