The Hurricane Katrina Comedy Festival

September 22, 2010  |  Reviews

Hurricane Katrina Comedy Festival - press photo

“The evocative true stories assembled are full of fear, courage and resilience. But they are also rich in the flavorful humor, inextinguishable identity and civic love that characterize the inhabitants of America’s most battered city.” “…the five accomplished actors onstage in Rob Florence’s affecting quasi-verbatim play… create an atmosphere of destabilization and panic.” – The New York Times By DAVID ROONEY

“For a show about one of the worst natural disasters in this country’s history, ‘The Hurricane Katrina Comedy Festival’ is awfully funny — as entertaining as it is moving… the ensemble delivers terrifically moving performances.” “There’s no shortage of horrific moments, such as the vivid descriptions of water slowly rising in houses and bodies floating in the flooded streets. But the playwright also captures the gallows humor that springs up in such circumstances (“So, I walk back into the incontinence room,” [Gary Cowling as Rodney] acidly says of senior citizens in his shelter), making the evening surprisingly uplifting.” NY Post 3 ½ stars By Frank Scheck

“I’ll be shocked if The Hurricane Katrina Comedy Festival doesn’t run off-Broadway or at least tour around the country after its successful run in the New York International Fringe Festival. It’s a polished, ready-for-prime-time look at Katrina through the stories of survivors portrayed by five talented actors.. the moment their stories begin, you’re utterly engrossed.” “Gary Cowling — a New York stage veteran like all of them — is usually Rodney, a bemused (and perhaps gay) man who somehow ends up on a plane with Al Gore. (Maybe I’m confusing Southern eccentricity with gay, but Cowling is very good and a stalwart participant in AIDS Walk NY, so what’s not to like?).” “You’ll also be moved and entertained.” The Huffington Post 3 1/2 Stars Out of 4By Michael Giltz

Gary Cowling as Rodney, a son looking after his elderly mother will leave you in stitches.” – The Urbane Urbanite by Shydel James

“…documentary theater at its best…” “The stories are true, the actors play multiple roles expertly” “Viewed through their eyes, one begins to see the disaster not from the outside as a spectator or as a concerned citizen, but from the inside as a fellow human being. This is theater at its most relevant. It is a reminder…about the resiliency and beauty of the human spirit in the face of adversity.” Theatre Is Easy by Nancy Kelly

“another standout is Gary Cowling as the wry, witty Rodney. He has one hell of a time evacuating his elderly parents, but gets some unexpected help from Al Gore, one of several political and media figures who make cameo appearances in these stories, uniformly at the oddest times.” –Gay Socialites by Jonathan Warman

“Gary Cowling portrays a goofy-looking guy who quickly gets some gravitas in him.”
TheaterMania by Peter Filichia

“The production’s chief pleasure is in the relaxed, precise performances of its five veteran actors. The script downplays the horror and outrage… politely amusing, occasionally moving, deliberately uplifting.” –Time Out NY**** by Adam Feldman


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