Enter At Forest Lawn OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Russ Rowland
  • Enter At Forest Lawn
  • NY TIMES

  • HR

  • TM

  • THEATER PIZZAZZ

  • NEW YORK THEATRE REVIEW

Opening Night:
June 26, 2014
Closing:
August 9, 2014

Theater: Walkerspace / 46 Walker Street, New York, NY, 10013

Synopsis: 

When America’s favorite TV uncle heads into a downward spiral of drugs, prostitutes and criminal activity, how far will the show’s megalomaniac producer go to cover up his star’s debauchery, keeping the laughter coming and the money train on the tracks? Enter at Forest Lawn is a darkly comic peek inside the not-so-funny world of network television.

BUY TICKETS BUY GROUP TICKETS
  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Enter At Forest Lawn

    Refugee From Sitcom Land, Guzzling a Bile Cocktail ‘Enter at Forest Lawn,’ From the Amoralists

    Alexis Soloski

    July 16, 2014: For seven seasons, the writer Mark Roberts served as an executive producer on Two and a Half Men. Apparently, this has made him angry. Dangerously angry. Batten-down-the-hatches, threat-level-red, oh-God-I-think-he-might-actually-stroke-out angry. It’s risky to view a playwright’s work through the lens of his biography, but in Enter at Forest Lawn, a poisonous and intermittently funny comedy produced by the Amoralists, the lampoon is so thinly veiled as to be just about naked. With Derek Ahonen’s The Qualification of Douglas Evans, it forms what the Amoralists are calling “ ‘The Gyre,’ a two-play repertory exploring man’s vicious cycles.” On a set that resembles an entertainment exec’s lair or maybe one of Dante’s lesser-known rungs, Mr. Roberts plays Jack Story, a strychnine-bitter television writer with a hit sitcom about to break into syndication. Unfortunately, the show’s star, the lovable Uncle Danny, has some mild difficulties with drugs and women. “Syphilitic crackhead” and “open-sore little Malibu hophead” are perhaps the only printable descriptors Mr. Roberts employs.

    READ THE REVIEW
  • HOLLYWOOD REPORTER REVIEW OF Enter At Forest Lawn

    'Enter at Forest Lawn': Theater Review

    Frank Scheck

    July 15, 2014: Mark Roberts’ extensive television credits include serving as executive producer and head writer for seven seasons of Two and a Half Men and as executive consultant on three seasons of The Big Bang Theory; he also created Mike and Molly, on which he served as executive producer for the first 70 episodes. So it’s no surprise that he knows something about the ins and outs of network sitcoms. What is surprising is that he’s so willing to bite the hand that feeds him with Enter at Forest Lawn, his new play receiving its world premiere by New York’s Amoralists Theatre Company. This viciously dark and profane comedy would seem to indicate that Roberts' television experiences were not without rancor. Being presented by this daringly adventurous troupe as part of The Gyre, a two-play repertory "exploring man’s vicious cycles" that also includes Derek Ahonen’s The Qualification of Douglas Evans, the 70-minute one-act depicts the work travails of Jack Story (playwright Roberts), the producer of "the number one scripted show on network television, about to sell into syndication for two million per episode." Threatening the deal is the drugs and hooker-infused, criminally debauched lifestyle of his lead actor, who plays the beloved main character.

