Ends Jan 07

The Mushroom Cure

Members say: Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Funny, Quirky, Clever
12 reviews
25 reviews

After premiering at the Edinburgh Fringe, and running at the Cherry Lane Theater in 2016, Adam Strauss' solo show chronicling his deep dive into the world of hallucinogenic mushrooms makes its Off-Broadway debut.

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Inspired by a scientific study claiming that hallucinogenic mushrooms can potentially cure obsessive-compulsive disorder, Adam Strauss embarked on a program of vigilante psychopharmacology. His relentless pursuit of this unorthodox cure takes him on many adventures. He uncovers an underground community of chemists, falls in love with a brilliant psychologist who takes him on as her unofficial research subject, and decamps to a remote island accompanied only by his geriatric pug dog and formidable pharmacopoeia. A hit at the 2014 New York International Fringe Festival.

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$20 - $30 through 1/07
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$30 Orchestra
$20 Mezzanine


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Cast & Creatives (3)

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Reviews (37)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
Avg Score


“In the course of 90 minutes, we follow the ups and downs of Strauss’ professional, mental health and romantic lives in great detail. To his credit, Strauss gives the impression of delivering these stories as if for the first time. He is fresh and very involved, yet sensitive to the audience’s reactions. He manages to make a tediously unattractive condition fascinating and also manages to make himself affecting and human. OCD has never been as attractively rendered.” Full Review

Theater Pizzazz

“Strauss takes us on his fatally flawed magic carpet ride...Some of his states are humorous, his commentary funny. Other sections are tedious...The production might have been perfect, brilliant genius: if the script sections were tightened, if tepid sections that flat-lined were jettisoned...Strauss needs to work on a balance of tone...As a shorter piece, 'The Mushroom Cure' might have been magnificent, illuminating, humorously scintillating. As is, the show is funny, revealing, and enjoyable." Full Review

Off Off Online

“Desperation courses through Adam Strauss’s performance...Yet Strauss, a stand-up comedian, tells his story with humor as well, as the best playwrights do for serious material...Strauss is becomingly ordinary, with his mop of black hair itself displaying some disorder, but less than his personality provides...Under the direction of Jonathan Libman, Strauss does a splendid job of navigating romance, pain, desperation, and humor in the piece.” Full Review

Edge New York

“Adam Strauss' hilarious, harrowing 90-minute one-hander...Strauss is a natural storyteller, his tone and cadences bringing audience members right into the personal hell he faces every day. By the end of the play, you join Strauss by relinquishing the idea that you can control everything, and begin to let go...With help from director Jonathan Libman, Strauss puts together a compelling, if sometimes frantic, presentation.” Full Review


"Strauss delvers his story with conviction and sincerity making it an enjoyably heartfelt night at the theater...The director, Jonathan Libman works well with Strauss and the two find comedy in this disease, which is often hard to talk about. The ability that this actor has to laugh at himself is remarkable, and, in return, allows us to laugh at ourselves." Full Review

The New York Times

for a previous production "Mining a great deal of laughter from disabling pain, it tells what Mr. Strauss says is the true story of his quest to rid himself of obsessive-compulsive disorder with psychedelic drugs, and it feels true partly because of the awkwardness that underlies his demeanor...The show is a bit overlong...but it winds its way to a reasonably happy ending: Mr. Strauss is here in front of us, well enough to spin his tale." Full Review

Time Out New York

for a previous production "Strauss' true-life tour de force is a funny, frenzied trip through his OCD and the methods he uses to try to cure himself...His constant, manic attempts to achieve perfection can be maddening and even heart-wrenching. Strauss has an engaging, ironic delivery that keeps you riveted throughout the show’s nearly two-hour running time...'The Mushroom Cure' might benefit from a stronger structure and a 20-minute trim—but hey, no one’s perfect." Full Review

NY Theater Now

for a previous production "Strauss is a highly intelligent, charming, and absorbing storyteller...The audience is taken in and out of his anxious obsession so swiftly – just when you think you’ve got it figured out, he pulls you in again. This isn’t just exciting; it’s comforting, too. It assures us that this story may not have a ‘happy’ ending, but the ending is in fact sitting in front of us. He’s not cured, necessarily, but working on it, and navigating the captivating imperfection inherent in existing." Full Review

