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Reviews The Magic Jukebox: New York City World Tour
Presented as a part of the 2015 New York International Fringe Festival
Extended by The Celebration of Whimsy as a part of "The Best of the Fest at the C.O.W."!

Serious Theatre Collective’s comedy style perfectly matches the eclectic tone of the Fringe...the troupe provides a guaranteed good time."

"In musical theatre, a character bursts into song because they feel so passionately about what they have to say that merely speaking the words is just not enough – they have to sing! That said, if I could sing this review to you I would. That’s how passionately I loved this hilarious musical sketch comedy show from The Serious Theatre Collective. It is a tight, polished show with an outstanding ensemble...Magic Jukebox is loaded with unadulterated entertainment. The writing is spot-on, the music is snappy and the cast is absolutely fearless. This show will tickle you even if you are not a fan of musical theatre. You may even find yourself singing lines from the Pickle Jar Montage in the shower.  I know I did."

"Love it!... This cast is certainly in the running for Hardest Working at Fringe. The energy Sam Durant Hunter exerts as a corpse beats some live performances I've seen...Abby Goldfarb impresses with a Rocky-style training anthem, but everyone gets their moments. A stellar 4 piece rock band adds to the fun, and the kooky costumes also deserve a shout out.... I would definitely see this group again"

"BOTTOM LINE: This evening of musical sketch comedy is ready for primetime....these are the kind of ingenious, well-rehearsed and hilarious sketches that you wish you saw more of on Saturday Night Live.... Abby Goldfarb, vying to be the next Maya Rudolph, stole my heart with her delirious, wide-eyed stare. Sam Durant Hunter’s turn as increasingly exasperated medieval balladeer was an audience favorite...If The Magic Jukebox makes one thing clear, it’s that the Serious Theatre Collective is undersexed and over-talented, and they’re definitely ready for primetime.

"Don't miss this one...This very welcome sheer nonsensical musical, performed by a vibrant cast, is well directed by Lizz Leiser and Kacie Laforest. Backed by a rockin' little band, The Magic Jukebox is a crowd pleaser from start to finish."

"If you can only see one show at the Festival, it should be The Magic Jukebox...I was crying from laughing so hard."


Read the Theater in the Now Interview with Serious Theatre Collective's Writer/Director Lizz Leiser
Featuring a full Q&A- including such questions/answers as:

Theater in the Now: If you weren't working in theater, you would be _____?:
Lizz: I probably be a dark sorceress. This is my current back up career if playwriting doesn't make me incredibly rich.
Click here for full article!

Read the Broadway World Feature on Women Lead Theater Companies at the 2015 FringeNYC
Featuring shout outs to co-directors of The Magic Jukebox: New York City World Tour Kacie Laforest and Lizz Leiser
Click here for full article!

Reviews of 2014's The Magic Jukebox: Vol. 1

In 2014 the Serious Theatre Collective had the opportunity to create a pop-up theater at the South Street Seaport’s Cannon’s Walk in partnership with the Howard Hughes Corporation’s efforts to revitalize the area. We presented our first installation of musical sketches, The Magic Jukebox: Vol. 1, as a free event to the public performing to sold-out houses during a month long run.

"One of the things that I love about New York City is that it attracts some of the funniest, most talented people in the world. It seems like on every corner, you can stumble into a bar and watch a performance that is funnier than anything you’d see on SNL. The Magic Jukebox, presented by The Serious Theatre Collective, is no exception. This is the third Serious Theatre production I’ve seen and I’m a big fan of their low-brow meets high-brow humor, and their efforts to make high-quality, original theater affordable.

The Magic Jukebox is a zany combination of sketch comedy and musical theater. Make sure you go to the bathroom before the show starts because you’ll be peeing in your pants. The collaborative writing style has led to some hilarious sketch ideas: a gospel choir that offers support during a first date, singing tele-spam, and homicidal dolphins just to name a few.