    READ THE REVIEW
  • THEATERMANIA REVIEW OF Enter At Forest Lawn

    Greed and wit reign supreme in Mark Roberts' dark vision of Broadway TV

    Zachary Stewart

    July 14, 2014: In a 2012 interview with Backstage, playwright Mark Roberts alleges that Two and a Half Men creator Chuck Lorre approached him after a performance of his play Couples Counseling Killed Katie and said, "If nobody has made you rich writing television, I'd like to be that guy." Roberts did indeed make it big in television, going on to executive-produce Two and a Half Men and create CBS's Mike and Molly (the latter of which was just renewed for a fifth season). Yet judging by the incredibly sinister light in which Roberts casts the world of broadcast television in his latest play, Enter at Forest Lawn (presented by The Amoralists as part of The Gyre, their summer residency at Walkerspace "exploring man's vicious cycles"), this was something of a Faustian offer. I cannot fathom an amount of money large enough to make me want to spend several years of my life with the deformed hell-creatures that inhabit Roberts' Boschian vision of Burbank. Jack Story (playwright Roberts) is the writer and executive producer of the most popular sitcom on television, which is about to sell into syndication for $2 million an episode. Unfortunately, the actor who plays rascally Uncle Danny has a serious problem with cocaine and hookers. (This is sounding eerily familiar.) Stanley (David Lanson) thinks Uncle Danny is in no position to be put in front of a live studio audience and cameras, but Jack is undeterred. He sends his mousy assistant, Jessica (Sarah Lemp), to Uncle Danny's drug den in the Chateau Marmont to get him to sign the syndication papers. Meanwhile, the ruthlessly cunning Marla (Anna Stromberg playing a dominatrix in a power suit) wants Jack to hire her nephew Clinton (Matthew Pilieci), a writer and war veteran with a hook for a hand. In a brisk 70 minutes, things go from disgusting to weird to deadly in this darker-than-dark backstage comedy.

    READ THE REVIEW
  • THEATER PIZZAZZ REVIEW OF Enter At Forest Lawn

    Exit Quietly: Enter at Forest Lawn at Walkerspace

    Eric J. Grimm

    July 16, 2014: Enter at Forest Lawn, a new one act by Mark Roberts, begins with lead character Jack (played by Roberts) spitting out a vitriolic, misogynist tirade against his ex-wife. Roberts might be trying to shame his character, a sleazy television producer with the most popular sitcom on broadcast television, but Jack’s monologue is presented with confidence and fluidity and it’s meant to be funny when he flings out insults like “maniacal bush-pig.” It’s not funny and the show never squeezed a laugh out of me despite its screaming attempts. Roberts is a television writer, having written many episodes of Two and a Half Men and created the show Mike and Molly. His character, Jack, perhaps based on Chuck Lorre, is dealing with an unreliable and cocaine-addicted leading man, presumably Charlie Sheen. In addition to hurling profanities at off-stage characters, Jack shouts his way through conversations with publicist Stanley (David Lanson), assistant Jessica (Sarah Lemp), on-again-off-again mistress Marla (Anna Stromberg), and her unstable, hook-handed nephew, Clinton (Matthew Pilieci). The characters’ interactions are nauseating, particularly during an extremely unfunny bit where Jessica claims that she has been raped. The filthy script often feels like what Roberts would have done on Two and a Half Men had it not been on network television.

    READ THE REVIEW
  • NEW YORK THEATRE REVIEW REVIEW OF Enter At Forest Lawn

    Enter At Forest Lawn as presented by The Amoralists

    Ryan Hudak

    July 15, 2014: Hollywood can be a land of constantly shifting power dynamics and bloody feuds, as shown by Mark Roberts’ fierce play Enter At Forest Lawn. What starts off in a seemingly normal office soon spirals into a mix of obscenities, sex, murder and body fluids. The Amoralists’ tight production wants to grab its audience by the throat, and it doesn’t let go for seventy minutes. Enter at Forest Lawn is sure to make its audience squirm and laugh at the same time. Jack (Mark Roberts), a producer of a popular sitcom, solves problems and fields calls from everyone across Hollywood. As he deals with a new secretary (Sarah Lemp) and rumors of bad behavior by his sitcom star, the stress of his job builds up. An old rival looking for a favor (Anna Stromberg) sneaks into his office, which sends Jack's world crashing down.

    READ THE REVIEW

BEST REVIEWED SHOWS

Mormon    JerseyBoys    Phantom    Motown    Wicked
DOWNLOAD THE APP