The play is set in an adult bookshop and movie arcade in Times Square in the summer of 1979. The story is about the relationship between Earl, the middle-aged manager of the shop who feels a weary disappointment with how his life has evolved, and his young friend, Mikie, a naive, inexperienced nineteen-year-old. Despite his seamy surroundings, Earl has a strong sense of basic morality, and he wants to help Mikie achieve a better life than his own. Therein lies much of the irony and comedy of ADULT FICTION.
Introduction to NEW PLAYWRIGHTS: THE BEST PLAYS OF 2000
"Having acted in Brian Mori's ADULT FICTION during readings and backers' auditions, I testify firsthand that each and every reading generated unabashed enthusiasm from theatrically astute audiences. On the page, this play may seem like a thinly disguised father and son story set against a sleazy erotic background. Read it again. One sees the loneliness of lost dreams and dreams that are about to be lost. ADULT FICTION will bring a laugh and a tear to the eyes of any audience. Brian Mori, like the other writers in this collection, is a lighthouse in a foggy theatrical world." - Dan Lauria
TRICITY NEWS (Nick Montesano): “Sometimes the most apt of pupils and the most philosophical of teachers miss emphasizing the single most important aspect of a lesson. The result leaves both with more to learn. The New Jersey Repertory Theatre in Long Branch is currently presenting the New Jersey premiere of Brian Mori’s ADULT FICTION. Don’t miss it. Mori’s tender tale is set in the most unlikely, yet somehow appropriate of places, an adult bookstore in Times Square in 1979. What unravels is the relationship between Earl, the proprietor of the shop, and Mikie, the son of one of Earl’s former love interests. In the course of one evening, the two men discuss life, women, predestination, money, coffee, kiddy porn and life. And when Earl sets Mikie up on a date, Earl instructs his young protégé how to bring candy, take her to a movie, compliment her, and not expect sex right away. We are sure that Mikie knows exactly what to do. The results, however, are nothing short of hysterical and disastrous with bitingly difficult realizations for both men. This is an outstanding evening of theatre. The play itself is a masterwork of character study. Mori has written a story with a poetic vernacular that rings so true it almost sounds improvised.... The language of Mori’s play serves to create characters that are tender and rich, and he weaves a tale that is filled with subtlety, sadness and an underling hope.”
THE TWO RIVER TIMES (Philip Dorian): "ADULT FICTION is a startling good play. Playwright Brian Mori has a sure ear for common dialogue, and, ably guided by director Stewart Fisher, Jerry Marino and Aaron Vieira act the heck out of it.... The laughs don’t come from quips; rather they come from recognition of the awkwardness we’ve all experienced in similar situations.... Mr. Mori is a talent to watch.... ADULT FICTION is not an optimistic play; its theme is failed relationships.... [B]e drawn into the expressive writing, directing and acting of ADULT FICTION."
THE TWO RIVER TIMES (NEW JERSEY THEATRE: THE BEST OF 2000) (Philip Dorian): “'It was a ‘startling good play.’” Brian Mori’s expressive writing, Stewart Fisher’s crisp direction, and sensitive performances by Jerry Marino and Aaron Vieira made ADULT FICTION the best of New Jersey Repertory Company’s 2000 offerings. Producers Gabe and SuzAnne Barabas search high and low for new plays by promising playwrights. The results span the same spectrum; ADULT FICTION was a high.”
Production: New Jersey Repertory Company - Long Branch, NJ
Production: GeVa Theatre - Rochester, NY
Showcase: Van Dam Theatre - New York, NY
Optioned for off-Broadway by Evans Haile
Optioned for off-Broadway by Raft Theatre
Optioned for off-Broadway by Force Ten Productions
Optioned for off-Broadway by the First East Coast Theatre and Publishing Company
Winner of the Davie Prize for Playwrighting
Multiple readings across the U.S.
Published by Smith & Kraus in an anthology entitled NEW PLAYWRIGHTS: THE BEST PLAYS OF 2000
Adapted for the screen