The Mushroom Cure
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What do you do when you have a severe case of obsessive-compulsive disorder, and antidepressants and psychotherapy aren't working? According to a scientific study uncovered by writer-performer Adam Strauss, hallucinogenic mushrooms may be the answer: His true-life tour de force The Mushroom Cure is a funny, frenzied trip (often of the psychedelic kind) through his OCD and the methods he uses to try to cure himself. Strauss kicks off his tale by reading from the transcript of the 911 call he made after overdosing on mushrooms he had ordered over the Internet, and a comedic yarn ensues, but his illness is not just a laughing matter. His constant, manic attempts to achieve perfection—the perfect girlfriend, the perfect shirt for his stand-up show, the better side of the street to walk on—can be maddening and even heart-wrenching. An experienced stand-up comic, Strauss has an engaging, ironic delivery that keeps you riveted throughout the show’s nearly two-hour running time; and director Jonathan Libman stays basic, keeping Strauss at a small desk for the duration of the show and guiding the performance with a subtle hand. The Mushroom Cure might benefit from a stronger structure and a 20-minute trim—but hey, no one’s perfect.—Robin Rothstein
Click here for full TONY coverage of the 2014 New York International Fringe Festival.