Some of the performance highlights include Ricardo Delgado’s R. Kelly inspired cameo, any time Sam Durant Hunter’s on stage, and Abby Goldfarb’s comedic timing. It was especially fun to come early and sing along with the impromptu karaoke that sparked up from the house band’s catchy set."

 "...a truly New York experience, and once the hour-long show has ended you’ll likely find yourself humming the songs...I absolutely encourage you to reserve your ticket online, IMMEDIATELY."

"Each scene is funnier than the last...It's hilarious...This is a must see show, it’s original, funny, and enjoyable to watch...I’d like to see this show to come to an off Broadway theatre with this talented cast".
Reviews of 2013's Professor von Awesome's Ghost Hunting Safari 

Jo Ann Rosen from says:
"It is October, and no one is more aware of this than the members of The Serious Theatre Collective, who have spent the year co-writing their annual musical. This year it is Professor von Awesome’s Ghost Hunting Safari, a tongue-in-cheek seasonal amusement at The Parkside Lounge, directed with precision by Lizz Lieser. The result is an energetic fun-fest where cast members demonstrate their many talents on one of the tiniest stages known to mankind. That doesn’t mean there isn’t room for the live three-piece combo at the side of the stage where the musicians mete out their melodies in the form of ballad, waltz, and rock n roll....
All seven cast members demonstrate a myriad of skills, with Kirsten Rani Almeida, doubling as Sveta and von Awesome’s mother, taking the gold in vocals. Mike Drummey, as Professor von Awesome, is … well, awesome in his command of the stage and his energy level....
Jacob Callie Moore as Boobury is the perfect yokemate. Next to the hearty-looking Drummey, Moore is pale, meek, obsequious. Visually, this is hilarious. Annalisa Derr plays the buxom Celeste dressed throughout in a wedding dress. She shows range as she alternates between wholesome, evil, and tarty. Britton Saffer takes on the role of brother Percival, and shows what second fiddle feels like. Half way through the production he belts out the rock n roll song, “I Cried”, revealing new strength in his character. Laura Aristovulos plays Death. Her articulate closing dance shows grace and agility
...This musical is chock full of entertainment. Midway through, puppets sub for the Professor and Boobury on their journey. The puppets, by Ursula and Norm Stuby, are fine cut-outs on sticks, quite beautiful to behold's pure entertainment"

Tracy Sayre from the says:
"As soon as Professor Von Awesome, played by Mike Drummey, graces the stage you know you’re in for a fun, campy night. Mike is over the top hilarious and holds the show well as he explains how he stole the book of the dead, and how he will use it to bring back his beloved.

The only thing that overshadowed the humor was the raw talent. The team of writers (Lizz Leiser, Becca Worthington, Ricardo Delgado, Mike Drummey, Ari Kessler, Nick Masercola, and Jacob Callie Moore) understand humor and plot construction, and put together a tight production. I was blown away by Norman and Ursula Stuby’s creative props, especially the Indonesian puppet show and the ghost x-ray machine. Sam Durant, who plays Renaldo, can make the audience laugh with just a lift of his eyebrow. Annalisa Derr gives a sensual and hilarious strip tease as a burlesque dancer possessed by an old prude. This is a wonderful theater collective and I suggest you check them out now while tickets are just $15.

This show is like Monty Python and Young Frankenstein meets Halloween. If you like camp, music, and all things gholish, you’ll love it."

Michael Mraz is Named One of the "People of the Year"

NY Theatre names star of the Apocalypse of John, Mike Mraz one of the People of the Year 2012!
MICHAEL MRAZ is a gifted and ubiquitous actor, and a frequent reviewer for
One Memorable Thing He Did in 2012: He starred in Serious Theatre Collective’s production of The Apocalypse of John, which ran at boththis year’s New York International Fringe Festival and Philadelphia Live Arts Festival & Philly Fringe.
Plans for 2013: Michael will be appearing in Melisa Annis’ new play, Pit, which opens at Theater for the New City in February. He will also be appearing regularly in Our Bar, Project: Theater’s monthly series of bar-centric one-act plays.

