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Off the Meter, On the Record

From 7 critic and 21 member reviews
Members say: Entertaining, Funny, Clever, Intelligent, Absorbing

About the show

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

Theatre's Leiter Side

“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

Epoch Times

“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

Lighting & Sound America

“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

Woman Around Town

"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

Times Square Chronicles

"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

Great!, Funny, Resonant, Entertaining, Absorbing

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.

Also I thoroughly enjoyed myself at this show. ... Read more Read less

Enjoyable, Refreshing, Entertaining, Clever

See it if you enjoy one person shows. A very interesting life and his stories of meeting the people of New York.

Don't see it if you need a beginning, middle and end of a story.

Great acting, Intelligent, Funny, Entertaining, Clever

See it if You are entertained by true life stories of NYC. Funny and interesting, this was a great show.

Don't see it if Aren’t into one-person shows.

Ambitious, Resonant, Funny, Clever, Entertaining

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.

Must see, Relevant, Clever, Funny, Entertaining

See it if enjoy one man show about a 35 year journey of a NYC cab driver. very interesting stories

Don't see it if don't like one man shows or intimate small theater spaces

Intelligent, Funny, Entertaining, Clever

See it if You love NYC and enjoy it's humor

Don't see it if If you don't like a one man show.

Refreshing, Great writing, Entertaining, Enchanting, Clever

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 .

Relevant, Indulgent, Funny, Earnest,, Clever

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

Relevant, Clever, Intelligent, Entertaining, Funny

See it if You enjoy New York themed comedy.

Don't see it if You dont like one-man shows.

Fun, Charming, Humorous

See it if Informative charming monologue about life as a cab driver and otherwise in New York. Highly enjoyable

Don't see it if Do not like one person shows

Entertaining, Clever

See it if You like a mix of insightful and predictable material about NYC.

Don't see it if You can't stand even a few NYC cliches.

Funny, Entertaining, Delightful, Clever

See it if you like funny stories from people's lives

Don't see it if you prefer musicals and don't like one-man shows

Funny, Slow, Quirky, Entertaining, Clever

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

Enjoyable performance, Good staging, Entertaining

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.

Also This was nicely imagined, written, staged and told by an engaging pers... Read more Read less

Thought-provoking, Wistful, Quirky, Absorbing, Funny

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.

Funny, Entertaining

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.

Slow, Overrated, Disappointing

See it if You need to get out of the house and can’t find anything else to do.

Don't see it if You don’t want to see a good show.

Thought-provoking, Great staging, Funny, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if you like engaging and fun true stories, told well with great staging.

Don't see it if you don't like one-person shows.

Great staging, Disappointing, Clever

See it if you find one man shows fascinating.

Don't see it if you really hate one man shows and what they are about.

During previews
Intelligent, Funny, Entertaining, Delightful

See it if You like a solo performance in an intimate space and you enjoy a good laugh (actually, many laughs).

Don't see it if You don't have a good sense of humor.

Also We thoroughly enjoyed John McDonagh's performance! The show is entirel... Read more Read less

Cast & Creatives (7)