humor abuse   

Critics have said...

"'This is a show about clowning, and I’m the straight man,’ says actor Lorenzo Pisoni early on in Humor Abuse, currently sending Mark Taper Forum audiences skyward with the velocity of a helium balloon. He pauses, then adds, “Seriously.” Pisoni is only being honest, albeit self-effacing, and thus begins a rapturous 90 minutes that sail past like cascading juggling pins. By keeping its knee-slapping, gasp-inducing and heart-tugging elements in quietly accelerating balance, this Obie-winning solo piece about growing up with the Pickle Family Circus lands an uproarious, astounding and affecting tour de force.”— David C. Nichols, Los Angeles Times 

"Pisoni keeps opening an old circus trunk to unpack not only 90 minutes of nonstop hilarity but also a good deal of beloved Bay Area theater history wrapped in a probing, affecting look at a child's relationship with a father who was his mentor, clown partner and boss." - Robert Hurwit, San Francisco Chronicle.

“Lorenzo Pisoni’s performance is breathtaking. With director Erica Schmidt, Pisoni has created an endearing stage memoir with a novel twist. ”
- Charles Isherwood, The New York Times

“Funny, poignant, and inspired. Lorenzo Pisoni is utterly delightful. Pisoni and director Erica Schmidt pack a thousand laughs and a dozen tugs at the heartstrings into a very swift 75 minutes.”
- Jeremy Gerard, Bloomberg News

“Entertaining and surprisingly moving. A remarkable memoir. Humor Abuse transcends the traditional show-biz saga to become a more universal tale. It becomes a heartfelt story of a son looking for what makes his father tick.”
- Michael Kuchwara, Associated Press

“Surprising, funny, and entirely theatrical. Other solo performers take note: you can describe your troubled childhood, but can you do it with balloons?”
- Sam Thielman,Variety

“3 ½ STARS (OUT OF 4). A charming and moving tribute. Lorenzo Pisoni is a performer of charisma and charm with the split-second timing and aplomb of Buster Keaton.
- Frank Scheck, New York Post


“Great fun! Lorenzo Pisoni is a one-man whirlwind. The stunts will amaze you and kids will enjoy it.”
- Dave Richardson, WOR


“Humor Abuse is an utterly charming, absorbing, and hilarious 70-minute piece co-conceived by the marvelously inventive director, Erica Schmidt. Lorenzo Pisoni expertly captures his unconventional upbringing with heartfelt recollections and an appropriate wryness. He is truly talented and very funny.”
- Brian Scott Lipton, Theatermania.com

HUMOR ABUSE premiered at MANHATTAN THEATRE CLUB in February 2009. Ran at PHILADELPHIA THEATRE COMPANY in September 2009, SEATTLE REPERTORY THEATRE in Seattle, WA in September of 2011, at THE AMERICAN CONSERVATORY THEATER in San Francisco in January of 2012 and at The Mark Taper Forum in Sept of 2013.