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Theatre Plays and Book

Mother'Son and Other Plays

Mother'Son and Other Plays

The second edition of Mother’Son and Other Plays is now available in paperback.

An anthology of eight plays by Raymond J. Barry:

Mother’Son
Once in Doubt
Back Home
Park Encounter
Back When Back Then
Foul Shots
Pornographic Panorama
A piece of Cake

“Barry’s… ONCE IN DOUBT, an alternately harrowing and hilarious study of the obsessive relationship between an artist and his live-in lover…This is a fabulous show – electrifying and thought-provoking.” Albert Williams, Chicago Reader, August 7, 1992.

“This disturbing, ritualized, pas de deux is written by Barry, who seems to have taken lessons in domestic nightmare from Edward Albee.” Helen Meany, BACK WHEN-BACK THEN, The Irish Times, October 12, 2000, Dublin, Ireland.

“Dark, hilarious, menacing and brilliantly performed, MOTHER’SON is an exaggerated theatrical rendering of a hundred stifling mother/son relationships.” Stella Goormay, The Stage, September 21, 1995, Edinburgh Festival, Scotland.

“Barry’s fine surreal psychodrama, MOTHER’SON, pulls no punches in making the point that this kind of relationship is not funny, or cozy, or harmless, but deeply life-denying, implicitly violent, and a breeder of free-floating aggression on a horrific scale.” Scotland On Sunday, Edinburgh Festival, August 13, 1995.

“Barry writes hilarious Joycean soliloquies and solipsistic arguments.” MOTHER’SON, Richard Stayton, Los Angeles Times, March 16, 1994.

“A brittle, brilliant script by Raymond J. Barry careens through a myriad of themes, constantly hurling disparate and distressing images at the audience.” MOTHER’SON, The Herald, Edinburgh Festival, August 30, 1995.

“The dueling dialogue, with its non-sequitor asides and conflicted characters crossing words in terminal non-communication, makes for absurdist comedy with inspired reverberations.” ONCE IN DOUBT, Sylvie Drake, Los Angeles Times, November 13, 1989.

ONCE IN DOUBT is quite an accomplishment. Barry’s play is a bizarre experience. It is very powerful theatrically.” Carol Burbank, Philadelphia City Paper, July 21, 1989.

“Raymond J. Barry’s ONCE IN DOUBT at the Remains Theatre puts its three actors way out on a limb, which it constantly threatens to saw off. The play’s first half is a ferocious – and hilarious – battle of the sexes…” Richard Christiansen, Chicago Tribune, June 30, 1992.

“New York stage actor Raymond J. Barry, who both wrote this seriocomic collage of love and hate, has fashioned an insidious drama of a human relationship that sticks like blood on a white canvas.” ONCE IN DOUBT, Ray Loynd, Los Angeles Times, January 1989.

“Unusually sophisticated… so disturbing I had to avert my eyes and cover my ears.” ONCE IN DOUBT, Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times, July 5, 1992.

“There are times during ONCE IN DOUBT when you just have to smile. Rarely does a playwright – in this case, Raymond J. Barry – capture exactly how comically difficult, how nearly impossible, it is for two people to love one another. It’s rarer still for a playwright to capture that frustration while remaining keenly aware of how much we need love.” Scott Collins, Southtown Economist, Chicago, June 29, 1992.

“The experimentalism is the playwright’s scraping away of all the polite conversation and rational self-deceptions. He shows us bloody bone and marrow being exercised in the pursuit of happiness.” ONCE IN DOUBT, Jimmy Fowler, Dallas Observer, October7, 1998.

BACK WHEN-BACK THEN is an astonishing play. It is imbued with a lyricism all but banished from an American stage frozen in naturalism.” Stephan Silvis, Willamette Weekly, Portland, Oregon, February 11, 1997.

ONCE IN DOUBT is a savagely funny, unsettling work, and is recommended for its intelligent exploration of personal and artistic passions and the risks associated with them.” Greg Aaron, University City Review, Philadelphia, July 1989.

“ONCE IN DOUBT” is a vivid, vibrant roller-coaster of a play.” Daily Variety, November 14, 1989, Los Angeles.

“The tension … bounces between a soft, ethereal self-awareness, and a harsh verbal violence… The language is rich and elliptical.” BACK WHEN-BACK THEN, Barry Johnson, The Oregonian, Portland, Oregon, February 11, 1997.

MOTHER’SON has a rough energy and a dramatic punch that is undeniable, sort of a scream (sic) of consciousness unleashed, a study in contrived and deliberate terms – but fascinating, sweeping, and at once repulsive and erotic.” James Metropole, The Movie Gazette, April 1994, Los Angeles.

ONCE IN DOUBT is a gem of a play that is its own reason for being.” Madeleine Shaner, Back Stage West Dramalogue, May 27, 1999, Los Angeles.