Three Weeks Edinburgh

for a previous production "Intensely gripping, irreducibly psychedelic and emotionally charged, sometimes it seems that words simply cannot do justice to the atmosphere of a performance...There really aren’t many more naturally gifted storytellers than Strauss. Describing in depth the sheer uncontrollability of his obsessive-compulsive disorder, this is pretty serious stuff, so may not be for everyone." Full Review

Broadway Baby

for a previous production "I paused twice to consider the messages he delivers: that there is beauty within imperfection even if we cannot see it in one reality and that embracing our deepest fears will rid us of the feeling of powerlessness we are convicted to when in distress...Adam Strauss, through a blend of comedy and drama in his poetic narration, is a highly commendable act which is recommendable for any interested in the culture of psychedelics." Full Review

The Skinny (UK)

for a previous production "Adam Strauss’s one-man trip of hallucinogenic self-help promised a lot and delivered comparatively little...There were a few poetic moments of genuine insight, though the delivery stifled any poignancy they might have had. I really wanted to enjoy it, but it teetered over the line from endearing to self-indulgent, lacking the pathos needed to make it work as comedy...There’s definitely a good comic in there, I just don’t think the story was quite there." Full Review

Herald Scotland

for a previous production "The beauty of the writing here is how Strauss places his attempts at reaching what in drug taking is called a Plus Four experience, the 'at one with the universe' state, in the context of his everyday life. While this would be fascinating written down, Strauss's engaging but laidback approach is the best way to understand how someone could be driven to extreme measures to regain control of their lives. Highly recommended." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
Avg Score

Great acting, Refreshing, Riveting

See it if You like the stand up acting vibe, the direction can use some editing changing the way the actor moves and Reducing the production time.

Don't see it if You don’t like solo shows

Funny, Intelligent, Relevant, Entertaining, Good writing

See it if you enjoy The Moth enough to extend the stories into novellas. Good insights, humor, use of language. Intelligent and entertaining.

Don't see it if one-handers leave you cold, and you are discomfited by entering deep into someone's troubled psyche.

Funny, Absorbing, Quirky, Resonant

See it if you enjoy intense personal stories performed as a solo show.

Don't see it if you're disturbed by drug use or frank sexual discussions.

Absorbing, Great acting, Quirky, Resonant, Great writing

See it if you are ready for a deep dive into the frustrations, highs, lows, and exhausting recovery of a victim of obsessive compulsive disorder.

Don't see it if you cannot sit 90 minutes without interval in a solo man show with minimal set, a monologue with a few other parts played by him &dark theme

Absorbing, Clever, Delightful, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if You have an interest in OCD, alternative therapies, Love and some really great story telling. One of the better one person shows I’ve seen.

Don't see it if You have no interest or experience with mental illness or recreational drug use.

Absorbing, Clever, Thought-provoking, Quirky, Slow

See it if you like one-person shows. If you want to see a comic portray in a funny and touching way, his own struggle with OCD.

Don't see it if you don't like one-person shows with the actor portraying multiple characters talking to each other. It can be annoying and isn't done well.

Quirky, Indulgent

See it if you like monologues by unsympathetic characters who deliver self-indulgent stories in rapid speech and mocking tones.

Don't see it if I respect artists & wish this performer success. However, to me, this was excruciating. My husband & I left at intermission.


See it if You typically like one person shows

Don't see it if Watching one actor tell a story for almost 2 hours bothers you

Also I don’t typically like plays with only one actor. There seems to be mo... Read more Read less

Intelligent, Intense, Quirky, Hilarious, Touching

See it if you want to witness an open story about living with OCD told in a way that will make you feel compassion yet laugh out loud through it all.

Don't see it if you don't like one person shows; or shows without any staging; or are uncomfortable with the topic of OCD or anxiety disorders.

