SHOTZ! by Amios

Host "Grover Cleveland" introduces Shotz Local 100 at the Kraine Theater.
Amios presents six new short plays every month. Given the time constraint, how good can they possibly be?

By Andrew Andrews

If you’ve been with us a long time, you know we’re big fans of Brett Epstein’s Rule of 7x7 collections of short plays, and similar shows such as the long-gone TinyRhino Theatrical Drinking Game. What we didn’t know until recently is that Amios—an unusually title-cased acronym for Art and Music In Our Souls—has been producing exactly this type of show, almost monthly, for ten years right here under our noses!

They call it SHOTZ!, and it’s billed as a “theatrical pressure cooker” producing six short plays, each written in just two short weeks, with only two weeks of rehearsal and two hours of tech time to make it presentable for two performances every month. On top of that, each play must include three “conditions,” such as “there must be a strike” and “someone must make a binding agreement.”

As with 7x7, the majority of plays turn out to be comedies, with an occasional drama or even something on the experimental side.

For this review, we attended a special production called SHOTZ Local 100 on Labor Day, celebrating not only the national holiday, but also the series’ tenth anniversary and the 100th episode. This special event upped the number of short plays from six to nine, allowing us a better idea of the overall quality that one can expect from attending the series on any given month.

Upon arrival, it was obvious we’re not the only ones who enjoy this kind of show, as the theatre was packed, almost to the point of selling out, with an audience of adults of widely-ranging ages, although perhaps a bit less ethnically-diverse than we find at similar productions. It sounded as though about half of the crowd comprised first-time attendees such as us, and most folks exhibited a high level of enthusiasm before, during and after the performance.

We enjoyed the plays themselves to varying degrees, generally finding the comedic sketches to be the most entertaining. With nearly half of the 63-member cast appearing courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association, it might go without saying that the acting and directing were decent overall, with almost zero lackluster castings. Amusing scripts greatly outnumbered those less-pleasurable, and on a scale of “wow!” to “yikes!,” nothing deserved less than a “meh.”

The bottom line is that I’m inclined to attend SHOTZ! again whenever I don’t have another commitment, and I’m sure many of my fellow audience members feel the same way.

4

Andrew Andrews attended SHOTZ! by Amios at Kraine Theater in New York on Monday, September 2, 2019 @ 7:00pm to write this review.

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