MOTHER’SON is one of the most delicious, if guilty, pleasures on a local stage.” Rob Kendt, Back Stage West, March 17, 1994, Los Angeles.

“The play is a Joycean flight of words, full of free associations, abrupt turns, unexpected lulls, explosive humor.” MOTHER’SON, Jim Delmont, Omaha World – Herald, September 10, 1993.

MOTHER’SON is a terrific play containing verbal gymnastics that are absolutely fantastic.” BBC Radio, Edinburgh Festival, October 12, 1995.

“Raymond J. Barry’s soliloquies are poetic, conscious, and aware.” MOTHER’SON, Daniel Goldman, Independent, May 1994, Colorado Springs.

“If a full-bodied play can be considered a symphony, then Raymond J. Barry’s ONCE IN DOUBT at the Los Angeles Theater Center is a very bitter suite, a deadly divertimento, jaunty Jacques Ibert with karate chops, a stinging jazz riff-the theatrical equivalent of a heavy metal power chord.” John C. Mohoney, Downtown News, Los Angeles, November 20, 1989.

“People’s Light and Theater’s premiere of ONCE IN DOUBT is an explosive, shocking comedy-drama which leaves the audience in almost breathless anticipation.” Michael Byrne, Main Line Times, Philadelphia, July 20, 1989.

“Its language is as arch as Pinter, as bewildering as Ionesco, and (at times) as visceral as Mamet.” ONCE IN DOUBT, Elizabeth A. Finkler, Welcomat – After Dark, Philadelphia, July 12, 1989.

“Barry has a terrific ear for dialogue, and some of the writing is more poetry than prose.” BACK WHEN – BACK THEN, Mark Arnest, Gazette Tele-graph, Colorado Springs, May 20, 1994.

“FOUL SHOTS is a fierce collision of wills that threatens to destroy the fragile present, the despised past and the threatened future of lives almost lived, memories, regrets, fears, despair and ineffable yearnings.” Madeleine Shaner, Park LaBrea News, Los Angeles, July 17, 2003.

“FOUL SHOTS is a play every man should see, as we, in our own various ways, live it. Here’s a theater artist to seek out so as to say later in life, ‘Yes, I saw him.’” Stephan Silvis, Willamette Week, January 29, 2003, Portland, Oregon.

BACK WHEN BACK THEN shifts effortlessly from black humor to lyricism, from skittishness to menace, a disturbing, ritualized, pas de deux, deserving of four stars.” Helen Meany, The Irish Times, Dublin, Ireland, October 12, 2000.

“The frankness of Raymond Barry’s play, BACK WHEN – BACK THEN, both in presentation and message is most refreshing compared to the touchy-feely psychodrama we often see in our theaters today – Critics’ Choice” Chad Jones, The Oakland Tribune, Magic Theater, San Francisco, September 28, 1997.

BACK WHEN – BACK THEN is a study of rage, and Barry does his best writing when he puts you inside the mind of someone who’s out of control. It’s an evening of theater you won’t forget.” Mark Arnest, Gazette Telegraph, Colorado Springs, May 20, 1996.

“I went to see ONCE IN DOUBT… and it was the best thing I had seen. And what struck me was the total experience of it – that you got hit with this wave of emotional words, which kept coming in a barrage, and then it would stop on a dime, and it was very precise. You could see the work and it was beautiful, and it’s something that was kind of shocking to see.” Interview with Jack Black, Back Stage West, February 22, 1996.

“I read a review of the play, ONCE IN DOUBT that was being performed at the Los Angeles Theater Center. I was blown away by it…” William Petersen of CSI in an interview for Back Stage West; February 17, 1994.

“Barry’s dystopian comedy of a world where the safety of cake has replaced the dangers of sex is a fast-paced, tough-talking saga… an excellent playwright is perfecting his work before our eyes.” A PIECE OF CAKE, Stephan Silvis, Willamette Weekly, Portland, Oregon, July 26, 2000.

PORNOGRAPHIC PANORAMA is a pitch-black comedy that dares to pry back the rock and shine light on our empty, artificial culture, which has been reduced to distraction and the simulacra of real experiences. This is surreal satire as potent as Albee’s ‘The American Dream’ and just as much a picture of our time.” Steffen Silvis, Willamette Weekly, Portland, Oregon, May 12, 1999.

“The audience stumbles off this roller-coaster dizzy with horror over what it’s seen but also having some dark chuckles along the way. This is the kind of show that should help Stark Raving Theatre re-establish itself with its hard-core experimental-loving audience.” PORNOGRAPHIC PANORAMA, Barry Johnson, The Oregonian, May 12, 1999, Portland, Oregon.

A PIECE OF CAKE is Barry’s dystopian comedy of a world where the safety of cake has replaced the dangers of sex. It is a fast-paced, tough-talking saga where an excellent playwright is perfecting his work before our eyes.” Oregonian, July 26, 2000.