“Gleefully wacky and irreverent.”

–The New York Times

“Line by line, Mr. Rudnick may be the funniest writer for the stage in the United States today.”

–The New York Times

“Deeply funny musings and adventures elevate Paul Rudnick to the highest level of American comedy writing.”

–Steve Martin

“One of the funniest quip-meisters on the planet.”

–The New York Times

“Paul Rudnick is a champion of truth (and love and great wicked humor) whom we ignore at our peril.”

–David Sedaris

“Quips fall with the regularity of the autumn leaves.”

–Associated Press

October 30, 2014

Playing on Air

Urban Arts students, Michael Uri and Paul Rudnick at Playing on Air, 10.27

This past Monday I headed out to Brooklyn, for a live taping of the terrific NPR program Playing On Air. This show records one-act plays by all sorts of writers, using New York’s finest actors. My play, called My Husband, was performed by the sensational Harriet Harris and Michael Urie, and the other plays in the evening were by Leslie Avayzian and Lanford Wilson, and featured Lisa Emery, Frank Wood, Jessica Hecht and Dominic Fumosa.

In the photo above, Michael and I were lucky enough to meet a group of students who were part of the wonderfully appreciative audience. The casts had only a few hours of rehearsal time, but they delivered like mad. I’ve worked with Harriet many times, and I remain in awe of her talent and fearlessness; she combines the most extraordinary and disciplined comic technique with the most wildly hilarious freedom. I first met Harriet when she participated in the earliest readings of Jeffrey. Harriet was the only woman in the cast, playing multiple characters, and I kept adding roles for her, to make sure she’d agree to be in the original production at the WPA Theater. The play’s director, Chris Ashley, and I would watch Harriet with blissful appreciation, because she was so inventive and so consistently uproarious. On Monday, she played Gabrielle Finklestein, an NYU professor, on the day when gay marriage became legal in New York. Michael played Gabrielle’s son, who’s still single, and Gabrielle does her best to find him a husband.

I’ve been a huge fan of Michael Urie’s since I first saw him on Ugly Betty, and onstage in plays like The Tempermentals. He was astounding in Jonathan Tolin’s brilliant Buyer&Cellar, where he played an out-of-work actor who’s hired as a salesclerk in Barbra Streisand’s basement. Michael and Harriet were a dream team in My Husband, and the show will be broadcast all over the country during the next few weeks.