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Diva: Live from Hell

From 5 critic and 37 member reviews
Members say: Entertaining, Clever, Funny, Great singing, Great acting

About the show

Theater for the New City presents Sean Patrick Monahan's solo musical about a homicidal teenage diva doomed to retell his story for all eternity as a cabaret act in Hell. More…

Desmond Channing spent much of his short life basking in the spotlight. As Drama Club President and star of all the productions at his Florida public high school, Desmond never imagined he could fall from grace. But when Evan Harris, a hotshot transfer student from New York, ripped the rug out from under him, Desmond responded, as any diva would, with lethal force. Now Desmond is forced to relive his darkest hour by sharing the tale of his humiliation and subsequent insanity over and over again at the Seventh Circle, Hell’s dingiest cabaret venue. As he begins his one-millionth consecutive performance, Desmond performs with renewed frenzy and desperation, hoping to prove he’s learned his lesson so he can be freed from his eternal, campy torment.


"'Diva: Live From Hell,' an energetic, campy variation on the 'All About Eve' theme, is performed with manic glee by Sean Patrick Monahan who also wrote the book and created all the colorful characters. His partner in crime is Alexander Sage Oyen who provided the music and lyrics. Sex (requited and unrequited), ugly violence and dark humor are all thrown into the story which is told by Desmond Channing (Monahan, who also plays virtually a high school's worth of characters)." Full Review


“A brilliant new one-man musical…Although technically a one-man show, it doesn't feel like one. Monahan has a definite gift for mimicry to the point where other characters in the plot seem to have a palpable presence…The songs by Oyen are clever and vibrant and flow seamlessly with the script. Monahan delivers the songs with élan and a well-honed, confident voice...A precocious achievement for Monahan. The script and his performance demonstrate a laser-like intelligence." Full Review


“A winsome cabaret performance…Mr. Monahan, who also wrote the terrific campy book, shines as Desmond. He artfully assumes the personas of the other characters in the story, too. As the playwright, Mr. Monahan infuses his tale with wonderfully reverent and sometimes rapid-fire cute references to other shows and actors, demonstrating his endearing and enduring love for theatre…The music by Alexander Sage Oyen is superb.” Full Review

Theater In The Now

"The quintessential show for musical theater lovers...With odes to the Golden Age, jazzy lounge numbers, and some exquisite showstoppers, Sage Oyen has brought new vivacity to Monahan’s colorful characters...This show would not be possible without the brilliance that is Sean Patrick Monahan. Both as a performer and writer, he has a strong ability to paint the players. They may be over-the-top but they are genuine and accessible. As a performer, Monahan is transformative." Full Review

Theater Life

"A dark comedic send-up of madness directed with smart intensity...Monahan moves seamlessly from one character to the next embodying each one with consummate flair. His voice is terrific, and when he launches into song his brave performance and 'Diva' comes fully alive. Unfortunately, although initially witty, Desmond is such a shallow lout that you quickly lose all compassion for him. Despite all the talent involved his story ceases to amuse and you couldn’t care less." Full Review

Delightful, Riveting, Great writing, Hilarious, Great singing

See it if you delight in a one-person show where a young diva brings his music/camp to the cabaret venue. Lots of energy and elan. So much fun!

Don't see it if you dislike one-person shows that get very campy, very loud, and very insane! I need a drink!

Funny, Great acting, Great writing, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if A solo musical (with a live band) that's hilarious, witty, charming and electrifyingly fun! Be able to say "I saw him when!". Music = A+!

Don't see it if You're not a fan of solo shows (though this doesn't feel like one) and have an aversion to the genre of musical theatre as a whole.

Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Hilarious, Great staging

See it if you love musical theatre and camp comedy

Don't see it if you don't enjoy solo performances or musicals

Funny, Clever, Must see, Great singing, Great staging

See it if you like charles busch-esque dark comedies, excellent live music, a bit of meta in your musical theater, & BRILLIANT cabaret performance

Don't see it if you're triggered by even the campiest rehash of high school bullying; you don't like one-man shows (but oh, make an exception for this one!)

Also in a word: ENCHANTING. i haven't enjoyed an up-close-and-personal solo... Read more Read less

Clever, Great writing, Hilarious, Entertaining, Twisted

See it if a cabaret from hell sounds like a good time! Super fun original story. It's a riot! Especially hilarious if you did theater in high school.

Don't see it if you don't like one-man shows, or would be turned off by its dark sense of humor.

