FORTUNE'S FOOLS

 

A comedy in two acts, produced off-Broadway at the Cherry Lane Theatre in 1995.  The play, a lighthearted look at love and marriage in suburbia, centers on betrothed couple Chuck and Gail, and their best friends Jay and Bonnie, who disilike each other so intensely that their eventual romance is all but preordained.  Directed by Tony-winner John Rando and starring Marissa Chibas, Dorrie Joiner, Danton Stone and Tuc Watkins, FORTUNE'S FOOLS was praised by Clive Barnes in the New York Post as “a fun play indeed - I thoroughly enjoyed it.   Stroppel is a lively and witty writer,  and he knows how to create immensely likable characters.  It’s an off-Broadway move in an interesting direction.”  Newsday:  “Fortune’s Fools”, a new comedy by Frederick Stroppel, takes a look at the ups and downs of marriage, and of the single life that precedes it.  Witty and insightful, Stroppel, who has won several playwriting awards, has a sharp ear for dialogue and for the everyday concerns of people grappling with relationships.  And he makes some scathingly funny observations on avant-garde theater”   Michael Lazan, Stages:   “Funny, fast-paced, entertaining comedy...The plot is impressively shaped, and the situations here are so delightful, and so filled with funny jokes, that everything somehow seems fresh.” 

ACTOR!

 

ACTOR! is a play in one-act about the epic  life of an actor, from birth to death.   It's a fast-paced, kaleidoscopic odyssey that bounces our resilient hero from childhood stardom as a Wise Man to struggles in NYC to the glamour of Hollywood and back again, meeting a rogues gallery  of pompous directors,  parasitic agents, narcissistic actresses and desperate screenwriters along the way.  ACTOR! was first performed at the Egyptian Arena Theatre, in Los Angeles in 2000.   “Stroppel has penned an entertaining, jaundiced sojourn through the rise and fall of one monumentally self-centered performer. ..The playwright exhibits insight and wit, and mines a plethora of hilarious satiric gems...”  (Julio Martinez, Variety)

THE HUNTER'S MOON

THE HUNTER'S MOON is a dark, suspenseful drama that balances black comedy with horror.  On the night of the full moon, just before Halloween, a serial killer is on the loose, and the denizens of a neighborhood  bar speculate on where he or she might strike next. Enter a Stranger, who becomes the mirror of all their fears and prejudices, and things get bloody very fast.  THE HUNTER'S MOON was produced by the Bare Bones Theater Company in Northport in February 2013 with another macabre Stroppel play, THE FAMILY CRYPT, in a night of one-acts titled DEAD OF NIGHT.  THE HUNTER'S MOON was subsequently produced at the Roy Arias Theater in NYC, co-directed by Jeff Bennett and Lee Meyer. Newsday:  "Delicious noir...An evening worthy of Stephen King." BroadwayWorld.com:  "Wonderfully intense and suspenseful... Terrifying."

SMALL WORLD

SMALL WORLD is a two-man play about the meeting of Walt Disney and Igor Stravinsky during the pre-production of Fantasia, the landmark animated film in which Disney used Stravinsky's epochal music for The Rite of Spring to create his own epic involving volcanoes and dinosaurs.  Subtitled "A Fantasia", SMALL WORLD imagines a series of spirited conversations between Disney and Stravinsky over the years, as they try to reconcile their very different visions of art.  Originally produced by the Stray Kats Theatre Company in Newtown CT, it is having its NY premiere at the Penguin Rep in Stony Point, directed by Joe Brancato. "Funny...Provocative...the initial humor  moves into dangerous and exciting territory." NY Times. "Immensely entertaining...The spirited banter between the great men is chock-full of clever witticisms" - Broadway World.   "A witty reflection on the nature of art and creative genius...highly entertaining and accessible." - The Journal News.  "Magical...highly enjoyable and very funny" - Jim Hill Media   "If  you thought that a comedy about a fancied meeting between two world-famous artists couldn't pack a wallop for audiences, guess again. That's just what Frederick Stroppel's delightful riff on a meeting between Walt Disney and Igor Stravinsky does -- and in spades" - News-Times.Com