Reviews of 2012's The Apocalypse of John at the FringeNYC

Winner of the FringeNYC Overall Excellence Award: Ensemble

TimeOut NY says:
TimeOut NY critic's pick: 4 out of 5 stars
"Directed with economy and savvy by Lizz Leiser and featuring a talented ensemble cast, the show is a riot of zippy one-liners and laugh-out-loud set pieces; it’s like watching a bunch of overgrown kids playing make-believe. (One sublime moment of silliness features a shotgun-toting John blowing away a host of hostile forces—including the weather.)... All told, this is a damned fun party." —Jenna Scherer

The Happiest Medium Blog says:
"...none of these shows (nor any I can think of off the top of my head) has dealt with the various possibilities of Apocalypse so thoroughly or entertainingly as the Apocalypse of John (though possibly the Evil Dead movies come close in terms of hilarity)....This show is great for several different reasons. The pacing moves an awful lot of plot quickly in an hour and half. The great script created collaboratively by the Serious Theatre Collective really hangs together. Both the expert lighting (Benjamin Danielowski) and sound (Nathaniel Chambers) can almost be counted as characters in and of themselves. Norman and Ursula Stuby provide not quite menacing, yet convincing costumes and masks for the apocalypse, and the entire cast gels with great chemistry throughout the entirety of this production as a whole which is no doubt a credit to expert direction by Lizz Leiser....Definitely recommend you try to get your tickets now, before the end of the festival … or the end of the world!" —Stephen Tortora-Lee

Backstage says:
"...the cast is game, particularly the commandingly funny Michael Drummey as John’s unscrupulous boss. The flappable John as played by Michael Mraz retains a lazy frat-boy charm throughout, and his meandering quest to the literal ends of the earth entails plenty of laughs." —Mitch Montgomery

The Artsy Fartsy Show says:
"An absolutely hysterical comedy..." —Antoine Jackson says:
"...Excellent masks and puppets by Ursula and Norm Stuby are effectively used when the four horsemen of the apocalypse, aliens intent on Earth’s annihilation, and flesh-hungry zombies are introduced...
The “Apocathon” section that cleverly mimics and mocks telethons is the play’s high point. As the characters join together to spread the word about the end of the world, the story also comes together, leading to the ultimate battle between good (John) and evil...
There are standout performances from Kacie Laforest in a cleverly-costumed double role..., Erin Salm as John’s budding TV reporter girlfriend, and Jacob Callie Moore as the unexpectedly eloquent bartender who carries a secret torch for John’s girl. Both Salm and Moore also double as the extermination-happy aliens... Michael Mraz is heartfelt and likable in the lead role... All the pieces for a compelling and entertaining comedy are present in The Apocalypse Of John..."  —Charles C Bales 

Audience Quotes from 2011's The Legend of Johnny 15

"Freakishly entertaining. Surprising twists and turns. Bring a seat belt!"

"I loved the Legend of Johnny 15! I was transported into a futuristic mind-bending world in the musical vein of rocky horror."

"The Legand of Johnny15 was a saucy, smart, and electrifying performance that made my toes curl and had me singing "Johnny Johnny" for weeks."

"Can't wait for the next production from The Serious Theatre Collective."

"I couldn't say it's pure unadulterated fun, because I think I committed adultery watching it. It was a fun show with a great cast. Laughed the whole way through."

"Wow, it was mesmerizing! I will never think of sexual fetishes in the same way again!"

"Palatable. Piquant. Pleasing to the eyes, ears, and groin. Good, clean family fun. If your mom and dad are Morticia and Gomez. Kymberly Tuttle is a rare and spicy fruit, fit for a king. A steamy little juice bun."

"If you don't like sex and humor, you should just stay at home. If you do like sex and humor, you should definitely leave your home and go to this show."