Kill Me Like You Mean It (2015)

Sendups are always tricky -- but the film noir parody Kill Me Like You Mean It riffs on the genre with existential glee...A terrific cast, period-perfect lighting and costumes ensures Kill Me is an entertaining romp.

If Eugène Ionesco and Martin McDonagh watched The Maltese Falcon, they may very well have come up with something akin to Stolen Chair’s Kill Me Like You Mean It; but it wouldn’t be nearly as good as th[is] comedic masterwork.

A killer the hands of playwright Kiran Rikhye, truly any outcome seems possible. The characters reflect a smattering of Old Hollywood types run through a veritable Markov chain generator, but thanks to her gift for repetition and Lewis Carroll-ian word games, the results feel wholly original. The staging by director Jon Stancanto matches the flow with the wordplay...the effect is dizzying and profoundly entertaining.

A phenomenal score by Sean Cronin instantly transports you into the era and the fantasy world...Kill Me Like You Mean It is a fascinating glimpse into the sort of murder mystery Albert Camus might write.

Stolen Chair, which specializes in creating unique theatrical experiences, does it again with [Kill Me], An existential exploration of the very nature of storytelling, keeping its existential tongue in its existential cheek as it mines through the familiar clichés of the rich American genre while also searching for the meaning of existence.

You may die from laughter and enjoyment, and I mean it.

[T]he mood set by 1940s music, this play by the inventive Stolen Chair company mines every verbal and physical cliché in the book. And the ensemble do a superb job in bringing to life the characters, one of which is soon to be dead.

A rare theatrical gem...a masterfully crafted bit of comedy

"...intriguing...clever...we become fascinated by this whodunnit...under Stancato's shrewd direction, the actors ably perform in noir and absurdist styles, showing much promise in a play that...amuses even as it challenges perceptions..."

Andy Propst, Backstage

"Brilliant, beautiful writing, smart, inventive directing and every performance spot-on. Shows what you can do when you spend serious time on the work."

John Clancy, Obie Award-Winning Director and Co-Founder of FringeNYC

"...[A] clever, high-styling treat. ...[A] fast-paced rollercoaster ride filled with just the right fantastical ingredients to make this absurd play hilarious...The Stolen Chair Theatre is earning a well deserved following."

Stanley Hall, United Stages

"...[A]stonishing authenticity...a stroke of genius...Playwright Kiran Rikhye, director Jon Stancato, and their collaborators dazzle with their range and, smart parody...brilliantly plotted and generally hilarious."

Martin Denton,

Potion (2014)

Well-shaken...intensely entertaining

Innovative...Delicious...[A] truly original, flat out fun evening.

This is not theater dumbed down for a bar, but rather alcohol treated as an artistic tool. Above all, the audience is given the experience of a beautiful night out.

The intertextual acrobatics Kiran Rikhye choreographs and Jon Stancato executes left me amazed.

[A] good reminder of how much fun a performance can be ... [Stolen Chair's] range and originality seem to know no bound

If you’re looking for a cure for the Sunday night blues, indulge in Stolen Chair’s latest, the whimsical Potion…it’s not only the smashing drinks that will send you home with a warm glow.

Equal parts Shakespeare, soap opera and ‘Alice in Wonderland’…Hypnotic and exciting”

This is a fun night at the theatre, y’all. A fun night of theatre at the bar. With delicious custom cocktails. What more could you want?

With their adroit artistry and sense of play, Stolen Chair’s Potion is a heady combination of language and music bracketed by cocktails tasting of metaphors and intellectual absinthe.

Kind of like Gertrude Stein on absinthe...Potion is a witty, romantic and fun way to spend an evening, preferably with a date.

Potion is spoken verse immersive theatre with a twist of lime… a unique evening of theatre and alcohol that is certain to end the weekend on a spirited note.

'Potion' is a magical elixir that charms the audience

Sweet, funny, and charming. By the end, I felt like I had sipped a love potion and fallen in love with Potion.

Adventurous ... impeccably performed and transfixing...[original music] was whimsical and fun...cocktails were delicious and beautifully-served.... [A] refreshing, charming, and clever show.

Surreal yet sweet...A charming theatrical evening

This cute, goofy show makes for an enjoyable evening and will ease any newbie theater-goer into the ropes with cocktails a-plenty.

