All the Fame of Lofty Deeds
"There are very few good, serious, enjoyable theater pieces about country music — especially if you nix all those melodramatic Branson and Pigeon Forge homages — and this show could well fill a void in New York and beyond."
- Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune
“All the Fame of Lofty Deeds” explores what that means, in all its swaggering ambition and self-destructive complexity. It’s a work befitting a singer-songwriter-artist who has spent his adult life merging art, music and politics. “It’s my curse,” Langford says with a laugh. Guarino’s play makes it a highly entertaining and thought-provoking one."
– Greg Kot, Chicago Tribune
"Playwright/rock journalist Mark Guarino hit on a gold mine of ideas when he partnered with Chicago musician-artist Jon Langford to create this show ... There also is hilarity that sometimes sits uncomfortably alongside a palpable sadness ... "All the Fame of Lofty Deeds" works pretty darn well. It's a show for anyone who loves good music, good art and good storytelling."
- Mary Houlihan, Chicago Sun-Times
“The prose is rich and strange (it reminds me of David Milch’s work for HBO). And whenever you think you’ve got the play figured out, it wriggles deftly out of your grasp and into the realm of dead parents, late-night radio confessions and other detritus of a lonely Chicago night. But the play also is never pretentiously oblique. You feel you recognize the characters. You invest.”
– Chicago Tribune
“ … A richly theatrical, hour-long meditation on the impermanence of love, the anxiety of intimacy, the distortions of insomnia, the prevalence of alienation, the legacy of parents, the terror of risk-taking and the mysteries of the mind in the wee small hours of the morning … beautifully written, shot through with pain and comedy.”
– Chicago Sun-Times
We Hate the World!
“Playwright Mark Guarino has constructed these scenarios in order to create a wonderfully skewed backdrop for what is essentially a debate about the role of art in a society deadened by banality …. What Guarino has had the good sense to do is pepper his obvious dissatisfaction with the modern world with great chunks of humor and much-needed compassion.”
– Windy City Times
Anchors of Love
“The evening’s best work, and its most touching, is Mark Guarino’s Anchors of Love … which paints a fresh, heart-rending picture of the generation gap through a storytelling session between an embittered old man and his bright young grandson … Again, the situation is familiar, but its development, in which characters from the grandfather’s stories literally drift in and out of his memory, is novel, and the dialogue has a freshly minted sound.”
– Chicago Tribune