MUTUAL PHIL at New Jersey Rep reviews are in:

Charles and Michelle are hosting a cozy dinner party for another married couple, Lee and Esther. The group appears to have a lot in common including their political ideas and children of the same age, but the lifestyles of the two pairs are quite different…After a few drinks, each member of the friendly foursome becomes less inhibited, and less polite. The gathering takes on a new tone as honesty prevails, resentments surface, and unexpected propositions are made. With humor and drama, Mutual Philanthropy conveys thought-provoking messages about class, background, and wealth…” – Broadway World

“…The playwright lends a new perspective to the whole notion of “philanthropy,” and deftly delineates the difference between the concepts of “hunger” and “appetite.” She’s also savvy enough to steer the proceedings away from any obvious comparisons to the four-hander “God of Carnage,” on her way to conjuring a parlor game that’s light on rigorous rules, heavy with psychological baggage and fueled to an alarming extent by pricey potables…” – USA TODAY – Asbury Park Press

“…I’m always amazed when I go into a new play knowing nothing at all about the characters and come out with insights into their behaviors, desires, fears, motivations, the whole package. In the case of Karen Rizzo’s “Mutual Philanthropy,” it took a mere ninety minutes. As well-acted as it is written…And for all its serious content, “Mutual Philanthropy” is fun.” – SCENE ON STAGE 


MUTUAL PHILANTHROPY (East Coast premiere at New Jersey Repertory Company)               October 19 – November 19, 2017 Previews Thursday, Oct 19 and Friday, Oct 20

Rizzo and Ensemble Studio Theatre-Los Angeles playwrights featured in Bitter Lemons

Women’s Stories at EST

Rizzo’s one-act DARKEST PLACE in 2017 Ensemble Studio Theatre-Los Angeles Annual One-Act Festival

MUTUAL PHILANTHROPY (at Ensemble Studio Theatre-Los Angeles)

“Class warfare manifests itself in a food fight with local flavor as two couples negotiate opposing financial, social and amorous agendas over dinner in the witty “Mutual Philanthropy” at Ensemble Studio Theatre Los Angeles. Though stressful for the characters, their confrontation plays out much to the benefit of L.A. playwright Karen Rizzo’s sharply observed new comedy of bad manners…” – Los Angeles Times

“Rizzo has captured the sickness of this über-financialized moment in history with the Brechtian net of her sexually-infused dialogue. It’s amazing how much sociological as well as psychological intelligence she conveys…” – People’s World

“It’s a shame that people don’t attend more plays than they do movies or sporting events because Karen Rizzo’s new play Mutual Philanthropy is a work that everyone should experience…” – RYAN M. LUÉVANO

“TOP TEN” – Stage Raw – “Smartly written, undeniably provocative”

“…a multi-layered masterpiece” – Discover Hollywood Magazine

“Make yourself happy…see this terrific play while you can” – Theatre Notes

“Helluva production of a consequential play” – EDGE Media Network

“90 minutes of intriguing entertainment” – LA Splash

Q & A with Karen Rizzo about Mutual Philanthropy in The Los Angeles Post

KCRW: Five Things to Do This Week!


Publishers Weekly: Why Book Tours Make for Terrible Vacations, by Karen Rizzo

FAMOUS BABY is a Los Angeles Times Summer Books pick

…and a Los Angeles Magazine Best of L.A. pick

W MAGAZINE likes famous baby.

The Zoe Report  picks Famous Baby as a summer Best Beach Read

“This deft first novel [is] a satirical exploration of the modern American family. . . . Rizzo’s wicked takedown of ‘mom bloggers’ concludes on an unexpectedly but convincingly sweet note, making this a very pleasing debut.” —Publishers Weekly

Famous Baby wisely (and funnily) explores motherhood, identity, and the hazards of parental over-sharing in the social media age.” —HelloGiggles

“Believable and well-conceived. . . . Rizzo’s use of mommy blogging as a source of conflict wrests a wry smile of recognition out of the reader.” —PopMatters

“A refreshingly new twist on one of the oldest stories in the book: the mother-daughter love hate relationship. . . . Funny, touching . . . Famous Baby would be a great choice for a book club.” —Bookconscious

“A recommended read for all daughters out there.” —Chickens in the Road

“A humorous and poignant mother-daughter-grandmother story FAMOUS BABY is also filled with a delightful cast of supporting characters who help Abbie, Ruth, and Esther come to terms with their current conundrum and surprisingly tragic past.” —RightsDesk

“In her funny and touching new novel, Karen Rizzo deftly unpacks the fraught world of mothers and daughters, skewers the vast narcissism of the blogosphere, and reveals the emotional wages of unbridled ambition. An enjoyable and surprising ride to some places I didn’t expect to go.” —SETH GREENLAND, author of The Angry Buddhist

“Karen Rizzo’s writing is so good I want to read it out loud and pretend it’s me who is so cunning, sublime, and full of light. Famous Baby is a sturdy tale of exceeding relevance that dwells squarely in that nearly impossible landscape of everything so darkly funny and so achingly true.” —MARC PARENT, author of Turning Stones: My Days and Nights with Children at Risk and the Runner’s World “Newbie Chronicles” column

Famous Baby is inventive, hysterical, and touching. Karen Rizzo wraps a timeless drama about the love between mothers and daughters in a fresh, snappy package for the social media age.” —CHRISTINA SCHWARZ, author of The Edge of the Earth and Drowning Ruth, an Oprah’s Book Club Selection

“Rizzo did a great job creating characters who are not what you would expect them to be. . . . This novel will make you think about possible over-sharing digitally, but more than that it will make you think about your relationships and both death and life. Though not a ‘light’ story, with serious issues, complex characters, and emotion, Rizzo’s humor is both needed and enjoyed.” —Book Sp(l)ot Reviews

Watch the Famous Baby Book Trailer, a Shelf-Awareness trailer of the day