NEWS RELEASE — JP Karliak’s DONNA/MADONNA returns for 4 performances only — SEPTEMBER 10—13


SEPTEMBER 10-11-12-13

Photo courtesy Rizzo 39 Productions

Photo courtesy Rizzo 39 Productions

Donna/Madonna, the critically acclaimed, award-winning solo show written and performed by JP Karliak, will return to the Lounge Theatre in Hollywood for a special engagement of four performances only, it was announced today by Rizzo 39 Productions. Directed by Tiger Reel and Matthew Craig, Donna/Madonna is set to run Thursday, September 10 — Sunday, September 13 only.

In this autobiographical one-act, writer/performer JP Karliak wants desperately to be the perfect son for his adopted mother, a doting Catholic housewife from Scranton, PA. But realizing he will never be the ideal local boy, he seeks answers from a very different source: his fashion-writing, married-to-a-British-pop-star birth mother. Donna/Madonna is a tale of motherly love and finding acceptance told through stories, songs, and characters like Darth Vader, Carol Channing, and JP’s unforgettable mothers. Hilarious and poignant, this cross-country journey from Scranton to Los Angeles shows that sometimes you have to meet a “Material Girl” to truly appreciate “America’s Sweetheart.”

Donna/Madonna was the winner of the Best One Man Show Award at the 2010 United Solo Theatre Festival in New York and was recognized for Overall Excellence in Solo Performance at the 2011 New York International Fringe Festival. It won the Best of Fringe Award at the 2011 San Francisco Fringe Festival and StageSceneLA ‘Scenie’ Awards for Outstanding Production, Solo Performance, Best Direction of a Solo Performance, and Best Solo Performance (2010-11).

Of Donna/Madonna, the LA Weekly said, “GO! Karliak’s execution is top-drawer. His delivery is brisk … and … his sense of humor is contemplative but unsentimental. Inhabiting the skin of his drastically different mothers, Karliak’s range is gleefully apparent.” And Back Stage said, “Karliak has a startling skill for changing on a dime from flamboyant, extroverted, and stylized performance artist to a direct and sincere man. This breezily insightful presentation celebrates what his two maternal parents did for him. Critic’s Pick!”

JP Karliak hails from the “Electric City,” Scranton, PA. His voice-over credits include Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H., Skylanders, Lego Marvel Avengers. On-Camera: Real Husbands of Hollywood, Ringer. Los Angeles theatre work includes The Mistakes Madeline Made; The Girl, the Grouch & the Goat; Into the Woods; Inherit the Wind; and Women and Wallace. Karliak is a graduate of the USC School of Theatre, iO West, and Second City Training Center. He has written numerous short films and plays which have been produced in various locales around the country.

Co-Directors Tiger Reel and Matthew Craig boast impressive credits in both theatre and television. Reel is the Founding Artistic Director of the Action! Theatre Company where his directing credits include the West Coast premieres of There Is a Happiness That Morning Is, Slaughterhouse-Five, and Cartoon, as well as his award-winning adaptation of The Merchant of Venice. Craig performed nationwide with The Second City Touring Company, worked as a writer on Saturday Night Live during the 2010-2011 season, and currently writes and produces Wabbit: A Looney Tunes Production for WB animation.

Donna/Madonna will play four performances only: Thursday, September 10 at 8pm; Friday, September 11 at 8pm; Saturday, September 12 at 8pm; and Sunday, September 13 at 3pm. Run time is 70 minutes. General admission seating is $20 and tickets are available online at or by calling (323) 206-6427. The Lounge Theatre is located at 6201 Santa Monica Boulevard (at El Centro), in Hollywood, 90038. For more info, visit

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Photo Credit: JP Karliak. Photo by Jason B. Chen.