One wasn’t the loneliest number, as the Fringe featured a full complement of solo shows. A selection:
The Hermitage of an Exiled Chain Smoker
Following a logorrheic attempt to ask out a co-worker and news of NYC’s public smoking ban, Caleb barricades himself in his apartment and, through a haze of Parliaments, details the events that brought him to that pass. He also reveals one hell of an oedipal complex. Actually it’s more of an Orestes complex—he wants Mom dead. A husky figure in nerd-chic glasses and sweater vest, Michael Cyril Creighton, who co-wrote the engagingly verbose script, gives voice to Caleb’s prickly personality while “flitting around like a giant, awkward bespectacled moth.”
In Your Shoes
Attired in a white slip, a few choice wigs, and, as the title suggests, numerous changes of shoes, Nadia Bowers embodies a young woman who becomes obsessed with a deceased folk singer and threatens to emulate her suicide. The script provides Bowers with a variety of Eastern Seaboard types to inhabit, and as she relaxes into the piece, she manages to portray them with some verve and variety. The story rarely compels, but Bowers certainly digs her heels into it.
Magician Maritess Zurbano may have some facility with sleight of hand and prestidigitation, but her comedic skills are wholly illusory. (Sample line: “I couldn’t be a mime because I talk too much.”) Her attempt to wring laughs from her life story proved so painful, I made myself disappear.
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