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     Aloha, my name is Brian Shaughnessy and here you can learn of my incredible LIFE, read excerpts from
 or purchase my book, THE SQUEAKY WHEEL - AND UNAUTHORIZED AUTOBIOGRAPHY, purchase SUPER COOL ITEMS to help my son, Amadeus, and I or COME SEE OUR LATEST PLAY:


and help us to GET OFF WELFARE! 

with Love and Aloha, 



Fringe & Purge Review of The Squeaky Wheel SQUEAKS!

Hip Shot: ‘The Squeaky Wheel SQUEAKS!’
Review by Sophia Bushong · July 17, 2010
Fringe & Purge,

     They say: “What if someone walked into surgery and awoke paralyzed-never having been warned of this risk? What if someone not only survived but also endured the horrors of disability with hope and humor? What if that someone traveled, worked, entertained, returned to school, earned a masters degree, a law degree and got married? What if someone wrote a funny and revealing book about it? Someone did.”

     Sophia’s take: If I’d known then what I know now… So goes the old saying, and maybe it’s overused. Yet the idea is one worth bearing in mind when structuring any type of narrative, no matter how humorous and admirable the story may be. The life story of Brian Shaughnessy (actor, writer, attorney, quadriplegic), as he tells it, is full of humor and faith, in spite of the fact that the fates have dealt him a marathon test of physical and emotional endurance. After becoming paralyzed at age 24 during a surgery gone wrong and losing his fiancee as a result, Shaughnessy did what I think many of us would – spiral into a deep depression and contemplate suicide. Instead of swallowing a bottle of Valium, he goes back to school and becomes an actor, playwright, world traveler, lawyer, husband and father. “I’m so blessed I should be twins,” he begins, and you believe him.

     Shaughnessy is at the peak of his powers when speaking of how his family dealt with his paralysis, especially his father. The strong and reliable father, who cries out his grief and helplessness in a parking lot, alone, is a tragedy many families have seen play out in the face of any number of tests

He certainly has the ears and the respect of his audience.

See it if: Personal narratives about the triumph of the human spirit will intrigue you.

Skip it if: If your dumb..

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Show Biz Radio reviews The Squeaky Wheel SQUEAKS!

By Laura & Mike Clark · Jul 13, 2010

     Brian Shaughnessy tells his story in frank language, with a fine command of the stage. After a few minutes you forget he is speaking from a wheelchair, except when he uses it to emphasize a point. Anyone who has dealt with a life-changing medical event will recognize their story in Brian’s story. He calls his story one of “cynical hope.” We’ve come a long way since his medical mutilation in the early 1980s, yet this is a story that still must be told.

     Occasionally Shaughnessy’s acerbic speaking style will make you uncomfortable. And if you stay past the first conclusion, you may not like the final conclusion.

     Another excellent one man show that is not the usual type of show people think of at a Fringe Festival.

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DC Theatre Scene Review of The Squeaky Wheel SQUEAKS!

The Squeaky Wheel Squeaks!
Review by David J. Hoffman, July 11, 2010
Published at

     Which would YOU choose? A lifelong ride in an electric wheelchair, paralyzed from the neck down? Or a one-way ticket to oblivion, – call that, to round off the metaphor, a seat in the electric chair where YOU can pull the switch?

     The Squeaky Wheel Squeaks! is a solo performance about one man’s real-life answer to this haunting and existential question, Prince Hamlet’s same agonizing choice of “to be or not to be, that is the question.”

     Brian Shaugnessy is a Hawaii-based author and playwright and boy does his squeaky wheelchair squeak and also spark – striking a thousand points of hopeful light both on stage, from the printed page, and in person afterwards over an impromptu late lunch as well.

     Minnesota-born and 52 years old this year, he is also an actor and director, attorney and entrepreneur, widower and father, and quite possibly the funniest man on wheels.

     His one-man show begins in stark light on the Goethe Institute Main Stage as he wheels on stage, turns and faces the audience and begins quietly: “”I am Brian Shaughnessy and I am the Squeaky Wheel.”

     He pauses, for full dramatic effect, and then states plainly: “I am so blessed I should be twins. I can’t believe I’m saying this myself, but there it is!” Later, he adds, “if you want a happy ending, leave now.”

     He calls his tale – of how he awoke in sheer terror from spinal surgery in 1983, suddenly without any warning beforehand a permanent quadriplegic – one of “cynical hope” and “reluctant optimism.” Purely judged as a theatrical performance, Brian’s song to us is indeed one of hope although it is optimism darkened with many days of despair followed by salvation from his death-seeking brought about by a triumph of will and grace and then lifted high on the wings of love with his marriage to Amy and their adoption of now 8-year-old Amadeus and finally caught again in a downdraft of depression when Amy’s death from cancer came in 2007.

     His book, upon which the play is based, was written in a sunnier time, in 2005. Brian tells his story still with self-deprecating humor, now updated to the present, including a brief appearance by his adopted son – bright-eyed half Samoan-native Hawaiian Amadeus Yun Chi Shaugnessy – who suddenly bounds on stage, with “Squeaky Wheel” pencils for sale (another sly, self-deprecating touch) to proclaim with a hug “I love you, Papa.” The boy’s mom, a Hong-Kong-born Chinese oncology nurse who married Brian in Hawaii in 1999, taught him to use the British-styled “papa” in stead of “daddy.”

     "After her death three years ago, Brian confesses “Amadeus and I have been crawling out of that hole ever since” affirming that “I’m made of stuff that kryptonite can’t touch” and “there’s a yin to that yang where you might rock but I roll.”

     His friend Mark Medoff, Oscar nominee and Tony award winning-author of the play Children of a Lesser God puts it this way: “Fate has dealt (Brian) what might seem like an impossible life. His journey is harrowing, horrifying, and finally inspirational.”

      By all means, see this show for its simple and un adorned first-person story-telling, a soliloquy from the soul. It is tearful and funny, minus any sentimental back-patting. I consider it a “must see”.

     It continues at the Goethe Institute 6 PM Thursday July 15 and 5 PM Saturday July 17. Then he takes the show, with Amadeus and his traveling aide Sean – native Hawaiian chief cook (literally) and bottle-washer also, plus second-banana Marty, from Los Angeles – on the road to Fringe festivals in late July and August in Kansas City MO, his hometown of Minneapolis, and Boulder CO. Copies of his book are also available for $18.88 online.

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