Review: Lobster Man at the Samuel French OOB Short Play Festival

Many many moons ago a friend of mine kept me abreast on his ten-minute play that he was working on. Over the years his ten-minute play was featured in some incarnation or another in a small handful of cities throughout the continental United States. A couple of these productions were originally posted on his YouTube Channel but have since been set to private or disappeared entirely.

In any case here is the first trailer of the ten-minute (now one-act) play of Lobster Man:

Now why a trailer? Because the playwright’s piece of Lobster Man was one of the Top 40 in the Samuel French Off Off Broadway Short Play Festival. But what is this Festival about?

The Samuel French Off Off Broadway Short Play Festival started in 1975 and is Manhattan’s oldest, continuous short play festival. […] The Festival has given emerging playwrights the opportunity to have their work produced. […]

The Festival has served as a doorway to future success for many aspiring playwrights, and has helped launched the work of notables as Theresa Rebeck, Shirley Lauro, Sheila Callaghan, Bekah Brunstetter, Steve Yockey, Saviana Stanescu, and David Johnston. In many cases, Festival participation has sparked agent contracts for Festival finalists and all of the final forty plays selected to be perform in New York are guaranteed to be seen by an Artistic Director of a major theater, a professional playwright, and a theatrical agent. Many past Festival playwrights have gone on to win major Playwriting awards and honors, as well as to have major theatrical productions of their works staged.

I was already impressed with Lobster Man in the first conception… and now with this most recent incarnation, Jonathan Cook just seems to be getting better and better as playwright in the years that I have known him.

This multi-talented playwright also directed and acted in this particular production at its first incarnation in his hometown and I believe in the New York incarnation more recently.

In fact when you take a look at the second trailer:

Even though I knew this was a stage play… that this was original a ten-minute stage play now a one-act I couldn’t help but wonder if this is meant to be a full out two-act production or better yet a film?

I told my friend this… and I think the joy of his work is that he could continue expanding on his initial ten-minute play script and continue working on it without losing the integrity of the original piece. It is just that good, and modern… and well let’s just say that appears to be the “in” concept right now.

Even though I know he is planning on working on other projects down the road this is definitely a one-act I would love to see done in Chicago if I could convince one of my friends to look at it. 😀 Hell I wouldn’t mind helping produce this piece. I hope to see this gem expanded into a full two-act stage production or a full length movie… but as it stands I’ll be happy just seeing the little bits and pieces of this production via YouTube videos.