#getmyducksinarow  Press

Carnegie Hill Productions and James Spry present


Desperate Writers

by Ellen Wernecke

There’s something refreshingly analog about Joshua Grenrock and Catherine Schreiber’s "Desperate Writers," now playing at the Union Square Theater. In a more contemporary-minded universe, Los Angeles writers David (Jim Stanek) and Ashley (Maddie Corman), also a couple, would face different counsel as the rejections for their historical rom-com "God’s Mouth" come rolling in from big-shot Hollywood producers.

They might be told to start a funny blog, or create a viral video series on which their more famous friends could make surprise appearances. Why, how about managing a witty Twitter account? Hey, it worked (briefly) for "Shit My Dad Says!" David and Ashley are trying to keep their hopes up, but it’s hard for them to forget that their rental house is being sold out from under them and that Ashley really wants a baby.

Certainly no one would advise them to do as she does -- namely, to kidnap three producers to whom she had served canapés at her day job and force them, at gunpoint, to listen to the screenplay (that Ashley is convinced they rejected without reading,) as a condition of their release. Even their loopy agent (played in goofy cameo by Pauletta Washington) wouldn’t go that far.

"Desperate Writers" may not tackle David and Ashley’s plight all that realistically, nor does its string of jokes (including some out-of-nowhere jabs at Jennifer Aniston) particularly work, but ah, what a concept! In taking vengeance into their own hands, David and Ashley make a bold strike back on behalf of all writers sick of hearing how "derivative" their work is in the age of the blockbuster sequel.

No matter that their captive audience -- the best of whom, neurotically aging actress Jessica, is portrayed by Schreiber herself -- isn’t particularly sympathetic; they won the audience over. As a farce, "Desperate Writers" contains just enough truth to land comfortably.

"Desperate Writers" is currently playing at the Union Square Theater, 100 E. 17th Street. For tickets and more information, visit desperatewriters.com.