OTHER PLAYS, OTHER REVIEWS:

 

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

The Complex, LA

“A beautifully written and structured work that ends where it begins and achieves a reversal all the same.    Michael has been driven to the point of suicide by his wife Sandy’s constant generosity.  In their hilarious confrontation we see our own mistakes in long-term love relationships as well as the errors everyone around us makes.  Obviously the play, with its underpinning of real horror, has to walk a very fine line.  It is the highlight of the evening. Witty, smart, incisive and economical - just the way a great one-act play ought to be”  (Bruce Feld, Drama-Logue)

 

THE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT

"The heart in Fred Stroppel’s “The Christmas Spirit” is as surprising as the unexpected guest that kicks off the show’s premise.  The first act clips along at a pretty fast pace, with lots of humor and plenty of whimsical holiday fun. It is the second act that confronts the truth about losing a parent during the holidays, and it holds nothing back. Suddenly, this hilarious story is filled with very real emotion, firmly grounding this once fantastical tale.  A highly satisfying, emotional ride...there are a lot of Christmas shows to see over the next few weeks, but if you are looking for something a little different, then this is one show that should make your list. “A Christmas Spirit” is not just a great holiday play, but it’s  a really good play – for any time of year." (Denver Theater Examiner)

 

A GOOD MAN

Courtyard Playhouse, NYC

“ A Good Man is a good laugh.  The author’s subtle comic premises build slowly to a comic peak...” (Steve Parks, Newsday)

 

THIRD RAIL COMEDY

West Bank Café, Caroline’s, Gotham Comedy Club, NYC

“What I like about the Third Rail, a comedy troupe performing every other Friday at the West Bank Downstairs Theater, is that they offer new material at every performance.  Most of the material is created by one prolific writer, Frederick Stroppel.  It’s a solid program of comedy, really quite funny and original.” (Chip Deffaa, New York Post)

 

THE MAMET WOMEN

The Complex, LA

“The Mamet Women is a brilliant, pithy satire on one of America’s favorite playwrights.  Stroppel has captured the rhythm of David Mamet at his Glengarry Glen Ross best/worst.” (Bruce Feld, Drama-Logue)

 

KIDNEY STONES

Nuyorican Poets Café, NYC

"Once in a very long while a reviewer makes a discovery - an unexpected theatrical joy in writing, acting and directing. Serendipity! I experienced one: KIDNEY STONES, four one-act comedies written and directed by Frederick Stroppel.  Catch the performances of Kevin Kash, Cindy Keiter (who could star in a sit-com), Maria Fernanda, Brian Corrigan and Heather Male, if you can, as they explore a man with an itch, smoking,  terrorism, and organ donation - all performed with deadly accuracy in the acting by this extraordinary cast. Stroppel is smart, witty, incisive, right on - and slightly skewed. "

(Richmond Shepard, lively-arts.com)

 

TALES FROM THE MANHATTAN WOODS

TALES FROM THE MANHATTAN WOODS, a modern adaptation of Die Fledermaus, the operetta by Johann Strauss Jr. , was produced at the Wings Theatre in NYC by Opera NY in 2004.  Set in present-day New York City, it tells the story of real-estate magnate Gabe Eisenstein, his fun-loving wife Rosalinda, and their various indiscretions with tenors, police commissioners and downtown hipsters. With new lyrics set to the original Strauss music, TALES becomes a wild freewheeling farce that ricochets from a Fifth Avenue penthouse to a SoHo loft to a Brooklyn jail. "Frederick Stroppel has written a new book and lyrics for Strauss's Die Fledermaus, turning the comic opera into a campy romp..." (The New Yorker) "Goofily inspired.... works in ways that one would not expect. There is an overriding wit at work,...... the buoyancy of the evening—not to mention the undertaking of what is easily a monumental task—renders moot most criticism." (Gay City News) "Frederick Stroppel, the crazy madcap lyricist behind this transformation has written deft new lyrics.." (Staten Island Advance)  "The show bubbles with wit" (Nassau Herald)