Gary Sherbell is the author of two published novels, four stage plays and four screenplays.
His first novel, Talking to Richard, was published in 2003 by Neshui Publishing of St. Louis. His stage plays include an adaptation of Talking to Richard.
With Two Suspects, he went in the other direction: the play came first, and was produced in 2016 at the prestigious Cherry Lane Theatre in NYC's West Village. The novel was later adapted from it. Two Suspects, the novel, with the title Two Suspects: A Legal Mystery, was published by Wordwooze Publishing of Encino California, in October, 2018. It has been published as a paperback, E-Book and audiobook.
To write Two Suspects, he drew upon his legal experience: graduation from NYU Law School, a long stint as a public defender with the Legal Aid Society in NYC, and over 20 years as an Administrative Law Judge in NYC tribunals. He lives in the West Village, in NYC.
TWO SUSPECTS, stage play and novel;
Novel published by Wordwooze Publishing of Encino, CA, October, 2018
Stage play previously performed at The Cherry Lane Theatre, NYC, in November, 2016, and at The Bitter End, in NYC, March, 2019. To view a video of the production, contact Gary Sherbell: firstname.lastname@example.org
TALKING TO RICHARD, novel and stage play:
Novel published by Neshui Publishing of St. Louis, MO, in 2003
Portions of play previously performed in 2005 at: The Comic Strip, Nuyorican Cafe and Bowery Poetry Club, in NYC
WITNESS ISLAND, stage play and musical
GOLDENLOCKS, stage play
THE BIG HIT, screenplay
MY KILLER, screenplay
There’s been a burglary in a luxury high-rise co-op in Manhattan: an elderly woman was assaulted in her apartment, with jewelry taken. The prime suspect is Johnny Jones, who was in the building around the same time, helping his lawyer, public defender Alan Goldman, move temporarily into the apartment of his friend, corporate lawyer Tim Wilson. But another suspect soon emerges: a look-alike intruder who got into the building through a basement door with a broken lock. The victim is suing the co-op for millions, represented by her niece, litigator Cathy Collins – Tim’s ex-girlfriend. She claims the intruder is guilty, but Tim – the president of the co-op’s board – claims Johnny is guilty; if so, the co-op isn’t liable at all, since he got into the building lawfully. See how lawyers Tim and Cathy behave oh so badly, using sex to influence Alan and A.D.A. Gina Gomez in their handling of Johnny’s case, to suit their lawsuit ends… It won’t be until the very end of this dark-comedy mystery that the question will finally be answered: which of the two suspects is guilty?
“A deftly crafted and riveting mystery ...unique, entertaining and highly recommended..." -- Midwest Book Review, Small Press Bookwatch, February, 2019
"Even as it engages the reader, it delivers story and character freight. You manage to entertain and at the same time posit some profound insights into the nature of the human condition"
--Richard Walter, Former Screenwriting Chairman, Associate and Interim Dean, UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television.
"The plot kept my interest and kept me turning pages and there are some nice turns and pivots as well as the romantic entanglements..... You created an engaging and labyrinthine mystery."
--Michael Krasny, host of KQED Forum, NPR Radio, San Francisco
“I certainly enjoyed the world you’re writing about, and the twists and turns of the case. Very fun reveal [spoiler redact] at the end. The people of your play are by turns smart, shady, wily, selfish, cruel, funny… flawed… in other words, human! Really liked that about the piece!”
-- Nick Piper, Director of New Play Development, Barter Theatre
“Lucy McMichael [associate artistic director of Primary Stages] was kind enough to forward your play, Two Suspects, on to us. I enjoyed reading the script. It is quite clever with well crafted characters and dialogue.”
-- Andrew Leynse, Artistic Director, Primary Stages
“Gary Sherbell had a reading of his play Two Suspects at the Cherry Lane Theatre in the fall of 2016. His play was received incredibly well and it prompted me to read it. I enjoyed it and I believe Gary’s voice as a playwright is one that ought to be heard.”
--Janio Marrero, Co-Producing Artistic Director, Cherry Lane Theatre
"It's everything you want in a play -- great dialogue, intrigue, sex appeal, funny, and a conclusion that you get the satisfaction of coming all together. It's the kind of writing that you think about for days after."
-- Courtney Elizabeth, Screenwriter
“A cynically insightful behind-the-scenes exploration of how justice can (and probably often does) turn on who’s having sex with whom.”
--Robert Rosen, author of Nowhere Man: The Final Days of John Lennon
“It's wickedly funny, insightful and sexy, and, as both a New York City lawyer and an actor, I was able to appreciate it on a number of levels. I mentioned to a friend that "Two Suspects" is "the thinking man's play", although it's certainly accessible to all. I hope that it gets produced, and my only regret is that I'm too old to play any of the male parts!”
-- David C. Denowitz, corporate attorney and actor
“I spent a wonderful evening seeing the staged reading of Two Suspects, a sophisticated, provocative, and thoroughly engaging new play by Judge Gary Sherbell. One of the many strengths of this timely piece is that it entertains while subtly challenging our assumptions/prejudices about who is the most likely culprit and how crime and betrayal are sometimes not black and white but blurry and multilayered. In this fast-paced well written play our assumptions are turned on their head again and again. Just when you are certain you solved this whodunit doubts seep in and you are back to square one. This play addresses the larger question of the sometimes hazy boundaries between truth and lies/fact and fiction. The audience comes to grasp how fraught and murky real life crime investigation, defense and prosecution can be. Things are often not what they seem as the playwright is a master in creating illusions and transforming facts. The icing on this play is the erotic tension and shifting romantic alliances between the lawyers involved. This play is sure to be a smashing success as it exposes the hidden and complicated story behind a criminal defense.
--Dr. Joyce Ilson, a physician, specializing in neurology
There were two staged readings of the play, TWO SUSPECTS, at the Cherry Lane Theatre in NYC in November, 2016.
A video of one of the performances is available. To request a link to the production, please contact Gary Sherbell at email@example.com.
There was another production of the play at the world-famous THE BITTER END, on March 24, 2019. In addition to the play itself, the performance included cover music which reflected the play's themes. The music was performed before the play and during two intermissions. Performing the music was Evan Kremin, on guitar. Vocals were also provided by actor Juiliana Valente, who sang songs consistent with her character in the play, Gina Gomez.
The above photos, by West View News photographer Joel Gordon were taken at this event.
For a review of this production, in the April issue of WestView News, titled "Two Suspects , An Unexpected Joy,", please use the following link: