Laureen Vonnegut



When your famous twin sister’s suicide letter instructs you to put together a makeshift wake in a Palm Springs cocktail lounge, what can you do but grant her final wish?

LA writer Lana arrives in Palm Springs to host an evening with competing ex-lovers, surprising new flames, and enough arousing confessions to raise the dead.

DEATH BEFORE COCKTAILS IS a modern black comedy about love, sex, and the secret concoction at the end of the tunnel.


NOHO Arts District – “Death Before Cocktails” is like staying up all night with your very favorite people where nothing is off limits, there is absolutely nothing to lose and forgiveness is served with the morning coffee. Ms Vonnegut brings wit and a little bit of glamor to her characters who are all still just struggling to survive, like the rest of us. It’s a really lovely, funny, fascinating play and I highly recommend it. It’s a fairly short run, so don’t dawdle, get your tickets soon and join them all at the bar…”

TOLUCAN TIMES – “This is a highly entertaining, laugh out loud production from start to finish! Technically TOP NOTCH too, as always, at this theatre. An unusual storyline, loaded with infectious insanity…do catch this one!”

The World Through Night Tinted Glasses – “I really need to applaud the cast and co-directors Vonnegut and Alex Rotaru for accomplishing the essence of a fine performance. Not only did every single performer commit to their choices 110%, no matter how bizarre (Mario at one point is definitely tripping on cocaine), but they spoke these lines with truth.”

BETTER LEMONS – “Utterly delightful! This little play has big surprises. The cast is sizzling, the script provocative and stageset neon-hip. Lana and her stable of brawn will have you guffawing in your seat as death, sex and cocktails push out the margins of what’s ribald.”

STAGE RAW – “Co-directors Vonnegut and Alex Rotaru keep the action spinning merrily along, and the actors all reveal formidable comic chops.”

Leigh McCloskey – “Death Before Cocktails is delightful theatre and a brilliantly written dark comedy by Laureen Vonnegut. This entertaining show directed with a sense of wit and style by Alex Rotaru and the playwright has more than just punchy dialog, good actors and ensemble, it has heart and searches for meaning through the trials and tribulations of the well-delineated characters and their situation.”

THE PORCINI TEST ran for six weeks in Los Angeles, named a “top ten” show in LA by Stage Raw, and a “must see” by the Examiner.  The Porcini Test is an original play, written in the vein of David Rabe’s, Hurly Burly and Tracy Letts’, August Osage County.

The Porcini Test is a female centric play with three lead actresses. These are not mother, girlfriend or wife roles, they are intelligent, messed-up women who know how to rock and roll…“the play is a very entertaining slice-of-life examination, addressing universal truths between men and women.”  Broadway World.

I will try to come to the play Sunday, but I forgot that I have a dinner with friends that night. I’ll see if i can  move the dinner, but at this point, i think it’s a little late. I’ll let you know.

Laureen Vonnegut


What makes this play so wonderful is that all three women really care about each other. Yes they’re imperfect but it’s their flaws that’s makes them so relatable…Don’t miss it.”  EXAMINER

Top Ten Recommended plays in LA.  “The Porcini Test, comes to life at Santa Monica’s Promenade Playhouse….works beautifully…witty, smart, and pointedly upper-class.”  STAGE RAW

Vonnegut manages to keep the laughs coming so the black comedy never falters in being thoroughly entertaining as these women discover real truths all of us understand in the battle between the sexes.”   BROADWAY WORLD

THE PORCINI TEST is as unusual as the title mushroom…it offers some unique notions that haven’t  been seen before… “   ACCESSIBLY LIVE

“Kat (Nancy Young), teeters on the fine line between a sexually liberated woman and outright promiscuity – all the while delivering a flawless performance.”   WILLCALL

Production History:

Playsmiths, NY, actor’s reading, 2012

Staged reading, ticketed audience, Merida MX, 2013

Six week run, Los Angeles, 2015