The Bitch Is Back: An Elton John Cabaret - 
Winner of Producer's Encore Award and Critics Choice Award - Hollywood Fringe 2018
SkyPilot Theatre, Los Angeles, JUNE 2018

"I LIKED EVERYTHING – great singing, great costumes, great audience involvement. They should have More performances! (This Show is) SO MUCH FUN!!!!!! - Shari Barrett, Broadway World.

"This cabaret is five wonderful women singing about 15 Elton John songs – with costumes and funny glasses galore. That’s really it. A couple anecdotes along the way, but mostly it’s just singing the songs. They are wonderful singers, and from the start they encourage audience participation. I had a wonderful time with a room full of people singing Elton John songs. If you think this appeals to you, go see it! I can’t recommend this enough." - Hollywood Fringe

"Oh yes!! THE BITCHES are back at Hollywood Fringe! And oh, do they make us Feel The Love Tonight! These five strong ladies rock the stage with their very unique different versions of 15 Elton John classics everyone can (and will!) sing along to! They take us on a happy colorful journey through Elton-land of the 70s-80s – at times sweet and mellow and acoustic with Banjo, ukulele and guitars, at times full power happy rocking tunes, deep cuts, beats and base, their very own dance moves, and just contagious fun and happy moods! And hurray for all the jazz-hands, tap steps, boas and hats, silly sunglasses and kazoo-solos! This show is an absolute JOY, the strong personalities of each and everyone of the ‘bitches’ will move you to a happy place – individually and all together they make you sing along, cheer and applaud from start to finish. Lighters, phones, candles and big smiles light up to Rocketman, Blue Eyes, Don’t go breaking my heart, Crocodile Rock, Sad Songs.. and so many more Elton-smash hits, and at the end no one is sitting down anymore – singers and audience all together are Still Standing!! The Bitch is back! Bravo, ladies and James :)" - Hollywood Fringe

"The Bitch is Back is a cabaret produced by Skypilot Theatre(FB), and is evidently a departure from their usual fare. No story. No premise. No characters. This is simply a celebration of Elton John (FB) music performed by members of the company: Chloejane Busick (★FB, FB), Erisa Evelyn Byrd (FB), Kelly Goodman (★FB, FB), Marie Pettit (FB), and TIna Walsch (FB). There are 15 songs performed. Alas, I didn’t have the presence of mind to note the playlist, but there was a good mix of well known hits, and a few obscure ones thrown in.The cast of the show was clearly having the time of their lives with the music. Their fun was infectious, and most of the audience (especially those a bit more lubricated) were singing along. I’m not a singer, but during at least one number I brought up the Zippo lighter app on my phone. C’mon, you have to, for “Can You Feel The Love Tonight”. I also appreciated that the cast was not your typical Hollywood model type, but reflected talent of all shapes and sizes. This is always welcome to see. This, being Fringe, wasn’t a perfect show. A few notes here and there were off, but the audience was having so much fun I don’t think anyone really noted. As someone who grew up in the Elton John era (I still love the entire album of “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”), it was just a hoot. The production was directed by James Carey (FB), with vocal direction by Darci Monet (FB). Lighting and sound design was by The Three Clubs (FB). Kelsey Risher (FB) produced the show, and TIna Walsch (FB) did the program." 
- Daniel Faigin, Reviewer

"SkyPilot Theatre Company hits on all notes, great vocal team assembled, Kelly and Marie killed it with their duet! Come prepared to sing along and have a toe-tapping good time, THE BITCH IS BACK: AN ELTON JOHN CABARET is a beautiful tribute show that is a celebration to the Rock Icon. I had a smile on my face the entire show, by the end everyone was on their feet singing and dancing, you will be hard pressed to find another show at Fringe that is filled with this much joy and energy." - Mike Reyes, Reviewer

"This show kept a smile on my face from start to finish! Whether you're an Elton John fan or not, if you want to sit back, relax and just have a good time, you should see this show! Better yet sing along and dance along!..." - Tehana Weeks, Reviewer


"Death changes everything — not only for those who die but for the folks who are left behind. Sometimes people who have hated each other for decades discover that the person who just died was the catalyst for their dislike, and the hatred dissolves into the air like ether. This is essentially the theme of playwright Craig Jessen’s thoughtful family drama, which deals with the residue of estrangement and bitterness.