Also I think Adam did a great job exposing life with OCD - and now I wonder... Read more Read less

Funny, Original, Ambitious, Clever, Thought-provoking

See it if You like a funny one man show by a standup comic- fast and refreshing about psychedelic drugs and quest to cure his OCD

Don't see it if You don't like one man shows or the topic of Drugs or OCD

Ambitious, Overrated, Tedious, Overlong, Needs editing

See it if you enjoy one-man shows with too much material in search of a good editor or director. There is way too much material covered here.

Don't see it if you do not like overlong one-man shows.

Funny, Absorbing, Edgy, Thought-provoking, Great writing

See it if you want to see an authentic, masterful portrayal of what it's like to have OCD. With candid eloquence, Strauss immerses us into his world.

Don't see it if you are not a fan of one man shows, or are not interested in shows that deals with OCD or experimentation with hallucinogenic drugs.

Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Intense, Revealing

See it if you like solo shows about mental illness and coping strategies, both good and bad

Don't see it if you dislike one person shows, can't handle revealing emotions

Also The show is about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. It can be very frustr... Read more Read less

Funny, Clever, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Resonant

See it if you’ve ever thought of tripping out on magic mushrooms, or are searching for a way to deal with OCD. Adam Strauss is a gifted actor.

Don't see it if you are not an adventurous person, have no feeling for the person seeking to find a way to gain control over OCD or dislike one man plays.

Funny, Great acting, Intense, Resonant, Riveting

See it if Like solid stories with great acting. The direction could be tighter but the actor is likeable

Don't see it if Drugs offend you and solo shows bore you.

Thought-provoking, Masterful, Hilarious, Inspirational, Humbling

See it if A masterful storyteller who baits you in for a very personal journey that you can’t help but to feel connected, stirred and inspired by it

Don't see it if A one-man show with little to no props. Far from being silly- let’s just joke about mushrooms and drugs as the poster may suggest.

Also I came in with a very low bar and left the stage moved and humbled by ... Read more Read less

Funny, Absorbing, Clever, Edgy, Entertaining

See it if You like superbly executed theater. Strauss’s work—writing, performance, production—achieves a wholly organic synthesis.

Don't see it if There’s no reason not to see this. You’d have to have a psychological disorder even more challenging than OCD not to go see this.

Absorbing, Great acting, Entertaining, Too long, Educational

See it if You want a window into an OCD mind

Don't see it if Rambling actors easily irritate you

Original, Quirky, Engaging monologue, Could use more personal background, About the writer/performer's ocd

See it if you enjoy personal stories, told from the heart.

Don't see it if you want to hear something more polished. It's honest and raw, and could benefit from another rewrite.

Funny, Original, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Great writing

See it if You enjoy solo shows, essays or wonder what it's like to have an intense hallucinogenic experience

Don't see it if You are anti-drug use or want to see a tradition play format

Funny, Absorbing, Ambitious, Clever, Entertaining

See it if You would enjoy an absorbing one man show relating to the actor’s real life efforts to cure his serious OCD with drugs,shrinks and mushrooms

Don't see it if Hearing about experimentation with various hallucinogens while searching for help would offend

Ambitious, Intense, Thought-provoking

See it if You like one-person show and are interested in understanding how mental illness (OCD) impacts a person and those around them.

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

Also “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.” Given the write up and poster, I w... Read more Read less

Funny, Edgy, Intense, Quirky, Entertaining

See it if You can relate to dealing with OCD or OCD-like tendencies yourself. Want to have a laugh while hearing one mans struggle with his OCD.

Don't see it if Don’t like solo shows or comedy.

Intelligent, Intense, Thought-provoking, Great writing

See it if You'd enjoy a funny, personal, accurate and insightful portrayal of what it's like to live with OCD (and try to find a cure)

Don't see it if You don't like autobiographical solo shows

During previews
Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Intelligent and interesting, Wry and skillful storytelling

See it if You like solo memoirs, are interested in the psyche, want to go on a journey of the mind. Adam's smart and funny, show is touching and good

Don't see it if Uncomfortable with OCD, want intermission, don't like drug talk, need action or production value. He's a standup comic and that factors in.