Random Acts of Love a “should see” at SF Fringe Festival

RANDOM ACTS of LOVE: 3 Dark Comedies by Lee Brady. Directed by Scott Boswell. Company Players at the SF Fringe Festival. Exit Theatre on Eddy, EXIT Stage Left, 156 Eddy Street, San Francisco. Tickets online www.sffringe.org.  

SEPT 7th@1:00, 11th@7:00, 14th@7:30, 15th@4:00
Random Acts of Love a “should see” at SF Fringe Festival
Getting a play or performance piece into the 22nd San Francisco Fringe Festival is completely the luck of the draw. The submissions are not scrutinized in any manner and the result is a mélange, thus selection of what to see is daunting. Luckily for this years audiences local auteur (playwright, songwriter, actor and director) Lee Brady has had her submission Random Acts of Love selected.
Brady’s virtues as a playwright and songwriter are  on display and her selection of a director and actors are equally virtuous. These selections are essential since most of the productions use  minimal props on black box bare bone stages. Director Boswell is a film maker by trade and is adept at keeping a tight rein on the actors and the acting.
The total evening is only 50 minutes long but are diverse and tied together by failings of love. The curtain raiser, Sunday Lovers,  is without plot but a series of verbal vignettes with the five male actors sitting on high stools sharing their thoughts with the audience without reference to each other. Brady’s use of dialog allows each to be distinctive even as they inter cut each other. Boswell adroitly  keeps a sharp tempo and at the same time allows the audience to form a complete picture of the tribulations of each character. It is a bittersweet experience and true ensemble acting by Nathan Brown, Paul Gerrior,  George Duryea,  Austin Nation and Steve Johnson.
Next up is Too Old To Ride a musical interlude about a man and his bike sweetly performed by Tom Shaw with book in hand and an off stage piano accompaniment. San Francisco is probably the city most  populated bicycles. There is a “love affair” between the bicyclists and the city. That is not the only tie in with love. The poor performer sings that he has love problems in the mid west and hops on his bike to San Francisco. All does not go well but his love persists.
The final show is the darkest of the evening and uses violence and strong language to make its point. Although BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) and Antioch exist in the Bay Area, Brady’s play is metaphorical with realistic touches to whet the appetite. The train will never reach Antioch , the ancient city on the Mediterranean, that was torn asunder by battles. Brady throws in the “battle” actors have auditioning for parts. But it is the love (again) of the stage that keeps the actor always striving. So it is with Actor (George Duryea) who thinks he has nailed a part. A macho man called Cowboy (Austin Nation) gets on the train with the oversexed Solange (Danielle O’Dea) and conflict arises as it usually does when there is one woman and two men.  The tension builds slowly and erupts in violence. O’Dea has choreographed the violence and one would hope the actors have medical insurance.
Random Acts of Love most probably one of the better to be “selected” for the Fringe. Try not to miss it. 

Kedar K. Adour, MD
Courtesy of  www.theatreworldinternetmagazine.com