Best Medicine Rep to go live in June with dark vax comedy ‘Variant Strains’

"It's hilariously sinister," says Playwright John Morogiello, "kind of like Mamet meets Shaw meets me."

Best Medicine Rep, Gaithersburg’s professional theater company, will return to live production with John Morogiello’s dark comedy Variant Strains, running June 4 to 27, 2021, in the company’s space at the Lakeforest Mall. The production will be directed by Stan Levin, and COVID safety protocols will be in place.

“We are tremendously excited about returning to live performances,” said author and artistic director John Morogiello. “The minute I learned that Montgomery County was allowing theaters to reopen, I cranked out a script that was designed to be both entertaining and performable under current safety guidelines.”

Erin (Rebecca A. Herron) tries to verify a bad rumor as Mitch (John Morogiello) eavesdrops in ‘Variant Strains.’ Photo courtesy of Best Medicine Rep.

Variant Strains is the story of a fictional vaccine company in Maryland that is willing to consider nefarious means to prevent their rival from getting its product to market before them. “It’s hilariously sinister,” continued Morogiello, “kind of like Mamet meets Shaw meets me.”

John Morogiello’s plays have been produced off-Broadway, in Los Angeles, and all over the world. Best Medicine Rep has mounted productions of his Engaging ShawPlay DateRoaringStories I May Not TellComedy of VeniceThe Crater Sisters’ Christmas Special (co-written with Lori Boyd), and The Consul, The Tramp, and America’s Sweetheart.

Returning to the director’s chair is Best Med regular Stan Levin. Stan has directed BMR’s productions of PhilosophusEngaging ShawComedy of VeniceStories I May Not Tell, and The Consul, The Tramp, and America’s Sweetheart. He also directed readings of The Texas Homecoming Revolution of 1995 and two Ken Levine plays: On the Farce Day of Christmas and America’s Sexiest Couple. Together, Levin and Morogiello collaborate on BMR’s web series I Know Jack.

Mitch (John Morogiello) and Erin (Rebecca A. Herron) toast to the company’s good news in ‘Variant Strains.’ Photo courtesy of Best Medicine Rep.

“I’m encouraged by what we’re doing, going live again,” added Levin. “Seating is extremely limited. The entire creative team is fully vaccinated. And we are asking the audience to adhere fully to the safety protocols recommended by the county, state, and federal governments. All of that and a funny play? You can’t go wrong!”

Co-starring with Morogiello in this two-hander is BMR favorite and Helen Hayes nominee Rebecca A. Herron. Herron has graced the BMR stage in productions of Derek Jeter Makes the PlayEngaging ShawPhilosophusThe Crater Sisters’ Christmas SpecialI Know Jack, and as the offstage arms in our revival of Play Date.

Variant Strains runs at Lakeforest Mall, 701 Russell Avenue, Gaithersburg, MD, from June 4 to 27, 2021, with performances every Friday and Saturday at 7 pm, and every Saturday and Sunday at 2:30 pm. Parking is at the Green Flower entrance to the mall.

Tickets are available exclusively online at and must be purchased in advance ($25 general admission, $23 seniors, $20 groups of 10+). In order to maintain social distancing, seating is limited and audience members must wear a mask at all times. No food concessions may be sold or consumed in the theater or lobby, and no tickets will be sold at the door.

About Best Medicine Rep

Now in its fourth season, Best Medicine Rep is a nonprofit theater company that specializes in new comedies. It is dedicated to the artistic, educational, and cultural development of the Gaithersburg and Montgomery Village area. For more information about the company, please visit

SEE ALSO: A top-notch storyteller tells ‘Stories I May Not Tell’ at Best Medicine Rep review by Bob Ashby


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