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The Mushroom Cure

Members say: Thought-provoking, Original, Ambitious, Funny, Absorbing
12 reviews
7 reviews

Cherry Lane Theatre presents Adam Strauss' solo show chronicling his deep dive into the world of hallucinogenic mushrooms.

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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.


Cast & Creatives (3)

Reviews (19)

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

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.

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

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.