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comedy · mark your calendar productions · Ages 12+ · United States of America

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DEREK BIDDLE June 13, 2015
tagged as: Dark Comedy · wacky · funny · fast paced
Bye-bye was a thoroughly enjoyable theater experience. The story of the history of an infamous mental institution is as frenetic and darkly humorous as one would imagine. The pacing is aligned perfectly with the theme of the show. Each actor portrays a multitude of characters, from sane to crazy, and everything in between. Half the fun was the anticipation of who would walk on stage next. Great acting paired with spot-on staging and an important but comedic theme makes this show a must-see. ... full review
SAM MOSCO June 13, 2015
Bringing to mind narratives such as "One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest", BYE BYE centers around Byberry, a real life Philadelphia mental institution. Filled with great performances, this zany satire exposes Byberry's history of violence, abuse, and neglect. An entertaining show with a strong theme, BYE BYE is a must see. ... full review
RACHAEL GARCIA certified reviewer June 14, 2015
tagged as: satire · Dark Comedy · Absurdist · comedy · fast paced
Excerpt of my Review for "Bye-Bye" from The Nickel Press: Fast paced and witty, layered with human despair and cruelty, this production skillfully remains entertaining and fun while enlightening the audience to Byberry’s historical shocking events. At points seemingly outlandish, the story is based on actual recorded testimony and verified events from the century-spanning Philadelphia State Hospital. Scenes overlap and multiple acts occur concurrently, creating an engaging use of space on stage. The cast of nine believably plays 37 different characters on stage, each with their distinct quirks and satirical names, such as Representative Porky and Congressman Pinhead. A truly talented cast is necessary to pull off this type of production ... full review
CHARLES MARINA June 15, 2015
One of the hardest jobs is to write and direct a farce comedy. With no experience we will end up having a chaos on stage with a slapstick comedy. Well thank God that wasn't the case with the play "Bye-Bye". I am glad that I saw the show. Laughing at our own hypocrisy and cruelty as human beings, this play balances all the emotions at once. They respected the rules of the farce from having the story happening in one location, to the absurdity of the scenes to the physical comedy... In this type of shows there are a lot of plot twists happening so you don't need to follow the plot. The cast did a wonderful job where each one of the actors were playing sane and insane characters which relates to us as humans, we are in a constant battle between... full review
DOUGLAS STEIGER certified reviewer June 10, 2015
tagged as: zany · wild · fun · ironic
On Sunday June 7, 2015 I saw an original comedy called Bye-Bye written by Kealy DeWitt and produced by Jon Argenziano at the Theatre Asylum. This amusing new work covers a zany account of the Philadelphia State Mental Hospital at Byberry. Superb performances came from a cast of outrageous characters like Pinhead, Slugger, Katerina, Puck, and Dr. Blain. Direction by Robert Omeara made excellent use of the entire stage with multiple acts occurring simultaneously. I would highly recommend seeing this absurdly, hilarious, and ironical presentation. ... full review
ROBERT OMEARA June 18, 2015
tagged as: comedy · farce · black farce · true story · gripping
Excerpted from the review by Lyle Zimskind of LAist: "We'd never heard anything of the shameful history surrounding the now-closed Byberry state psychiatric hospital in Philadelphia before we saw Kealy DeWitt's play "Bye-Bye" at the Fringe. But now we can't get it out of our heads. Nine actors introduce us to over 35 characters in a stream of short vignettes that hearken back to the period between 1900 and 1990, when scores of patients in Byberry's charge were neglected, abused and even killed. A program note asserts that the play is "based on historical fact," with some dialogue and characters drawn from formal records and others "created through dramatic imagination." Corrupt politicians, sadistic orderlies, and an uncaring public... full review
JACK MOROCCO certified reviewer June 23, 2015
A great little piece of conceptual theatre that brought me back to my black box roots. Equal parts odd and charming, funny and terrifying, satirical and sad. The cast seemed to show real investment and the story itself is compelling. A very enjoyable piece!... full review
RYAN DEREMER certified reviewer June 23, 2015
Fantastically disturbing show. The perverse comedy very well placed to drive home the horror of mental institutions in the US for the better part of the 20th century. The main character's story of the abuse and obscene neglect is moving to say the least, and the many characters that surround her through the years were beautifully portrayed by all the actors involved. Bravo to this group for having the stones to tell a story that even today is an uncomfortable subject for the American people, and very difficult to watch at times. It's difficult to watch because it is so believable. Again, kudos to the cast for wonderful work. ... full review
Strong performances from the ladies in the cast. They really kept the show moving and funny. Tough subject matter handled with empathy and care. Several strongly staged moments. ... full review
Bye Bye was a thrill to watch and had us on the edge of our seats- pulling humor out of the darkness is very difficult to manage but it was done triumphantly. Interesting concept and interesting storyline. Hope this show continues. ... full review

Jessie's Messy Mind

A "crazy" solo show that makes a mental difference. Jessie is an artist with schizo-affective whose show is a refreshing, humorous look into the heart of mental difference. You'll either leave enlightened or simply lightened up!

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