David (Morry Schorr) is a genial, idealistic and boisterous bon vivant who, after a hero’s career during World War II, never recaptured the glory of his green days, and instead drifted from hopeless-get-rich scheme to hopeless-get-rich scheme. After being dumped by his wife Maggie (Michelle Begley), he raised their three daughters, who understandably grew up deeply resenting their absentee mom.

Although we first see David reminiscing about the past, it quickly becomes evident that he himself exists only in memory, as he has recently died in a car accident. Troubled youngest daughter Gray (Serena Anis) is the only one of her sisters, which include businesswoman Heather (Kelsey Risher) and oldest sister Ash (Laura Walker), who is willing to reunite with mom Maggie.

Confronted by the daughters who believe she deserted them years ago, Maggie endures barbs and insults — but before long it becomes clear that the true villain is the absent father, who spent his life poisoning his daughters against their mother. Gradually, the family starts to work through the layers of animosity.

Jessen’s drama is not without glaring flaws. Most of the characters are women, but it’s noteworthy that they are undeveloped and exist only in reference to their dead father. Still, the piece possesses an undercurrent of grief and anger, accurately portraying what happens when children irrationally take on the prejudices of one parent against the other. Scenes in which the family interacts with barely suppressed resentment and fury are dynamic and will seem familiar to anyone who’s been exposed to parental estrangement. Director James Carey’s staging occasionally crackles with anger and menace — and sequences involving David exude a mystery in which the ostensible protagonist becomes the tragic villain.

Schorr’s David is a surprisingly moving figure, an arguably delusional man who has no idea of his true self. As Maggie, Begley offers a beautifully nuanced turn — at first brittle and hateful, but gradually revealing herself as vulnerable and rather sad. As youngest daughter Gray, Anis crafts a character whose anger and inner hurt are easy to understand."
STAGERAW.com - 2018

"This new play by Craig Jessen takes the elements of families broken and adds
plenty of established twists between each character. The dialogue is sharp, upfront, and
never holds back." 

"James Carey directs this piece that has enough humor to where the
drama never becomes too heavy, and is far from anything that’s sappy!
Director Carry also designs the stage set that only consists of a few pieces of
furnishings (mostly as a series of floating tables and chairs) minus any backdrop. This
method of less-is-more theatre works quite well to such a stage piece and the
performances that go along with it."

"This play is a prime example of that noted stage flair!"

REPS THEATRE, Harare, Zimbabwe, July 2015

There was an explosion of melodies at Reps Theatre yesterday evening as the venue premiered Come Together- A Beatles Cabaret.

The cast which includes music sensation Kudzi Sevenzo, AneUnhu Gwatidzo, Alex Fairlie and Liza Maano Abulecia received scores of ovation at the end of every performance of the Beatles music. Without dialogue it is usually hard to understand let alone enjoy a theatre performance but the cast gave an electric performance that left revelers in awe.

They gave a breath of life to the music, fine tuning some of the melodies for a fresh enticement. The play is truly way better than four guys in bad wigs singing Beatles music but a heart-catching tale of love, hurt and redemption.

In an interview with Spike Lifestyle after a brilliant performance the cast shared their different excitements and experiences. Sevenzo said, “I really enjoyed my part in the show. I love music and acting but in not everyday I am able to do that at the same stage.”

The youthful AneUnhu Gwatidzo who was in his debut major role said, “This was way bigger than the chorus roles I usually have. I was anxious at first but I grew more confident and really enjoyed the show.” He is looking forward to the following shows.

For Farlie, a reputable actor who also sings with a band, Retrospect the show was, “refreshingly different from what I am used to”. He has been in several plays at the venue including Les Miserables- the Concert and Oliver.

Meanwhile, Liza Maano Abulencia, a singer and voice teacher who has been in the entertainment industry for 30 years, touring Asia and the US, the show was unique in its own way. “This is a bigger stage than other venues I have performed and I am used to play with an orchestra and live bands not back tracks,” she said.

