Midway through a life of living in the shadows of others, city bookstore manager Carl Fraser has found solace and an understanding of his place in the universe with the great also-rans of literature. At peace in the lonesome cloister of a used bookstore, Carl has somehow found dignity, comfort and a kind of sad romance in the condition to which he believes he is doomed. Enter Christine, perhaps the first woman in his life who threatens his theory with a challenge to defy the evidence and dare to be loved.
"Those frustrated by that middle child feeling might find respite in a new tragic hero: Carl the Second. Poor guy can't seem to place first—in any category—Until!" —Village Voice. "[A] witty new comedy…CARL is an extended riff on the little-explored arche-type of the second banana, the failure, the sidekick…When Palmieri lets his imagination cut loose, the results can be evocative…There are also several zingy one liners…At the very least, the meek will inherit the mirth." —Time Out NY. "[Palmieri] has a clever way with characterization and dialogue." —NY Theatre Experience. "An often hilarious but also literate and gently profound portrait…filled with laughs throughout, its sense of black humor softening the persistent sense of doom and self-destructiveness to the otherwise lovable lead character…CARL touches a melancholy spot in the soul and softens the ache there just a little." —offoffoff.com. "Charming, intriguing, engaging and funny…Palmieri's play bubbles with humor, with funny situations and cheerfully comic characters…CARL is a treat, bright, witty, insightful and intellectually challenging. Palmieri owes much to Woody Allen…" —The Press-Telegram.