The Incredible Life and Wondrous Adventures of the Amazing Fabulous Fred
2 men, 1 woman
Running time approximately 100 minutes

An earlier version won the Max and Janet Salter Prize in the Julie Harris National Playwrights Competition; was a semi-finalist at the Ashland New Plays Festival; and had staged readings at Theatre of NOTE and The Bootleg Theatre, Los Angeles, CA. The revised version won the City of West Hollywood/ Alliance of Los Angeles Playwrights Pride Festival Competition, and was given a staged reading at Celebration Theatre.

FRED, a gay insurance salesman in his 40s, possesses a rich and vivid fantasy life and, in real life, an unusual array of problems, one of the biggest being his overbearing mother, LILLIAN. No sooner has Lillian succeeded as a matchmaker and found Fred a boyfriend than Fred – one of the world’s great hypochondriacs – is diagnosed with a fatal disease so rare only other hypochondriacs have ever heard of it.

He embarks on a roller-coaster journey, confronting a surreal and incompetent health care system, dealing with friends and lovers – all played by one actor, THE OTHER GUY – with mixed reactions to his condition, and coming to terms with Lillian, who initially seems to be the stereotypical butt-of-the-joke Jewish mother, but who proves fierce in her determination to help her son.

In the end, after an excruciating death, Fred returns from The Other Side to let us know that Tinsel Heaven – where gay people go when they die – is much nicer than anyone could imagine, and that the power of love is, after all, what really drives the universe.

It’s comedy, it’s drama, it’s magical realism, it’s vaudeville… with a little Monty Python thrown in too.

Adult themes and language.

Performing rights controlled by the Author. Write to dan@danberkowitz.com.



Seated: Jack Maxwell, Renee Taylor. Standing L-R: Ann L. Gibbs, Nick Stellate, Dan Berkowitz at Celebration Theatre.

When Oprah Says Goodbye
3 women
Running Time approximately 18 minutes

The play has been produced at various theatres around the country, and was a Finalist for the 2012 Heideman Award at Actor's Theatre of Louisville.

ROSE, a cranky resident of an elder-care facility, is about to get a new roommate – and a surprise. The new resident, JULIA, was her best friend many years ago, but the friendship dissolved when Julia “stole” the love of Rose’s life. The women have not communicated in more than four decades, and Rose has no interest in changing that. But, as it becomes apparent that Julia needs her, Rose’s affection for her old friend overcomes her hurt and resentment, and it looks as if the two old women may just become friends again.

Adult themes.

Performing rights controlled by the Author. Write to dan@danberkowitz.com.



Thomasina Clarke(L) as Rose and Peggy Calvin as Julia at the Briefs Festival in St. Louis, MO..

Crime and Punishment: The Musical
1 man
Running time approximately 15 minutes

First produced at Emerging Artists Theatre in New York City, as part of the Illuminating Artists Series.

THE MAN, the bookwriter of a musical based on Dostoyevsky’s classic, welcomes the audience to the first performance, and apologizes for luring them in to see a not-quite-finished work.

A surrealistic solo comedy which isn’t a musical – and doesn’t really have much to do with “Crime and Punishment” either…

Performing rights controlled by the Author. Write to dan@danberkowitz.com.



Dan Berkowitz as The Man at Emerging Artists Theatre, New York.

Pretty
2 women
Running time approximately 7 minutes

First produced at Turtle Shell Theater in New York.

CHARLEY is a bright, eager, awkward, somewhat shy 14-year-old girl, who likes arithmetic and “Dancing With the Stars,” but more than anything wants to be reunited and live with CINDY, the mother who abandoned her some time ago. When the two of them meet, it becomes clear that Cindy’s problems mean Charley won’t get her wish.

Performance rights available through http://YouthPLAYS.com


Celia Kleeman (L) and Renee Erikson at the Turtle Shell Theatre in New York.

The Devil Made Me Do It
1 man, 1 woman
Running time approximately 9 minutes

First produced by 3 Roses Players at Crown City Theatre in North Hollywood, CA, subsequently produced at The Hollywood Fringe. An all-male version was done by Stage Q in Madison, WI.

SHE, a female demon, surprises HE, a mortal man, by appearing in his bedroom in the middle of the night. But she winds up getting an even bigger surprise...