Come Together is a celebration of Beatles music conceived and directed by James Carey (from United States) and is produced by Sue Bolt. It has been staged twice in the US but with a different cast. Kundai Marunya, Spiked (spiked.co.zw)


Sweet music is the order of the day as the Beatles are in town. Alas, not the Beatles themselves, but their music. ‘Come Together - A Beatles Cabaret,’ is a musical play showing at the Reps Theatre. This production is one worth watching.

Zimbo Jam had a chance to watch the production and can safely say it was“awesome.”Directed by Americantheatre director, James Carey, this four cast production is a wonder to watch.KudziSevenzo, AneUnhuGwatidzo, Alex Fairlie and Liza Abuleciastaged an awesome and exhilarating show.

The performance has no dialogue, but since music is a universal language, one is drawn into the play as multiple senses and emotions are titillated throughout its entirety. The show uses the music of the Beatles to tell the love story of two couples as they pass through first love, a break-up, then finally their reunion resulting in renewed love. The performers made me feel as if they were communicating directly to me. It seems the rest of the audience felt the same way as every act was met with applause, reflecting the beauty and immortality of the Beatles music.

“This is a perfect example of a love story, a story that most of us went through, especially me.” These are the words of one lady, Anna Mashingaidze, who watched and enjoyed the show. 

The director deliberately chose seasoned musicians for the cast. This decisions paid off as the artists delivered a high quality performance. If you are a music aficionado, or 70’s and 80’s fan, go to Reps Theatre and catch a theatrical interpretation of the Beatles music. 

‘Come Together- A Beatles Cabaret’ is running from July 7 to 18, 2015.

THEATRE OF NOTE, October 2014

"It's a bit like The Glass Menagerie with actual nightmares. This is no play of ideas, but it's an amazing, sentimental thrill ride under James R. Carey's spot-on direction of this terrific ensemble." LA WEEKLY 10/16/2014

"Director James R. Carey and his cast attack their material with considerable craft and sincerity."
"The result – a blend of an old-fashioned ghost story and a kitchen sink family drama – has moments of real sweetness, intervals of flagrant family dysfunction and a minute or two of genuinely gut-wrenching horror."
Kathleen Foley, LA TIMES, 10/10/2014

"...a first-rate production..."
"...director James R. Carey’s compact staging manages to tame the more unwieldy of Petti’s movie-script scene changes..."
Bill Radan, Stage Raw (stageraw.com)


Best Performance (Female) - The 2014 Ezra Buzzington Spirit of the Fringe Award
Most Orgasmic Writing - Orgasmico Theatre Company O Face Award 2014

"June Carryl as Marian is mesmerizing. I wish the play had a second act so I could watch her incredible performance for another hour. Her play is funny, snappy, and heartbreaking. James Carey's direction is perfect and Mark Motyl plays Alan with such gentle love and weariness, you can't help but love Marian when she's being impossible. So come on producers - give us more La Bete!..." 
Cynthia Manse, Patron

“La Bete is hilarious, entertaining, touching, and thought provoking…”
Nina Harada, The Chamberpot

“A fast paced play, brilliant dialogues, and monologues, words that hit the spot, boom, boom, boom, it’s fun, it’s stuff to think about… it’s not to be missed!!!” 
Silvie Jacobsen, Patron

“Great writing, great performances.
David Harper, Certified Reviewer

"…a revelation! This beautiful One Act is a must see! It is powerful and poignant and gloriously performed and written…”
Ryan Berman, Certified Reviewer

“…a lot of wonderful writing… the best of which lets Carryl soar on a gorgeous wave of theatricality”
Jennie Webb, Bitter Lemons





Courtesy Attic Theatre
Having seen this show some time ago, it's good to report that a number of rough edges have been smoothened, so that this cabaret-style tribute to the music of the Beatles returns in fine form. This go-round, instead of a bland backdrop, the stage is festooned with a colorful collage of posters from the group's albums and individual concerts. Also, in this version there are four actors (two men, two women) instead of six, which makes for a smoother run and less distraction. Some new songs have been added, but the bulk of the selections are the Beatles' popular love songs, which Marc Ginsburg, Betsy Hammer, Victoria Summer and John Szura sing with nary a missed note under James Carey's direction. What really makes this show is the laid-back, cabaret atmosphere, which was completely absent before. Also added are a few well-timed gags. The instrumental soundtrack has undergone a few tweaks as well -- it's a tad more conventional, but it makes for easy listening. Some highlights are "If I Fell," flawlessly rendered by Ginsburg; "Hello" and "Come Together" performed by the group; and "We Can Work it Out," sung by Szura. The Attic Theatre and Film Center, 5429 W. Washington Blvd., Mid-City; Fri.-Sat, 8 p.m., Sun., 3 p.m.; through Aug. 28. attictheatre.org. (Lovell Estell III)

