Monday, August 5, 2013

Fringe Festival: "They Called Her Captain"

Day: 3

Show: 10

By: Less Traveled Productions

Written by: Dawn Brodey

Location: Playwrights' Center

Summary: A local actress plays her mother, who joined the Army in WWII and became a captain, as well as almost a dozen other characters in telling the story of this remarkable heroine.

Highlights: First of all, this is a true story; who knew that women were in the Army in WWII? Maybe I'm ignorant, but I didn't. Second of all, she's still alive (and was in the audience), and her daughter is the sole performer in this show. That's pretty cool. But besides that, it's a great play, in fact it's the first Fringe show I've seen that's just begging to be expanded into a full-length play. The subject matter is so rich that they could easily fill two hours, and I hope that they continue to work on the piece so that we get to see it again, in a fuller version. Maggie Bearmon Pistner plays her mother, Jeanne Goldoff Bearmon, during her years as a young Jewish woman from Brooklyn who decides to join the Army. After boot camp, she's sent to London to work in the personnel department, and eventually travels all over Europe. We hear about this through her best friend in the States, her friends overseas, her host family in London, and other people she meets along the way. Maggie effortlessly transforms into these diverse characters with the help of the costumes (by E. Amy Hill), adding a jacket or hat. It's an inspiring story told by people directly involved with it. It left me wanting to know more.

NOTE: the show I attended was sold out, so if you want to see it you should make reservations in advance (see the Fringe website).