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Hot Cripple

By Ashley L. Mathus
Insult to Injury: Hogan Gorman laments the travesty of U.S. healthcare in Hot Cripple.

Written by Hogan Gorman

Directed by Isaac Klein

New York International Fringe Festival

Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural & Educational Center

107 Suffolk Street



Hogan Gorman, a model turned waitress was aspiring to be a successful actress. Her dreams crashed, literally, when a car smashed into her on the streets of Manhattan. Following what should have been a deadly accident, Hogan survives and we find ourselves getting to know the . A one-woman show, Hogan addresses the audience directly, like catching up with an old friend; she guides us through her horrendous experience of being a young woman in New York without health insurance. Gasp.


Hogan dryly demands attention, contrasting her once hopeless interactions with the health care workers who waved off her torn ligaments, vision and memory loss, and a herniated lumbar spine. She explains the facts with strong impulse, attempting to resist physical weakness, and bravely describes how she lost herself throughout her years of being a nameless file. Her predicament raises notable problems within our nation’s welfare, insurance and healthcare systems.


Gorman imitates many of the strangers she met along her agonizing journey, changing her accent and posture every time someone new enters her world. Throughout her 90-minute script, Gorman is a convincing Midwestern mother with a nasal twang, and then shifts to “Doctor McBrain,” left side nerd, right side on ecstasy. Hogan slumps her shoulders and sheds a few tears when left with a cold nod and more paperwork. The drama goes as far as suicide 15 minutes before Gorman finishes her rant. Happily, her tragedy didn’t legitimize, realizing Mark Twain and laughter could solve almost every predicament.


Receiving appraising laughs at appropriate times, successfully combines witty pop culture with the not so trendy tunes of America’s lower class. What’s hot is Hogan’s spunk and determination to have a voice, rather than another number sulking on a waiting room chair. A fashionista with a brace energetically tries to close the barrier between Juicy Couture and food stamps. We see welfare and outrageous doctor bills from the eyes of a victim, which is a nice wake-up call. Only in America.