WINNER — 2016 and 2017 Downtown Urban Arts Festival “Audience Award”
WINNER — Theatre Row’s United Solo Award “Best One Man Show”
WINNER — Theatre Row’s United Solo Award “Most Popular Show”
WINNER — Theatre Row’s United Solo Award “Best Comedy Writing”
“This captivating monologue, the second with Bronx Queen of a trilogy, is warm, surprising, and always honest. Relating his tale in short, Calvin Trillinesque episodes, Joe Gulla conjures incidents involving ballsy and wise family, friends and acquaintances in denial of who he was or they were, and community often coping with discomfort. Outbursts of laughter for which television sitcoms would kill are bridged by stillness evoked by moving dialogue.
Our hero’s home life provided him with an internal gyroscope which prepared him for love, gay sex, and self acceptance despite expectations and societal reaction. “Suddenly I understood what all the songs were about…Love makes sense. It’s why we’re here… Did I sleep with my college roommate? Yes. Did I deny it? Yes.” Readiness is all.
The piece is cleverly punctuated by actual telephone calls and correspondence with minions at Playboy Magazine (Incident 14821) which curiously stopped arriving when Joe came out at the age of 23. “Coming out is the least faggy thing a gay man can do.”
Writing is pithy and economic. Themes originate in one story and deftly tie up during another later on, a kind of literate cat’s cradle. Well timed punch lines are crackerjack. Almost every narrative choice is relevant. Without a shred of rancor or shtick, Joe Gulla’s Faggy at 50 is as rewarding as it is entertaining. One leaves grinning, ready to buy the show’s creator a drink.”
Review of “Faggy at 50”,
Alix Cohen, Woman Around Town, NYC
Playwright/Actor Joe Gulla’s “GARBO” won the 2017 Downtown Urban Arts Festival “Audience Award” for its recent performance at the Cherry Lane Theatre. Joe’s “The Bronx Queen” won the 2016 Downtown Urban Arts Festival “Audience Award” for his performance at Joe’s Pub. “The Bronx Queen” (Chapter One of his “Bronx Queen Trilogy”) was also awarded the 2012 and 2013 United Solo Award for “Best Comedy Writing” and “Most Popular Show” respectively. Joe’s “Faggy at 50” (Chapter Two) won the 2014 United Solo Award for “Best One Man Show” and “Daddy” (Chapter Three) garnered Joe the 2015 United Solo Award for “Best Comedian”. ”Fall and Rise" written by Joe played the Hollywood Fringe Festival last summer. As an actor, Joe played "Joey" in San Francisco's "Tony & Tina's Wedding" for many years and "Frankie" in Off-Broadway's "My Big Gay Italian Wedding". He also starred on NBC's "LOST", one of television's first adventure reality series.
“GAY.PORN.MAFIA”, a collection of Joe’s nationally produced, award-winning plays, will open this Fall in NYC.