Wednesday, September 5, 2007

More Fringe! THE COMMISSION and HAIL SATAN!




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UPDATE: My secret plot to spread misinformation over the web has been thwarted once again! Zack points out in the comments to this that Susan Ferrara was the actress in THE COMMISSION with the lovely nude scene with Patrick Melville. Deep chagrin! I have corrected it below. One of these days I will open the program I am given at the start of a play before I write about it-- I promise!
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I just got back from spending a week in the woods with Flux Theatre Ensemble at their annual retreat in Nazareth, PA. Will blog about that next, but first I wanted to jot down some thoughts on the last two NYC Fringe shows I saw last weekend. I didn't get to LIGHTS RISE ON GRACE by Chad Beckim because I found out on the day I was scheduled to go that the show was extended (as was Gus Schulenburg's RIDING THE BULL-- the Village Voice Audience Favorite Award-winning play!). So, I booked a ticket for the extension and will see Chad's play (which has gotten extremely excellent reviews) on Sunday.
First off, Steven Fetcher's play THE COMMISSION. This one was directed by Sarah Gurfield, who directed my play COCKFIGHTERS in 2003 when Oberon produced it in New York. And one of my actors from the COCKFIGHTERS production (Patrick Melville, who played CD) was in this. I thought everyone did an exceptionally lovely job- acting and directing wise. Patrick in particular had a glorious scene with Susan Ferrara-- a sort of vicious, nude, adultry blackmail scene that was the best moment of the play. But, I found it overall hard to follow what was going on. The play is written in backward moving flashbacks (like Harold Pinter's play BETRAYAL) and that didn't help me place the action in any sort of context. It seemed as if the situation (the play is about the mass murders and rapes in the former Yugoslavia and how a small group of people weather the war) was incredibly rich with potential, but the actual scenes all felt long and dull. Not sure how you can make mass murder and institutionalized rape dull, especially with great actors and good directing. But somehow it didn't come together for me. But individual performances (especially that Patrick and Ferrera scene) were fantastic in this.
And, my last official Fringe Fest show was Mac Rogers' HAIL SATAN. This is a ROSEMARY'S BABYmeets THE OMEN meest THE OFFICE wild comedy. I LOVED this!! This was absolutely hysterical. I am so disappointed that it didn't get picked up for an extension because I wanted to make people go and see it. The basic premise is a new guy is hired for a four person marketing department at a large corporation and discovers (in a gut-splittingly funny scene) that all of his co-workers (who seem so nice and normal) are active satanists bent on enabling the coming of Satan to rule his kingdom on earth. New guy gets involved with a girl in the office, and suddenly finds himself attending 'devotional' meetings, and then there comes a day when they need a 'human altar' and would he mind helping a bit? I thought it was completely brilliant, charming, and adorable. The cast was fantastic!

Will blog later about the Flux Theatre Ensemble Retreat!

1 comment:

Zack said...

Thank you for your kind words about "The Commission", but the woman in the nude scene with Patrick was Susan Ferrara.