Irish Repertory Theatre presents this world premiere solo piece, which offers a comedic glimpse into 35 years behind the wheel of a New York City yellow taxi. Written and performed by John McDonagh. More…
John McDonagh, veteran radio host, has condensed thirty-plus years of activism, reality show antics and observation into a love song to the city that never sleeps. From the plight of the NYC homeless to the crazy demands of Upper East Side matrons, McDonagh moves from the comedic to the heartfelt and back again faster than the apparition of umbrella dealers on a rainy day. Throw in his tales of brushes with the rich and famous such as driving Stephen Fry to a Queens social club and teaching Top Gear’s Richard Hammond how to drive a cab, and you have an evening of classic Irish storytelling.
“Uproarious and moving...a terrifically mounted one-man show...Mr. McDonagh’s slight, old-time New York accent, gentle wise guy persona and superior comic timing perfectly realizes his well-constructed script...Director Ciaran O’Reilly’s simple yet crisp staging briskly enhances McDonagh’s storytelling with aesthetic precision as well as unifying the technical elements into a compelling presentation...It also skillfully incorporates anecdotes from McDonagh’s eventful life.” Full Review
“It's hard to think of anyone who could who could do justice to the New York cabby's life better than John McDonagh…And justice he does in ‘Off the Meter On the Record’…, his often hilarious one-man show...He seems more the working-class guy next door than a polished actor. Much of his stuff is very funny, the more so because it's grounded in reality...We see the embodiment of yet another New York institution on the brink of extinction, making his words resonate that much more poignantly.” Full Review
“This engaging production runs on all cylinders...McDonagh comes across as neither particularly endearing nor welcoming...He speaks with an air of authenticity and just a hint of attitude—in other words, as a quintessential New Yorker...The only problem with the show is that it’s too short...An absorbing portrait of a city and society in continual flux, as told by one who has lived through it, ‘Off the Meter, on the Record’ makes for an extremely satisfying journey.” Full Review
“An amiable bulldog with a level stare and desert-dry delivery, McDonagh is fine company for an hour and a quarter, and his director, Ciarán O'Reilly, has gifted him with a nifty production...The piece is about the ever-changing New York scene and it makes thoroughly clear that he is the quintessential native New Yorker, one who equally loves and loathes the city he can't do without. If you spend an hour with him in the driver's seat, you can expect a smooth, entertaining ride.” Full Review
"This thoroughly entertaining piece takes us through 40 years of loopy, can-do political gesture, misadventure, and unpretentious observation of human nature made while navigating the city he loves...The performer’s New Yawk accent i.e. his man-of-the-people roots, easy manner, integrity, and keen-eyed humanity, make my comparison to Mark Twain organic...Director Ciaran O’Reilly allows the artist to be natural, yet utilize the small stage with creativity." Full Review
“McDonagh isn't the first to cite that cab driving in New York City can be downright dangerous, but he surely communicates it more colorfully than anybody else...While ‘Off the Meter’ doesn't transcend the limitations of the one-person genre, it's a gem that takes us from the world of the checker cab to the land of Uber, Lyft, and Gett. Subtitled 'Driving New York Crazy for 35 Years,' it's ironically a very sane and novel look at the Big Apple from a seasoned taxi driver's perspective.” Full Review
"McDonagh’s one-man play will have you laughing at his 35-year plight behind the wheel of a NYC yellow taxi cab...McDonagh is a likable fellow, with a welcoming presence...During his well put together show, McDonagh illustrates how the city, the people and taxi’s have changed in the past four decades...McDonagh delights in his tales...The show is well paced...’Off the Meter’ and John McDonagh are a pleasant way to remember the past, while laughing away the future." Full Review
See it if An engaging show about a man who has driven a cab in NYC for 35 years. Really illuminated what that life is like. Many stories. Fun show.
Don't see it if You don’t like one person shows. If you have no interest in learning about the life of a cabbie. No interest in New York or it’s history.
See it if You like one man shows. A wonderful compilation of cabbie stories, delivered in a highly entertaining way. Love to learn.
Don't see it if You don't like one man shows. You want a narrative rather than anecdotes. Want a big production.
See it if A great solo show written and preformed by John McDonagh who was a cab driver in NY for 35 years. A delightful and fun show. See it!
Don't see it if Do not see this if you only like musicals , and traditional dramas .
See it if you enjoy true biographical presentations performed by writer, NY history from the 60's til now, cab driver experiences
Don't see it if rambling personal stories are not your thing, occasional self-aggrandizement bothers you
See it if John McDonagh's life as a cab driver/social activist leans more towards stand-up than fleshed out show Still very humorous & often touching
Don't see it if O’Reilly's 'light touch' direction works well w/material. McDonagh's more comfortable with one-liners than character but charms nonetheless
See it if You like solo autobiographical shows, nicely told NYC stories, engaging performer. It's short, interesting and fun.
Don't see it if Stories of Irish-Catholic, liberal NYC cabbie don't appeal, don't enjoy cultural references or the last few decades.
See it if Nonfiction storytelling of the author’s experiences. Colorful NY culture and history. Some sadness: “What has happened to my city?”
Don't see it if You are looking for more drama, sophistication, or meaning. Glorifies surviving a bygone underside of NY.
See it if For me the jokes were pretty stale until about 1/2way thru when he talked about his adventures as celebrity-cabbie.
Don't see it if The actual cab stories weren't that interesting. Delivery flat like he's getting bored w/his own show.
See it if you enjoy witty stories from a taxi driver who's been around (literally). He's very entertaining and has an appealing personality.
Don't see it if you are a Republican or don't like political jokes of any kind. In the latter half of the show, he gets really political.
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