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Picnics at the Asylum



Picnics at the Asylum, an autobiographical one-woman play by Angela Neff, follows the life of her father, Bob—a loud chain-smoking man full of charisma who struggled with manic depression and fell from family man to psychiatric patient to street preacher. As he goes from Alcoholics Anonymous to devout Catholicism with his family in tow, his love of music is a constant, while other aspects of his personality are much more unstable. Angela Neff does a great job painting each scene in vivid detail as we travel through her childhood and adolescence, examining her relationship with her father. Tumultuous backyard barbecues, long drives in the family woodie, calamitous surfing trips: you truly get a picture of her California. However, as she cycles through a large cast of characters, including seven siblings—it feels like the only one you get to know in any real capacity is her dad, with the rest falling by the wayside. Watching her jump around the stage, flitting through scenes and years and people for an hour, gets a bit exhausting, and even though some moments are truly imbued with power, others don’t quite hit home. Reviewed by Charly Blais.


Gig City


Total Score
3/ 5

Reader Rating
14 total ratings



Genre: ,
Dates / Times:
  • 4:00 pm - 2017/08/20
  • 9:00 pm - 2017/08/21
  • 2:15 pm - 2017/08/22
  • 10:00 pm - 2017/08/23
  • 12:00 pm - 2017/08/24
  • 11:45 pm - 2017/08/25

Posted 2017/08/18 by



2 Reviews


    “Picnics At The Asylum” is an incredibly moving and comedic examination of the relationship between love and madness.

    “This is a hell of a story. The vulnerability and humanity she shows as an artist and as a human being is a gift.” — 4 STARS, CBC 2017

    ….creates an eccentric character who gets conjured …. there’s big charisma in that.

    …amusing and scary … an arresting novel-sized story…

    “What I like about the show is, in a way, what it doesn’t do….. Picnics at the Asylum doesn’t explain itself. In a Fringe world loaded with confessionals that are insistent about what conclusions we should draw, this is a show that, impressively, trusts us with a coming-of-age story from a fellow observer. And lets us think what we will about loss.

    —Liz Nichols, 12thNight.ca

    “Moth-to-flame charm”… “Zany embrace of eccentricity”… “An entire landscape of characters.” -San Francisco Bay Guardian

    -Editors Pick, **** PHX Fringe

    Hollywood Fringe Festival Hit: http://www.hollywoodfringe.org/projects/135?review_id=178&tab=reviews

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