Adult Themes and Language.

Performing rights controlled by the Author. Write to dan@danberkowitz.com.


Mariah Bonner at The Hollywood Fringe.

Silver Linings
1 man, 1 woman
Running time approximately 8 minutes

First produced by the Scitimard Drama Club at Margaretville Central School, Margaretville, NY.

Teenager SARA finds herself pursued by classmate AARON. At first, she writes him off as an obnoxious dork, but as they talk, they discover that each has endured a traumatic loss. There’s an old saying that every cloud has a silver lining. Can they be that silver lining for each other?

Performance rights available through http://YouthPLAYS.com


Julian Rauter and Barbara Morrow at the Scitimard Drama Club, Margaretville (NY) Central School.

The Twinkie Defense
1 woman
Running time approximately 15 minutes

First performed as part of the Alliance of Los Angeles Playwrights Annual Play Reading Festival.

BOBBIE JO BICKFORD, a middle-aged stripper, discusses how she dealt with the trauma of breast cancer. The big question: can Twinkies really cure cancer? Find out here...

Performing rights controlled by the Author. Write to dan@danberkowitz.com.


Alice White, the actress for whom the play was written.

You Have a Friend at Chase Manhattan
2 men
Running time approximately 10 minutes

First performed as part of the Alliance of Los Angeles Playwrights Annual Play Reading Festival.

A BANK TELLER, confronted by a HOLDUP MAN, refuses to lose his cool. But it soon becomes apparent the holdup man isn’t really there to hold up the bank – and the teller isn’t just a teller. The play was written for actor William Hootkins, and was based on incidents in his life.

Performing rights controlled by the Author. Write to dan@danberkowitz.com.


William Hootkins as Jek Porkins in Star Wars, a critical element in the play.

The Palm Beach Caper
6 men, 6 women
Running time approximately 90 minutes

First done aloud in a staged reading at FirstStage, Hollywood, CA.

A screwball comedy, with a large debt to the Marx Brothers, The Palm Beach Caper revolves around TACO HOOGENWART, a fast-talking con man in the manner of Groucho Marx, who brings his slapdash gang to Palm Beach in the 1930s in hopes of fleecing some of America’s moneyed aristocracy.

Taco and his fellow gang members GUMBO, MATZO, and CLYDE – rough cognates of Chico, Harpo, and Zeppo – have struck out as thieves in the south of France, and instead decide to try their luck in Palm Beach, playground of America’s upper crust.

By chance, they happen upon LADY HORTENSE MAPPLETHWAITE , the imposing American widow of a titled Englishman. While Lady Hortense sees through Taco’s con, she is so bored by the stultifying society world she inhabits that she determines to have an “adventure,” and invites the gang members – who have disguised themselves as European nobility – to stay at her villa.

Hortense’s brother, OSWALD GREBE, a noted (but very eccentric and forgetful) inventor is alarmed to see his sister fall for what he knows is a ruse, but Hortense brushes off his concerns. Oswald enlists the aid of BARON OLIVIER, a titled suitor to Hortense’s impressionable daughter EULALIA, in his crusade to expose the con artists as impostors.

Meanwhile, Taco and his cohorts revel in the luxury of Lady Hortense’s villa, enjoying fine food, wine, and cigars, and being waited on hand and foot by NIGHTINGALE, the stuffy butler. Indeed, Taco is so enchanted by his new-found life of ease that he grows reluctant to complete his mission of robbing the house of its treasures.

Not everyone is satisfied, however, and Hortense gets more than she bargained for when Eulalia falls for the one member of the gang determined to succeed as a serious criminal.

In the end, though, nothing is truly serious in Palm Beach, as love – and money – conquer all.

Performing rights controlled by the Author. Write to dan@danberkowitz.com.


Simply Divine
1 man, 3 women
Running time approximately 20 minutes

First produced at the Source Theatre in Washington, D.C., as part of the Washington Theatre Festival.

The gods work in mysterious ways, as MARGARET TREMAYNE discovers when she meets two people who turn out to be ZEUS and HERA.

