Category Archive for: ‘David Hirzel’

Fringe of Marin: Season 31, Program Two–Another Winning Lineup

Program Two gets off with a bang, a great piece of broad ensemble comedy,”Here’s Your Life (A Tribute to Sid Caesar)”. Great lines (Stacy Lapin and Pamela Rand), great timing, great physical comedy, just what you’d expect from the title, all delivered under the firm and driving hand of director Jerry Ambinder. The mood changes abruptly with Deanna Anderson’s touching and thoughtful reading of Longfellow’s “The Wreck” (of the Hesperus), interwoven with adult memories of a turbulent childhood. “The Freeons” (written and directed by Rachel Cohen) take us to an unusual dining experience near an elegant restaurant, and helps to challenge a young lady’s and our own preconceptions about the meaning and value of food. Right before the intermission Steve North takes us on another wild ride through his psyche and his life experience. His piece is full of laughs and insights where “Something’s Not Wright” but neither he nor we quite know what or why as he veers between seemingly unscripted moments. All a part of the stagecraft of this consummate professional.

Terri Barker in her directorial debut gives us the maturing friendship between a young student aspiring to art, an older man whose muse has left him staring out at the horizon In Peter Hseih’s “Lauren and the Ocean.” In an art of a different kind, Michael Belitsos returns to the stage with a spellbinding mix—“Admissions in the Dark”—of illusionism, stage hypnosis, and a paean to monster and “Ghost” films from Hollywood’s glory days in the genre. The evening closes with a Gina Pandiani’s wry update of Chekhov’s “A Marriage Proposal (2013)” with the battle this time between the Tea Party conservative Ivan and his intended, the Knee-Jerk liberal Natalia, with a surprise ending that Chekhov would never considered.

All in all, a great 31st season, strong line-ups in all departments, for both programs. Special thanks to Pamela Rand and Gina Pandiani for their heroic work in carrying on the noble tradition of the Fringe of Marin started 31 seasons ago by Annette Lust. Also to light + sound wizard Jeremy Block, and the behind the scenes stagehands who help to make it all happen. The spirit continues! Long live the Fringe!

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