An unexpectedly vivid, playful, and imaginative love story... The rhythmic musicality of Kiran Rikhye’s juicy libretto and Sean Cronin’s impressive multi-instrumental accompaniment proves Stolen Chair’s experiment with 'spoken word opera' a tremendous success... Truly a unique experience that you won’t want to miss.

The Man Who Laughs (2013)

[an] ingenious simulation of silent film...impeccably cohesive.

A stunningly beautiful work of art...This is truly a not to be missed experience.

While "Les Miserables" would hold our attention all the way through Oscar season, yet another Victor Hugo adaptation is stealthily having its moment....It's pure movie magic.

Magical... Breathtaking... The attention to detail and commitment of this production is phenomenal.

Sumptuous... [a] lovely, creepy little show.

Heart-wounding...Extraordinarily clever...Rivetingly rendered.

A remarkable achievement...captivating ...inspired stagecraft. A triumph of stylized acting and directorial artistry.

The Bachelors’ Tea Party (2012)

As provocative as the
high tea was romantic (and yummy)

[C]harming, witty, and extremely interesting

Martin Denton,

As much of an event as a play…the finest night of dinner theater [theatregoers] are ever likely to encounter.

Clifford Lee Johnson III, Backstage

This is time travel in the best possible way; You step into a room, the waiter serves you tea, 120 years evaporate, and right next to you, just feet away, are a pair of ladies about to change the world, and the crazy thing is, they do! Right in front of you. What actually happened is happening again; I was entranced.

NPR's Robert Krulwich, (Co-host of RadioLab)

Jody Flader and Liz Eckert impress as interior decorator Elsie de Wolfe and theatrical agent Bessie Marbury, feminist pioneers and self-described New York “bachelors” who lived together during the early 20th century, in Kiran Rikhye’s absurd light comedy. Cleverly staged, the dainty show is made more satisfying by a tasty five-course tea service.

Ingenious....outrageously perfect.

Kinderspiel (2011)

A delectable frolic. Brilliantly developed and performed.

Awfully clever...they’re dramatic Robin Hoods, stealing from a rich theatrical past and producing for a poorly educated present.

While I’m all for there being many new American plays as challenging and original as this one, I doubt we will be that lucky...Required viewing.

Think No Exit decked out in fishnets and art deco decay...The overall effect is haunting.

Stage Kiss (2011)

This spunky production plants a big sloppy smooch on its audience.

Curious and aesthetic smorgasboard...with nods to boy actors, blank verse, and the Theatre of the Ridiculous.

Leonard Jacobs, Backstage

Smart yet lighthearted...delightfully tongue-in-cheek.

William Cordeiro, OffOffOnline (PICK OF THE YEAR)

...light-hearted, fun-loving, libido-heavy amusement.

O’Hagan Blades, Theatre Is Easy

A delight from start to finish. Truly puts the ‘play’ back in play.

Quantum Poetics (2010)

Very engaging...quite wonderful

Tim Maudlin, Author of The Metaphysics Within Physics

[M]erges the intelligent and playful ways...The effect
is mind-bending, down to earth, and funny.

When a nun, a little girl, her older self, a writer, and God get together to prove that they exist, their puzzle gets puzzlier and their search turns very, very funny. Stolen Chair’s Quantum Poetics is metaphysics with a big fat grin.

Robert Krulwch (NPR's RadioLab),

Theatre is Dead and So Are You (2009)

A satire full of energy and irreverence...Imaginative text, with great actors and a
strong director.

Mario Fratti, America Oggi

[E]ndearingly eclectic...

Rob Weinert-Kendt, Village Voice

...[M]ore than irreverent. It ruthlessly and riotously dispenses with notions of respect for the deceased... While proclaiming theatre dead, the show’s sharp, thoughtful writing, high-impact direction, and skillful performances justify its preservation.

Ronnie Reich, Backstage (CRITIC’S PICK)

Kiran Rikhye’s raucous spectacle is a pastiche of dead and dying theatrical forms... performed by young, vital and warm bodies, happily proving its title wrong.

Commedia dell’Artemesia (2005)

One of the most elegantly scripted rapes in the history of theatre...Exquisite...

David Tenanbaum, Fifth Street Review

The result of putting genres in a super-collider and pressing the trigger... smart... supple... daring...

Leonard Jacobs, The Clyde Fitch Report the audience rich food for thought.