Palette Magazine

Reviews of From Broadway With Love: A Benefit Concert for Orlando, Insomnia City: New York, Oliver, and Me and Women Who Kill

By Gregg Shapiro

Women Who Kill;
Women Who Kill;

It’s true that for some things the adage less is more serves us well. Coco Chanel famously advised ladies to remove one accessory before leaving their homes. But when it comes to entertainment options, like these selections more is just better.



For a sizable segment of our community, the double disc concert recording From Broadway With Love: A Benefit Concert for Orlando (Broadway Records) is the musical equivalent of a phoenix rising. Recorded live a little over a month after the tragedy at the Pulse Nightclub at Orlando’s Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, the concert featured a stellar cast that included unforgettable performances by Liz Callaway, Wilson Cruz with Voices Latina, Priscilla Lopez and Darren Criss, among many others. Hosted by Broadway maven Seth Rudetsky, the CD closes with “What the World Needs Now Is Love,” performed by the entire cast as the Broadway For Orlando choir. Proceeds from the concert and CD and DVD sales benefit several Orlando charities.



In Bill Hayes’ breathtaking Insomnia City: New York, Oliver, and Me (Bloomsbury, 2017), he interweaves essays with journal entries, photos and poetry. It’s the kind of book that makes you stay up late without regret. After relocating to New York, following the passing of his lover Steven, Hayes becomes romantically involved with the late writer and scientist Oliver Sacks. Hayes’ precise and affectionate observations of his newly adopted city, its denizens, subways, bodegas and landmarks, allow the reader to experience it through fresh eyes. Equally inspirational is the way he introduces Sacks and their relationship. The intimate observations on daily life and their personal exchanges never feel voyeuristic. Insomniac City is about falling in love with a person and a city, and ultimately what it means to be widowed twice.



Women Who Kill (Parts and Labor/The Film Collaborative), writer/director and star Ingrid Jungermann’s feature-length debut, is a delightful black comedy. A funny voiceover ad for a hardware store selling supplies for dead body removal precedes the first scene in which podcast hosts (and exes) Morgan (Jungermann) and Jean (Ann Carr) debate who is the hottest female serial killer on their podcast, “Women Who Kill.” But there’s more to these two former lovers who still live together in Park Slope.

Morgan assists her best friend, sporty dyke Alex (Shannon Patricia O’Neill), with her upcoming nuptials by helping plan a bachelorette party at a strip club. She also volunteers at a nearby food co-op, where she flirts with hot newcomer Simone (Sheila Vand). Meanwhile, Jean dates Jackson (Rodrigo Lopresti), but this doesn’t rule out lingering feelings for Morgan. In fact, as Morgan and Simone’s relationship develops, Jean Googles Simone and makes a shocking discovery. Before you know it, there’s a body count. Jungermann has crafted a smart, laugh-out-loud comedy that derives as much pleasure from poking fun at podcasters, serial killer fetishists and lesbian relationships as it does of precious hipster Brooklyn. Women Who Kill kills with comedy.