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Fringe of Marin Fall 2012: Program Two Review

November 15, 2012

The current crop of new one-act plays at the Fringe of Marin reflects a familiar disparity between the two programs:  one program is stronger overall, with the best individual plays and performances to be found in the other.  This is the most compelling argument for planning to see both programs in every season–to take in all of the considerable talent and surprise the Fringe has to offer.

In the case of this year’s lineups, Program Two has in my view the better run of plays.  It was light on drama and overladen with humor, but the laughs were genuine and plentiful.  The first three plays all take a broad and farcial look at senior romance.  “Get a Date Show” is a spoof on TV’s the Dating Game, with Ross Travis spot-on as the smarmy game show host.  Carol Sheldon’s “On with the Wind” mines a retirement-home viewing of Margaret Mitchell’s classic, with the irrepressible Flora Lynn Issacson a standout in her rented ante-bellum hoop-skirt.  “Arrangements” pairs Charles Grant and Terri Barker again as a funeral services director signing a “pre-need” cremation contract with an outspoken client for an as-yet unspecified date. The first of five plays following the intermission continued the pattern of broad humor with Bill Chessman’s Beasley family confronting a hat-stealing chimpanzee and a surprising turnabout “One Time at the Zoo.”

The evening took a more somber turn when an alcoholic husband discovers his self-absorbed wife has been “Supplementing” her romantic life.  Then the tone turns literary as George Bernard Shaw (Kevin Copps) meets God (Jerrund Bojeste) in the witty and well-acted “Shaw”  (written and directed by first-timer Ollie Mae Welch).  There is “Trouble at Table 23,” Charlie Lerrigo’s absurd take on a hapless diner (well-played by Manik Bahl) who came for a glass of milk and finds himself ever more deeply mired in a burgeoning murder case by the talented Jean Davis in four successive roles.  In the final play a milquetoast conspires with his therapist –“She Has a Plan”—to become more of a man for his wife, until things go awry.

Eight plays might seem like a lot for one evening, but in this lineup the time just flew by.  Fringe of Marin Fall 2012 Programs One and Two through November 18.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. November 15, 2012 2:38 pm

    I’m concern about the quality of these actors. For instance the hat-stealing chimpanzee, is
    it a graduate of Julliard’s? We can’t never b 2 careful…………….

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