"This homage to the music of John, Paul, George and Ringo has some terrific moments..." 
"The Fab Four's love songs, and Carey has selected a cross section of songs that are fit for the occasion."
"The gender balance in the ensemble makes for some wonderful duets, none more so than Szura and Kramer teaming up for "In My Life" Crake and Shuster's "And I Love Her" -- amidst other impressively rendered songs." - LA WEEKLY (Lovell Estell III)

Neighborhood News - "Using a simple set, effective lighting and these brilliant songs,  the actors reveal all the different stages of love. Passionate entreaties, loving caress, teasing flirtations and mournful memories are served up in imaginative vignettes by a talented and appealing cast." 

LA Talk Radio Network - "This smash hit is sure to thrill audiences." 
"Songs of love, loss, redemption and memory tell powerful stories..." 

REVIEWS for The Cherry Orchard
May 2010

"...The actors, including Nicole Farmer as estate owner Madame Ranevskaya; Mark Jeffrey Miller as her brother, Leonid; and Jerry Clark as son of a serf Yermolai; have the kind of naturalistic authenticity, much in the style of Louis Malle's film Vanya on 42nd Street,..." - LA Weekly

"One moment reveals the promise of what this production can be: In an arranged marriage scenario, Yermolai meets with Ranevskaya's adopted daughter, Varya (Zoey Sidwell), to propose. Instead, they talk about the weather. After Yermolai bolts, Sidwell's Varya tries to prevent her heart from shattering all over the patio, and with such power, you feel the Earth shifting in its orbit." - LA Weekly

Reviews from Flight -February 2009
"Gerald Downey does a fine turn as the Everyman pilot...James Carey provides good direction." - LA WEEKLY
"Director James Carey, whose productions have won over 13 Drama-Logue Awards, successfully guides his talented cast into a lively heartfelt portrayal of Charles Lindbergh’s life. " - SoCal

Reviews of Betrayal
May 4th, 2007

“Betrayal” is an excellent play. You should go see it. It has two things I love: a plot (weirdly missing from a lot of current shows) and a twisted time frame. That is, the tale is told backwards, opening at the point where an affair between Emma (Christine Stump/Robin Roy) and Jerry (J. Richey Nash), the heart of the plot, ends.

And then Emma’s husband Robert (Christopher Cappiello) shows up, revving up the play’s engine and motoring it backwards to its beginning. It’s like a stop-motion film of flowers blooming, whithering and dying, only in reverse. It’s all the more wrenching, looking at that reformed whole, as we all know Emma and Jerry’s love is doomed.

The play has a staccato feel, the lines coming at you fast, deftly transversing the tragic and farcical scenes, and keeping the whole sordid business from collapsing under its own weight. But it slows down too, abruptly switching gears into a series of pregnant (and ultimately stillborn) pauses, making the audience squirm a bit. Emotion! It’s what’s for dinner.

Review by Losanjealous.com

Reviews for CLOSER
September 22, 2006

"Director James Carey understands that casting is everything in this piece and lets the actors strut their stuff. He also weaves the piece together skillfully, playing the light and dark shades with a subtle hand. “Unhappily ever after” may not be the perfect ending even for a postmodern romantic play, but Marber’s piece delivers a thought-provoking dose of truth." -Daily Variety


Wednesday, May 1, 2002 

This evening of two one-acts offered by the Attic Theatre Ensemble presents a duo of unusual off-the –wall stories. Both are uniquely written by J. Boyer and directed with flair by James Carey. Polar opposites in style and concepts, it’s hard to imagine the same playwright penned them.

