Houston Press

Thom Pain (based on nothing) a Searing Lesson in How Life Is Messy and Wonderful and Sucks From Time to Time

Eno exalts in capital letters and quotation marks. Raw and unfiltered, Pain is the life force, or as close as we're going to get. Sure, life sucks, but, as Eno (mesmerizing), Parker (spectacular) and director Jason Nodler (precise) encapsulate, the alternative is so much worse and nowhere near as frightfully sardonic. God help us...somebody help us...anybody?

The Hunchback Variations: An Absurdist Comedy With Fascinating Oddness

Maher tantalizes with swirling bits about the nature of creativity, grief, the endless universe, the physical world, the theater. Even Emily Dickinson gets a shoutout. This very short play - no more than 40 minutes - is both crystal and opaque. Images can be concrete and hard, then shattered by hazy contemplation and high-flying concepts. It's certainly unique, a thinking man's vaudeville. You won't soon forget it.

Catastrophic Theatre's The Blackest Shore: Finding a Voice

Stuart is a high school student who has decided to make a movie, with graphic violence, extreme sex and the walking dead. It's "a kind of vampire overlord thing," says actor Josh Morrison who plays Craig, the latest love interest of Stuart's mom and the man who's about to move into Stuart's home and disrupt his life even further. In Catastrophic Theatre's world premiere of The Blackest Shore by playwright Mark Schultz

The 2014 Houston Theater Awards: A Year Filled With Sound, Fury and Laughter

Best New Play 

Many Houston fans (us included) miss seeing Miki Johnson, an extremely talented actor, perform on stage. These days, she's Catastrophic Theatre's playwright-in-residence. The trade-off has been that she's written some breathtakingly beautiful and well-crafted plays, including this year's winner for Best New Play, clean/through. (Johnson previously won this award for her debut play, American Falls.) The story of a couple struggling to stay together as they get clean and sober wasn't pretty (drug addition rarely is), but gosh was it powerful.