The following announcement was provided by the Mosesian Center for the Arts:
This February, NYC-based queer actor and comic Michael John Ciszewski returns to Boston with his third solo show LOVEFOOL to celebrate Valentine’s Day Weekend with two performances at Watertown’s Mosesian Center for the Arts after a smash 2023 tour that filled houses from comedy clubs to Pride festivals across the northeast with big gay joy. The show is co-created and produced with Brian Dudley and directed by Noah Simes.
Following packed performances in New York City (Asylum NYC, Pete’s Candy Store, QED Astoria), Jersey City (Jersey City Theater Center), Provincetown (Redroom), Providence (Fletcher House), Philadelphia (Yellow Bicycle Theatre), and Boston (Rockwell & New Rep), the LOVEFOOL team is thrilled to bring their “celebration of queer love” back to the community that raised them for the third year running! LOVEFOOL is a dazzling and deliciously silly romp through flings, flirtations, and first loves that brims with heart and hilarity. You’ve heard of LOVE before … you knew it was kinda gay, but you just WAIT till this big queer lovefool gets his limp wrists on it! Featuring dazzling and deliciously dumb multimedia outbursts, LOVEFOOL plays like the queer party playlist of your dreams set to shuffle.
The show invites audiences to laugh and cry, sing and dance, flirt and fall-in-love along with Michael John as he engages a life-long commitment to unrequited love. A *very* GAY evening that bridges stand-up comedy and confessional, LOVEFOOL has earned raves from critics and audiences who call it “required queer viewing” and “beautiful, brave, and bombastically funny!”
“My mission is to make comedy that embodies the joy and whimsy of the queerness I see in myself and my communities with full heart,” reflects Michael John, “and in our current sociopolitical climate, I am so proud to celebrate the healing power of queer love in the city that made me the LOVEFOOL I am! I lived and worked as an actor in Boston for ten years; Brian and Noah were born and raised right outside of the city. This is the third consecutive year we’ve brought this show to the area, and we are so proud to share this love letter with our communities here and keep growing our work after nearly two years of touring! I made my professional performance debut on the Mosesian stage in 2012, and I am so honored that the incredible team at Mosesian Arts Live has invited me to return with two performances of LOVEFOOL on Saturday February 10. Both performances will feature new material and opening sets from local stand-up comedians. Whether you’re single, partnered, or something complicated in between, let LOVEFOOL be your Valentine’s Day treat this year! I guarantee it’s sweeter and more nourishing than a heart-shaped box of chocolates and you don’t even have to suffer through the guess work of biting into a gross coconut-filled piece.”
Each performance of LOVEFOOL will feature Boston-based comedy talent as special guest performers. At 6 pm, special guests will will be Zach Stewart and Danya Trommer; at 9 pm, Danny Riordan and Caroline Moore will take the stage.
“We are so excited to collaborate with and celebrate the work of local artists, particularly in Boston, where the entire LOVEFOOL team found creative community for so many years,” says Ciszewski, “and we can’t wait for audiences to share in our delight in the work of these amazing comedians.”
Ciszewski is joined by the creative team of Brian Dudley and Noah Simes. Dudley began working with Ciszewski to co-create the show after hearing an early developmental reading of the text in 2021. They were joined by Simes after the work-in-progress performance in June 2022.
Both share enthusiasm for the spirit and immediacy of the show: “LOVEFOOL is quintessential Michael John,” shares Dudley, who helped shape the show’s writing and design. “It marries deep sincerity and thoughtfulness with off-the-wall gay nonsense and invites the audience to the reception. Michael John is an unstoppable whirlwind of humor, poignance, and vulnerability in equal measure.”
Simes, whose direction has sharpened the piece with wit and style, echoes these sentiments: “LOVEFOOL is everything theater should be—fun, gay, honest, and about an hour long. The show asks the question, ‘if love always breaks something, why bother?’ And it answers with a clear-eyed conviction, but also with a wink and a nod and a wiggle on the dance floor. It’s an impassioned manifesto on the importance and beauty of following love through to whatever life has in store for us.”
Performance Dates & Times
Mosesian Arts Live presents Michael John Ciszewski: LOVEFOOL on Saturday, February 10 at 6:00 PM and 9:00 PM, with special guests Zach Stewart & Danya Trommer (6:00pm show); special guests Danny Riordan & Caroline Moore (9:00pm show). All tickets are $25 general admission. Mosesian Center for the Arts is located at 321 Arsenal Street in Watertown, MA. More information and tickets are available via mosesianarts.org or xomichaeljohn.com.
About Michael John Ciszewski
Michael John Ciszewski (he/him) (creator/performer) is a queer actor and writer born, raised, and returned to New York City after launching his career in Boston and London. He is thrilled to return to the Mosesian Center for the Arts after making his professional stage debut in New Rep Theatre’s 2012 production of Holiday Memories and returning last February as a centerpiece performer for Love Weekend.
