Paul Morgan Stetler (Houston Wickettt), Circle X Theatre Company, L.A., Allison Narver, Director, 1998. Photo: Copyright 1998, Erin Fiedler, All Rights Reserved

Los Angeles Times--Philip Brandes
Singing cowboys, inflatable cactuses and echoes of "Hamlet"--the unlikely counterpoint of Wild West parody and Elizabethan revenge tragedy--propels Circle X Theatre Company's premiere of "Texarkana Waltz" to dazzling lunacy at the Los Angeles Playhouse. One of those rare works that manages to tickle the funny bone while plucking the heartstrings, Louis Broome's well-crafted, semi-autobiographical play employs modern and classical sensibilities to examine the troubled Wicketts, an Oklahoma clan coping with its violent past. Complete review

New York Times--Bruce Webber
It's kind of a neat trick that Mr. Broome manages to close all the circuits of this plot. And the script is a wonder of ambition. A character is as likely to render a lofty thought in iambic pentameter as indulge in rollicking Western jargon. Sometimes a speech will do both at once: "Been thinkin', Eddie cut my mother's throat," says Houston, who in his dreams seeks to avenge his mother's murder. 'World went about its business, paid no mind;/Killin Eddiell be more o't he same, I reckon./Nature won't move to mourn his petty death."

Production Inquiries
Please direct questions regarding theatrical rights and availability to:
Louis Broome

Purchase Texarkana Waltz
Manifesto Series V.2: Vivid Impact, Steven Dietz, editor.
The latest Rain City Project anthology, including
Texarkana Waltz and other plays by NW playwrights.

View photos of the Circle X production Contact Erin Fiedler
View photos of the OU production

Production history:
Circle X Theater Company, Los Angeles, CA, October, 1998 (Waiver) Photographs, Erin Fiedler
Empty Space Theatre Company, Seattle, WA, February, 2000 (Equity)
Blue Light Theater Company, New York, NY, December, 2000 (Reading)
Baic Grammar Productions, Mandy Greenfield, Producer, in association with Rachel Neuburger, 2002
(Off Off Broadway) Kirk Theatre, 42nd Street
University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK, April, 2005 (Student) Photographs
Highline Community College, 2011

The Press

LA Weekly--Tom Provenzano
Louis Broome's exhilarating script meets its match in directory Allison Narver's highly imaginative yet starkly efficient staging… A uniformly superb ensemble makes Broome's quick turns between arid life and surreal flight look easy.

Seattle Weekly--John Longenbaugh
Broome's deft writing walks a careful line between cowboy camp and real-world tragedy…this is a script and a production that draws considerable power from an unlikely source and, like the waltz which gives the show its title, is a lyrical dance that celebrates life and love with a sad, nostalgic air.

The Stranger (Seattle)--Steve Wiecking
"Who would believe so wild a yarn as mine is spun from truth?" says a grieving, vengeful Houston (Paul Morgan Stetler) in Louis Broome's Texarkana Waltz. It's a tribute to both the playwright and the fine production…that you not only believe Broome's tall tale, you respond to its zingy, vital, plaintive truths. Everything has worked to turn Broome's broad, wistful saga into something warm and rewarding. With high comic and tragic style, the show croons a whiskey-soaked tale of the stories that both conceal us from and reveal us to each other and ourselves.

Ticket Buyer (University of Oklahoma)--Thomas Long, Ph.D
Texarkana Waltz is a triumph as entertainment. The audience is asked to recognize the lighter side of the characters, and then to submit suddenly, and without the slightest hint of the tragedy to come, to visceral shock and surprise. These moments are exceedingly rare in drama, requiring enormous leaps of faith in the unfolding play and performance. In Texarkana Waltz this is so well executed, we consent to its frankness and integrity.

The Daily (Seattle)--Louis Porter
The amazing thing about the Empty Space's new production, Texarkana Waltz, is that the play…introduces us to characters we care about in spite of their cynicism, mental breakdowns and murderous impulses.
That the source of the play's material was so close to Broome's life is a reason it would be more difficult for him to write well about it, not less, and makes his achievement even more impressive.

Eastside Journal (Seattle)--Mary Martin
Louis Broome's play, "Texarkana Waltz," belongs on a best list. But the best what? It is both new and traditional, holy and irreverent, slick and funky, kindergarten basic and Shakespeare complex. Its soliloquies with rhyming couplets echo Elizabethan revenge tragedies. Its characters come out of old Western movies and modern TV soaps.

Frontiers Magazine (Los Angeles)
In its premiere production, Louis Broome's "Texarkana Waltz," the latest offering from the critically lauded Circle X Theatre Company, is--much to it's credit--impossible to categorize. At times you will not be sure whether to laugh or cry, wallow in despair or howl in hilarity. But what you won't be is bored. The cumulative result is an invigorating and highly inventive piece of mind-stretching theatre…

Park La Brea News (Los Angeles)--Madeleine Shaner
Tragic, doomed, intermittently gloomy, Broome's play is nevertheless irresistibly funny, irrepressibly loony in several of its manifestations, brilliantly conceived, and simply but daringly staged by Allison Narver.  

Jet City Maven (Seattle)
One day 23 years ago, Eddie Wickett killed his pretty young wife, Emma, while their two children looked on. Today, the son lies speechless in an Oklahoma mental hospital, deep in dreams of the imaginary Wild West. The daughter lives in a distant city, hiding her past from the woman she loves. The story of a family torn apart could be material for a psychological drama, an Elizabethan revenge tragedy, or even a Country-Western song - which are just a few of the forms Louis Broome weaves together effortlessly in his exuberant, lyrical, touching, astonishingly original script for "Texarkana Waltz."

Back Stage West (Los Angeles)--Rob Kendt
I can't recall a better, more fully realized world premiere production... Circle X--a group of savvy, embarrassingly talented artists, most with heavy regional credits and theatre degrees-raises the bar for local stage productions to a level of both sturdy professionalism and imaginative stagecraft that seems almost dangerously, headily high. Under Alison Narver's crisp direction, the play's humor and pathos play out as beautifully as a Western swing record, with the Houston fantasy sequences reaching a comic high in a second-act fireside reverie and Eddie's bittersweet Death Row musings, though tending toward the purple, taking on a strange dignity. By the end, an unconventional new family rides into the sunset, away from the graves where they've decided to leave the family mystery unsolved. circle X likewise sends us riding into the night after a rich meal of theatre that doesn't surrender all its secrets either.