Though the performances were strong, I really can’t say this is a John. Q. Public theatergoer’s ideal production. One, a comedy, and the other, a surreal drama, off some pretty dark and offbeat characters caught up in a Twilight Zone sort of situations. The first play, Time Went By, But Slowly, gives us a peek at a couple in a café on a blind date (effectively) played by Debra Brenda and Domenick Dicce). The usual questions and nervous chatter on such a date unfolds in due course until three attractive ladies turn up mysteriously as ancient Greek Fates (funny and animated portrayals by Carrie Quinn Dolin, Linda Graybel, and Melissa Dylan). The trio of dangerously devilish gals puts the couple through emotional, mental, and physical trauma and the result is hilarious! Chas Mitchell was terrific as the “flaming” waiter.

The second play, Poaching Deer in Northern Arizona, is a compelling but strange and violent piece placed in the wilderness of Arizona. When local game wardens confront a couple of crusty deer poachers on legal matters, the consequences become horrifying. A back woods mentality plays out as the dysfunctional Ed, in fear of losing his freedom, retaliates with chilling, “game playing” violence. Five excellent performances in this disturbing tale made it worth watching but it is certainly not for everyone. This piece will be most appreciated, I feel, by other actors and directors. It’s pretty “out there,” but the work is very good. As the down-and-out Ed, who “snaps” beyond return, Derik Van Derbeken gives a powerful, focused performance. As his younger sister, Emma, Allison Kramer is also exceptional. Fine-tuned, well timed portrayals, too, by John Szura. Chas Mitchell, and Pauly Hatch. -  
Review by Pat Taylor, The Tolucan Times/Canyon Crier

Review for Elephant Man - ATTIC Theatre 


The Elephant Man

This revival of Bernard Pomerance’s superbly crafted play underscores the difference between the simple and simplistic. The story, set in 1880s England and based on a true story, concerns John Merrick (Joe Mellis), a man afflicted with a horrible genetic defect. The condition produces a grossly enlarged head and bulbous tumors that cover his right side, leaving his arm and hand a useless club. Derided by others, Merrick ekes out a living as a sideshow freak until Dr. Frederick Treves (T.L. Kolman) brings him to a London hospital to live. There, Merrick emerges as a simple man with the soul of an artist and the heart of a romantic. His earnest, almost childlike nature stands in stark contrast to his grotesquely twisted body. Treves takes pity on Merrick and, through an aging actress (Kelly Roebuck), the doctor introduces Elephant Man to high society. Merrick’s inexplicably gentle response to the subtle disdain of the upper-class evokes a crisis of conscience for the physician. Director James Carey chooses to portray Merrick without makeup (while masking many of the supporting cast). This decision, traditionally employed in stagings of the play, places a heavy responsibility on the leading actor, and Mellis does not disappoint. Maintaining Merrick’s contorted form and slurred speech, Mellis is terrific throughout. Meanwhile Kolman beautifully captures the physician’s conflicted soul. And the fetching Roebuck successfully plays a character much older than herself by depicting her grace, biting wit and empathy. Also outstanding are Shelley Sinclaire nd John Szura. Attic Theater, 6562½ Santa Monica Blvd., Hlywd.; Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m.; thru May 20. (323) 469-3786. —Jim Crogan

Review for EQQUS - ATTIC Theatre - 1999


EQUUS - Attic Theatre Centre

Extrapolated from a radio report he once caught of a boy’s horrific — and inexplicable — wounding of several horses, Peter Shaffer’s intricate drama examines the fractious conjunction of religion and sexuality, as well as the intersection of passion and strange obsession. James Carey’s satisfying production charts Dr. Martin Dysart’s (Steve Owsley) dogged investigation into the mind and motivation of Alan Strang (a compelling Joe Mellis), rescued from the clutches of the prison system by a compassionate magistrate, Hester Salomon (a believably earnest Michele Collins). The action simmers, and Owsley and especially Mellis do justice to Shaffer’s explicit textual climaxes. Director Carey is particularly faithful to the equine choreography indicated in the stage directions, and a muscular J.J. Cole, as the horse god Equus, leads the equestrian chorus (decked in impressive wire-mesh heads, credited to Denise Ragan, Collins and A.C.T.). John Szura and Suzy Vaughan lend strong support as Alan’s judgmental patients. ,  Attic Theater Center, 6562½ Santa Monica Blvd., Hlywd.; Thurs.- Sat., 8 p.m.; thru June 19. (323) 469-3786. (Paul B. Cohen)