The Internet Theater Magazine of Reviews, Features, Annotated Listings


SEARCH CurtainUp



Etcetera and
Short Term Listings



LA/San Diego






Free Updates
NYC Weather
A CurtainUp Review

Love & Taxes
By Jenny Sandman

Josh Kornbluth
Josh Kornbluth
Josh Kornbluth (Red Diaper Baby, Haiku Tunnel, The Mathematics of Change) has turned the autobiographical one-man show into an art form. His shows, most of which began their runs in San Francisco, have toured all over the US, and one--Haiku Tunnel--was turned into an independent film. Kornbluth's last appearance in the Big Apple was 1999's Ben Franklin: Unplugged, which ran to rave reviews at P.S.122.

It looks like his latest piece, Love& Taxes--a collaboration with director David Dower--will be just as successful.

Despite his California residence, Kornbluth is the prototypical Jewish New Yorker, and he's right at home at the Bank Street Theatre. Love & Taxes details his financial and romantic foibles.

Raised by Communist parents, he has a somewhat lax sense of civic duty, and so he feels no guilt over not filing his taxes for seven years. But the IRS, like death, catches up with us all. When Kornbluth's career as a monologuist begins to take off, he accepts a lucrative writing job in Hollywood. This nets him little more than a huge tax bill, however -- with his accountant's bill not getting any smaller, either. The problem balloons to an $80,000.00 problem and Kornbluth realizes this is not just affecting his checkbook: He can't marry his pregnant girlfriend, because she's not eager to assume his tax burden. He can't make a movie with his brother because investors are scared off by his debt. Result: He has to face reality and make a lot of tough decisions all at once.

Interestingly, the moral of the story is not "Pay your taxes" or" Open envelopes from your accountant." What it's about is accepting change and compromise as an inevitable part of life. It's a morality tale that's a perfect fit for Kornbluth's self-deprecating, confessional sense of humor. As a seasoned solo perfomer he's able to draw in the audience and make them feel right at home. He's also an energetic guy so that the piece feels full of shifts and movement, even though he spends much of it behind a desk.

The small stage is the right size for such an intimate story, but one man and one desk can only take up so much room. Flying Moose Pictures has provided some innovative video design to help fill out the space and director Dower keeps Kornbluth on the move

Everyone has a story about the tax man. It takes Josh Kornbluth to turn his into a money-making endeavor and, more importantly, into a funny and touching experience

Written and performed by Josh Kornbluth
Directed by David Dower
Production Design by Chris Jones
Video Design by Flying Moose Pictures
Music composed by Marco d'Ambrosio
Running time: 2 hours with one intermission
Bank Street Theatre, 155 Bank Street, 212-868-4444
Wed through Sat @ 8pm; Sun @ 2pm and 7pm-- $25 Wednesdays and $35 all other performances
12/04/03 to 1/11/04; opening 12/08/03
Reviewed by Jenny Sandman based on December 8th performance

Mendes at the Donmar
Our Review

At This Theater Cover
At This Theater

Leonard Maltin's 2003 Movie and Video Guide
Leonard Maltin's 2003 Movie and Video Guide

Ridiculous! The Theatrical Life and Times of Charles Ludlam
Ridiculous!The Theatrical Life & Times of Charles Ludlam

Somewhere For Me, a Biography of Richard Rodgers
Somewhere For Me, a Biography of Richard Rodgers

The New York Times Book of Broadway: On the Aisle for the Unforgettable Plays of the Last Century
The New York Times Book of Broadway: On the Aisle for the Unforgettable Plays of the Last Century

metaphors dictionary cover
6, 500 Comparative Phrases including 800 Shakespearean Metaphors by CurtainUp's editor.
Click image to buy.
Go here for details and larger image.

The Broadway Theatre Archive


Information from this site may not be reproduced in print or online without specific permission from