This year's FringeNYC marks the 20th anniversary of this annual summer festival. Which to me means twenty years ago I was performing as a young actor in the very first New York International Fringe Festival. Whoa! I have many wonderful memories from that time...
This year I was happy and grateful to attend as the guest of my friend Kristin Wetherington, who’s appearing in a cute little number (and I don’t just mean a provocative outfit, which indeed she donned numerous times), entitled Anonymous Anonymous at The Kraine Theater on East 4th Street.
This new play, written by Jason Sofge, and directed by himself and Michael Melkovic, is billed as ‘the time-bending, hilarious story of a lovelorn playwright, as he fondly recalls the greatest and funniest moments from his past, masterfully weaving them together into a new play, telling a timeless story of lost love.’ It’s actually a fun premise and a fun story; unfortunately I thought the piece missed some real moments of drama and pathos in an over-extended search for humor. Overall the acting was strong and consistent - it was a joy to watch the company having fun with their roles. But when an actor’s natural instinct to lead the audience down one path (only to find we’re being led purposefully over a cliff) isn’t supported by a director, then some unfulfilling moments can ensue. Additionally, a scene between Kristin and fellow actor Dustin Charles, which was beautiful and genuinely moving in its simplicity, was spoiled by intrusive underscoring - please stop that, directors!
I mustn’t forget that the Fringe is a playground for new work, a test site for developing projects, and a place for generally having a bloody good time for fifteen bucks! You might want to go and see one of the final two performances of Anonymous Anonymous - Sunday 8/21 @ 7pm and Thursday 8/25 @ 9:15pm, or one of the other 200 wide and varied shows which form part of the festival this year. There's something for everyone, so here's to an exciting experience.