A dazed Margaret wanders into a strange, surreal place, and assumes she's at a costume party when she comes upon a man and a woman dressed as Greek gods. But, in fact, the place is Mount Olympus, the couple is Zeus and Hera, and Margaret has been summoned to hear a most unusual proposition: mankind is ready for a new Messiah, and she has been chosen to be his mother. The setting isn't the only thing surreal about this Noel Coward-ish comedy...

Performing rights controlled by the Author. Write to dan@danberkowitz.com.


A Lovely Little Life
2 women, 1 any gender
Running time approximately 10 minutes

Chosen for the ALAP Reading Festival, and a finalist for The Seven: Worlds Collide at Fusion Theatre in Albuquerque, the play has been produced several times at theatres around the country.

The play introduces us to KITTY and SYLVIA, two older lesbians, reminiscing about meeting in Greenwich Village's Portofino Restaurant in the 1960s, and how they built a lovely little life for themselves in the ensuing years. A third PERSON plays all the other parts.

Why the reminiscence now? And to whom are they speaking? The last moments of the play provide the startling answer..

Adult themes.

Performing rights controlled by the Author. Write to dan@danberkowitz.com.



Wilma B. Mazo (L) and Anne Saxon-Hersh at The Open Eye Theater, Margaretville, NY..

The Holiday Tree
2 women
Running time approximately 10 minutes

The play was first performed in the inaugural season of PlaygroundLA at the Zephyr Theatre, and has since been produced several times at theatres around the country.

LUCY, an elegant and feisty older woman, is visited by her estranged adult daughter ANNA, who's disturbed to see her mother decorating the Christmas tree. Why? Because it's July 4th.

But Lucy has her reasons for bringing out the tree, and, with luck, they may lead these two "difficult" women to a rapprochement.

Adult language.

Performing rights controlled by the Author. Write to dan@danberkowitz.com.



Sarah Sankowich (L) and Laura Gardner at the Zephyr Theatre, Los Angeles.

Still Waiting for the Streetcar
2 women, 1 man
Running time approximately 10 minutes

The play was chosen for the 2016 Alliance of Los Angeles Playwrights Reading Festival.

STANLEY KOWALSKI and his wife STELLA -- 50 years or so older than when we saw them last -- get an unexpected visit from Stella's surprisingly young-looking sister BLANCHE DUBOIS who, it seems, has busted out of the nuthouse and become a Botox saleswoman. Blanche, having amassed a fortune, has driven her pink Corvette to New Orleans to reconnect with her sister and reclaim their ancestral plantation home, Belle Rive, which Blanche had lost many years before.

However, Belle Rive no longer exists: it was bought by a very well-known real estate mogul who tore the house down and intended to turn the property into another one of his golf courses. But he never paid the gardeners, who then brought in alligators, and now the whole thing is just a swamp.

A parody "sequel" to the Tennessee Williams classic, the play was performed in the ALAP Festival by 7-time Emmy Award winner Edward Asner (Stanley), Emmy winner and Oscar nominee Renee Taylor (Stella), and Maggie Grant (Blanche), who also directed.

Adult themes and language.

Performing rights controlled by the Author. Write to dan@danberkowitz.com.



L-R: Edward Asner, Maggie Grant, Renee Taylor, and the author at the first reading.

Lesbian Vixens of the SS in "Hitler's Off His Rocker!"
2 women, 1 man
Running time approximately 10 minutes

Produced as part of The Hollywood Fringe Festival.

ILSA and BARBARELLA, two over-the-top lesbian vixens in skimpy SS uniforms, creep into a dark, dank basement where they discover a hideously painted rocking chair, ostensibly made for them by you-know-who.

But when the chair doesn't do anything but sit there, AARON's voice interrupts the action from the back of the theatre. See, Ilsa and Barbarella are really just two very bad actresses, acting in an awful play written and directed by Aaron, an even worse writer/director who doesn't understand there's a difference between plays and films -- or that a chair onstage can't get up and do things without spending a lot of money on special effects.

Silly -- one might even say inane -- the play kicked off an evening of five short plays under the collective title "Kinky Neon Rocker" -- with a live rock band onstage -- at the famed Hollywood Fringe Festival, and even won the Fringe's Nifty Thrifty Award for Best (Cheapest) Costumes!

Adult themes and language.

Performing rights controlled by the Author. Write to dan@danberkowitz.com.



Melissa Brandzel (L) and Royana Black at The Hollywood Fringe.



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