Saturday, August 12, 2017

Fringe Festival 2017: "The Zoo Story (New Version)"

Day: 9

Show: 34

Category: Drama

By: Mortimer Productions

Written by: Edward Albee

Location: HUGE Theater

Summary: In 1960s NYC, a "transient who lives in the rooming houses on the Upper West Side" approaches a middle class family man reading on a bench in Central Park.

Highlights: Wikipedia tells me that Edward Albee's 1958 one-act play (his first) "explores themes of isolation, loneliness, miscommunication as anathematization, social disparity and dehumanization in a commercial world." Does it ever! What starts out as an amusing conversation between the frantic Jerry and the reserved Peter turns into something a bit more intense as Jerry describes an existential encounter with a dog that gets at the very nature of life, death, and love. The wordy script is thought-provoking, and Sam Ahren gives a remarkable performance as Jerry, physically transforming into this crazy (or perfectly sane and brilliant) man with almost scary reality. Brad Erickson is also fantastic in a more subtle performance as Peter, who may not be as together as he seems. Directed by Pat O'Brien (who stars in that other tragic two-men-sitting-on-a-park-bench show, Whisper Into My Good Ear), The Zoo Story is one well worth listening, and one that will leave you pondering the weighty themes for some time to come.

Read all of my Fringe mini-reviews here.

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