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Carolyn Castiglia

What do murder, Danny Boy, trauma, woodchucks, and weed all have in common? They are key ingredients of CHUCK, Carolyn Castiglia’s preposterous and profound solo show. CHUCK begins with a bang as Castiglia informs the audience that “this is a show about murder” and then promptly jumps into a 10-second dance break to funky music. The dancing is Castiglia’s tactic to keep things lighthearted. It is masterfully employed as she navigates a hefty amount of darkness.

The age-old saying of “different strokes for different folks” rings true in the comedy world, and often what disappoints one audience is outrageously amusing for another. CHUCK wisely avoids disappointment by holding a variety of comedic styles. Beginning with a reveal of a family murder/suicide (affectionately referred to by Castiglia as a ‘murdy-sui’), CHUCK cruises down the road of anecdotal comedy, occasionally making topical pit stops touching on statistics of violence in America. The theatre falls into a meaningful rhythm- laugh at ice skating and double homicide, silence at gun statistics, laugh at arthritic fingering and hallucinations, silence at sexual trauma statistics. With the aforementioned dance breaks sprinkled in the mix, CHUCK truly holds something for everyone.

Castiglia’s audacious and authentic personality takes CHUCK from a smart, enjoyable show to an unforgettable one. Immediately, we feel alongside Castiglia as if she were a lifelong best friend. She masterfully transitions from comedy to sincerity and fantasy to fact; she is wise and confident, bringing humor to her tragedy and levity to her earnestness. She even manages to hurdle one of the biggest comedic obstacles—incorporating a secret talent into her act without it feeling the slightest bit gimmick-y.

About 10 minutes into the show, Castiglia joked that she couldn’t believe they let her do CHUCK on 42nd Street. It’s the one joke of the show that really didn’t land. CHUCK clearly deserves its spot Off-Broadway and will hopefully continue appearing in New York City and beyond.


Written and Performed by Carolyn Castiglia

March 22 and April 26, 2024

The 16th United Solo Festival

March 4 – April 28, 2024

Theatre Row

410 West 42nd (btw 9th and 10th Avenue)


Jaycie Buben is a fast-paced brain in an unhurried body. They are the wearer of many hats- Writer, Actor, Singer, Creator, beanie, baseball cap, etc. After completing their BFA in Acting at Shenandoah Conservatory, Jaycie moved to New York to explore and expand their creative passions. Some of their favorite credits include assistant directing Macbeth (The Tank), playing the titular role in Ajax (Hypnos Theatre and Performance), and writing poetry/essays/genre-defying mind blips (Jaycie’s bedroom). Jaycie’s creative work is inspired and driven by exploring the nuanced relationship between opposing forces.



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