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Fringe of Marin Fall 2012, Program One: Off to a good start!

November 6, 2012

The Fringe of Marin opened its 30th season November 2, 2012 with a near full house set to enjoy the seven new plays presented in Program One. So much happens on such a small stage!

The night got off to a fast start with Shirley King’s “Hollywood Confidential” a spy-caper spoof, a witty SNL-flavored take on “007” in Hollywood.  Gigi Benson perfectly cast as the lady in red.  George Dykstra wrote and delivered the evening’s most powerful performance in “Mysterious Ways”, a well-paced and very moving soliloquy from a grieving widower.

“Minerva and Melrose” gave us a change of pace from the somber to the silly, as the clueless Minerva spins off malapropisms gives us plenty to laugh at as she tries on one arts career after another with dizzying speed.  Written and directed by Martin A. David, this play also featured the most inventive set of the evening with a glass door on a pivot between a bathroom/prison and a living room.

The highlight of the lineup came just before the intermission. Carol Eggers directs veteran Fringe actor Rick Roitinger as a passive-aggressive husband scheming to get his wife (Emily Soliel)  involved in a wife-swapping party. Don Samson’s script has the flavor of a real marital argument, coming around time after time to the same arguments in the same words with no apparent resolution in sight. “Marion” being the wiser of the two doesn’t want to play, but fed up with “Tom’s” badgering finally she consents to play “The Game,” but only on her terms.

After the intermission, we are treated to another (the best so far) of Annette Lust’s kitchen fairy-tales.  In this delightful show, Cynthia Sims (Salt), Terri Barker (Pepper), and French chef Charles Grant ham it up in equal measure to tell us exactly “How Salt and Pepper Got Put into Shakers.”  The evening turns serious again with Michael Ferguson’s look at the “Sharp Edges” that doom the budding romance between a man and a woman who has been scarred by assault. In another change of pace, the final play “Sunday Sundays” (written and directed by Peter Hsieh) brought the most laughs in a four-way take on a simple absurdist sketch, repeatedly played word-for-word, each time funnier than the last.

As promised, the Fringe gives you something you won’t see anywhere else, you will be glad you came.  Don’t miss Program Two (eight different new plays) starting November 3.

Fringe Programs One and Two through November 18.  For times and dates see schedule:  http://www.fringeofmarin.com/performanceschedule.html

At Meadowlands Hall, Domincan University, 50 Acacia Ave. @ Grand Ave., San Rafael CA

Reservations and Information 415-673-3131  http://www.fringeofmarin.com

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