The Column Online



By Adam Cayton-Holland

Amphibian Stage Productions

Adam Cayton-Holland

Reviewed Performance: 11/14/2019

Reviewed by WR Maxwell, Associate Critic for John Garcia's THE COLUMN

The play, Happy Place, by Adam Cayton-Holland (ACH), is more like a stand-up comedy routine than a traditional stage play. It is performed by Mr. Cayton-Holland, who is also the playwright, and is based on the book Tragedy Plus Time: A Tragi-Comic Memoir by (you guessed it) Adam Cayton-Holland. Thus, as the performer, he automatically has his script changes instantly approved.

Full disclosure ; Happy Place, is about a serious, not so happy, subject ; suicide. More specifically, it is about recovering from the after effects of a loved-one’s suicide.

I suppose, this show is more than a little adrift from ACH’s pre-2013 material, as he was (and is again) a stand-up comic and comedic writer. You have to play the cards you are dealt. ACH is not a grief counselor or practicing psychologist. However he has met several of both after his little sister’s (Lydia’s) fatal end. Having been in therapy myself for other issues, I can certainly identify with ACH’s firing of mental health professionals for reasons as trite as bad office décor, or a remote office location. Oh, and for poor results, of course. Yup – been there, done that and have the old prescription bottles to prove it. As ACH says, we are all connected by mental illness by one-degree of separation. I agree.

The show I saw was opened by LaRon Wright who did 10-minutes of standard stand-up fare, but he will be augmented by another comedian, Hannah Vaughan, on the 15th and 16th. However, the main attraction is Adam Cayton-Holland and his recollections of his family dynamics including vacations, figure skating, depression, college, his father’s legal practice, post-traumatic stress syndrome, road trips and obsessive compulsive disorder. I will never look upon a dropped kernel of popcorn the same. While there are no funny suicide jokes in ACH’s performance, that is only because there no funny suicide jokes - anywhere, at all, ever.

Adam, if you are reading this, remember you’ve come a long way in 6 years. And my god you’ll have some great material for future shows after you find another partner in comedy, which was Lidia’s role in your life up to 2013.

Amphibian Stage is at 120 S. Main Street in Fort Worth. It is very close to I-30, so if you are starting your journey up Main Street from around Magnolia, you’ll see a lot of new street scape along the way. If you get lost in route, you can call the box office at 817-923-3012 and they will send a search party. The building was a night club back in the 90s and was transformed into a 120 seat theater in 2007, give or take. While there is no on-site cafe, they do sell locally baked jumbo cookies. They also sell several varieties of beer and wine rarely found at your local corner store, but I, personally, did not experiment with the various wine and cookie pairings.

Happy Place is on a short fuse, short tether or short leash; that is to say, it is only playing here for 3 days (11-14 thru 11-16) and by the time you are reading this review, 1 or maybe 2, of those 3 days are gone. So run, don’t walk, to the Amphibian Stage box office - or let your fingers do the running and score your $20 tickets on-line. (

Happy Place
Amphibian Stage
120 S. Main Street
Fort Worth, Texas
Now playing November 14 to November 16 8pm
General Admission 11-14 $15
General Admission 11-15 & 11-16 $20