Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Minnesota Fringe Festival 2018: "Summers in Prague"

Day: 10

Show: 35

Category: Comedy / Drama

By: Sidecar Theatre

Directed by: Kimberly Miller

Location: Rarig Center Arena

Summary: An American woman living in Berlin travels to Prague once a year to hire a prostitute.

Highlights: I attended the final sold-out performance of this top-selling show in the Arena, and I can see why it was such a hit. Sweet, funny, awkward, sexy, and a premise we don't usually see - a woman hiring a male prostitute instead of the other way around. But really it's a character study of these two people who find themselves together under unusual circumstances, and the unique relationship they form over five summers in Prague. Mara is nervous and awkward at their first meeting, and can't stop apologizing. But we see her grow more comfortable and more confident over time. Vaclav is smooth and suave from the start, but you get the sense he's playing a role. Eventually he begins to reveal more of his true self as their relationship becomes deeper. Samantha V. Papke and Avi Aharoni have great chemistry and both give vulnerable and assured performances (and kudos to Avi for mastering the Czech accent) as they navigate the awkwardness of the situation and all the stages of the relationship (and here's hoping they had an Intimacy Choreographer). Beautifully written by Milwaukee-based playwright Deanna Strasse and well directed by Kimberly Miller, this play is an unexpected delight.

Read all of my Fringe mini-reviews here.