Ambitious, Intense, Great singing, Http://theaterlife.com/diva-live-from-hell/

See it if http://theaterlife.com/diva-live-from-hell/

Don't see it if http://theaterlife.com/diva-live-from-hell/

Funny, Delightful, Entertaining, Great singing, Great band

See it if You want to laugh and be thoroughly entertained. You want to hear good singing and great characters by this performer.

Don't see it if You don't like a cabaret style show. You don't want to laugh. You don't like a one man performance. You don't want to have a fun night out.

Also This performer was very entertaining. Every time he switched character... Read more Read less

Funny, Edgy, Entertaining

See it if You like one person musical comedy... Smart, funny...

Don't see it if Dark comedy makes you uncomfortable.

Clever, Edgy, Entertaining

See it if you enjoyed Glee, High School Musical, etc. A one man powerhouse of a show lands its punches below the belt; sequins fly in all directions!

Don't see it if high school musical clubs or musical theater in general aren't your thing. It's a spoof that hits it target; but it's not for everyone.

Great acting, Great singing, Fluffy, Black comedy

See it if you like a great performance! One man show, playing each character with believability and aplomb. Directed by Danny Bernstein - I'm a fan.

Don't see it if you don't like Black Comedy, Cabaret shows, one man shows. Tongue in cheek direction. I had a blast.

Clever, Quirky, Hilarious, Great singing, Bitchy

See it if You like funny, revenge-type plots (a la Drop Dead Gorgeous) and cute boys in their underwear

Don't see it if You're easily offended, queasy

Clever, Quirky, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if Like unusual entertaining one man shows.

Don't see it if Want serious or thought provoking.

Funny, Absorbing, Clever, Delightful, Entertaining

See it if you like comedies.

Don't see it if you are not a fan of comedies

Ambitious, Clever, Entertaining

See it if You're so into musical theatre that you can appreciate someone calling a pitcher of water "Elaine Stritch's ball sweat" or Kevin Kline god.

Don't see it if You wouldn't appreciate a revenge fantasy one-man-show about a repressed gay high school theatre geek

Great acting, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if you like entertaining one man show that creates colorful characters.

Don't see it if don't like one man shows or if you can be easily offended by light-hearted approach to cancer or murder.

Also The story reminded me of Ruthless.

Funny, Great acting, Raunchy, Indulgent, Great singing

See it if You like over-the-top, campy fun from a great actor

Don't see it if You're bothered by murder or unexpected semi-nudity

Funny, Ambitious, Indulgent, Entertaining, Campy and bitchy

See it if you want to see a very talented young performer who goes over the top on a subject he loves-Musical Theater. The ending needs work, though.

Don't see it if musical theater with inside jokes are not your thing.

Delightful, Indulgent, Cliched, Entertaining, Uneven

See it if you enjoy cute musicals and parodies.

Don't see it if you want something deep or if a threadbare high school coming out story doesn't appeal to you

Clever, Great acting, Quirky, Great staging

See it if you did high school theater club

Don't see it if you don't like a lot of inside theater references.

Funny, Absorbing, Enchanting, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if You would like to see one-person shows or musicals. Want to have a night of fun.

Don't see it if You'd rather enjoy serious contents. The plot is a little bit confusing when it comes to one man playing different characters.

Clever, Cliched, Campy, Well performed, Well staged

See it if you were a HS theater arts junkie. The hell-setting is clever, the acting/singing is strong, but the story feels worn. Stereotypes abound.

Don't see it if you dislike shows about theater. Lots of inside jokes. No real lesson imparted. Still, SPM is a joy to watch. A fun, light outing.

Also Most of the lyrics were good, but the song about cancer was off. Peopl... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Great acting, Engaging

See it if you enjoy one-person shows.

Don't see it if you aren't interested in seeing the work of a bunch of promising artists in the early stages of their career.

Quirky, Indulgent, Cliched

See it if you are a theater junkie who likes campy, bitchy dialogue as delivered by a very hard working young musical performer/ writer.

Don't see it if your tolerance for a vanity production wears thin quickly.

Also The audience seemed much more tolerant than I was.

Funny, Clever, Enchanting, Great acting, Resonant

See it if You enjoy a fun show with great, relatable comedy.

Don't see it if You don't like laughing

Funny, Clever, Edgy, Masterful, Entertaining

See it if you would like to experience an incredibly talented solo performer present his entertainingly insightful play.

Don't see it if you have an aversion to authentic talent.

Also It's what true downtown New York theatre should be about.