Celebrated as “one of the most promising young actors on the Boston theatre scene” by digBoston, he has performed for all of Boston’s theaters including The Huntington, Lyric Stage Company of Boston, SpeakEasy Stage, the Umbrella Theatre, and Hub Theatre Company of Boston. Ciszewski’s solo work, cited as “required queer viewing” by comedy duo BAPHTA, is rooted in queerness and healing and gleefully journeys across genres from stand-up and storytelling to collective ritual.
His debut Everyone is Dying and So Am I premiered in July 2019 and has since enjoyed sold-out performances with Boston’s Open Theatre Project and Manhattan’s Theatre Row and United Solo Theatre Festival—spotlighting the best in international solo performance. It was subsequently nominated for the festival’s audience award.
His second effort The Sun is Sleeping, a full-length film composed at the start of the pandemic era, was screened in virtual theatrical events from late 2020 into 2021 and is now available to stream online.
His hit third solo show Lovefool premiered in 2022 and has since played to over 800 people in venues ranging from proscenium and black box theatres to comedy clubs and festival stages in New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Providence, Provincetown, Jersey City, and beyond. Lovefool will continue to tour through 2024. In the meantime, Ciszewski has launched his fourth solo show If Memory Serves—an hour of stand-up comedy on sobriety, sex, and profound stupidity that critics say “delivers vulnerability and authenticity along with absolute gay nonsense”— with a return to Brooklyn’s Pete’s Candy Store set for February 29, 2024. Michael is a member of the staff of ArtsEmerson at Emerson College’s Office of the Arts. He trained at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and is a proud graduate of Boston University’s B.F.A. Theatre Arts program.
About Brian Dudley
Brian Dudley (he/him) (co-creator/producer) is a creative educator and theatre artist, specializing in student success, youth development, and theatre education. In addition to his work as an academic and student success advisor at The New School and Boston University College of Fine Arts, Brian has directed, taught, or facilitated programs with the Boston University Summer Theatre Institute, where he also served as co-program head, Arlington Children’s Theatre, the Massachusetts Youth Leadership Foundation, the Lyric Stage Company of Boston, and others.
Brian holds an M.Ed in Arts, Community, and Education with a specialization in Theatre Studies from Lesley University, and a B.F.A in Writing, Literature, and Publishing from Emerson College.
About Noah Simes
Noah Simes (he/him) (director/script consultant) is a director, performer, and theatrical polymath from Boston, now based in New York City. Noah has collaborated with a number of Boston-based institutions and artists, but is maybe best known as the homme fatale Peter Nureyev in the hit queer sci-fi audio drama The Penumbra Podcast.
About the Opening Performers
Zach Stewart is an up-and-coming comedian in the Boston stand-up scene. He uses his conversational style and his storytelling abilities to be able to connect with a variety of audiences. You can find Zach performing in venues all around the Boston area including City Winery Boston, Don’t Tell Boston, and Improv Asylum. He also produces Homoerratic, a queer monthly stand-up showcase at Club Cafe, and co-produces Fruits by the Foot at Distraction Brewing and Mendoza Line at the Dugout Cafe.
Dayna Trommer is a Jersey bred, Boston based comedian who’s taken their standup all over the world. From the legendary Comedy Store in London to the dingiest of Allston basements, Trommer’s signature silliness brings laughter wherever they go. Their favorite performances include opening for Aparna Nancherla, competing in the finals of the Boston Comedy Festival, and that time they really messed up their Grandpa’s eulogy.
Danny Riordan is a comedian, writer, and runner whose poetic style and love of daddies shines through in every show. When he’s not being scraped off the sidewalk after a race, he can be found hosting and performing in comedy shows and poetry venues around the greater Boston area.
Caroline Moore is a Boston-based comedian whose standup consists of a dry, yet energetic stage presence and bare-bones but descriptive writing style, which had made them their therapist’s favorite. They were a Second Rounder at the Austin Film Fest for her pilot, Wicked Gay, and have opened for Kate Willett and Amber Autry. Caroline has also performed sketch and improv at iO and Second City, on top of doing standup all over the East Coast and Midwest.
About Mosesian Center for the Arts
The Mosesian Center for the Arts is a performing and visual arts venue on the Charles River in Watertown, Massachusetts. The 30,000 square foot center, located in an historic 1894 manufacturing shop on a former U.S. Army arsenal, houses a 339-seat main stage theater, a flexible black box theater, exhibition galleries, art classrooms, and a rehearsal studio. Mosesian Arts is located six miles from downtown Boston, borders Brighton and the Charles, and is easily accessible from surrounding suburbs and MetroWest. Programming includes professional theater and musical performances, comedy, gallery exhibitions, literary and art discussions, and performing and visual arts classes and workshops for all ages. Watertown Children’s Theatre, Mosesian Arts’ performing arts education program, provides exceptional classes and performances for youth and families. The venue also hosts celebrated and cutting-edge performing arts companies from throughout the Greater Boston region and New England.