FringeNYC

August 8 – 24, 2003

Matthew Baron

and

The Thursday Problem

present

FAINT

Written & Directed by ERIC SANDERS

 

La Tea Theater

107 Suffolk St.

Tickets: (212) 279-4488 or (888) FringeNYC or www.FringeNYC.org

www.faintplay.com

 

August 9 @ Noon, August 10 @10:15 PM

August 11 @ 9:45 PM, August 14 @ 5:15 PM

August 16 @ Noon, August 23 @ 7:30 PM

 

Lighting JOLYNN M. LONG

Sets DANA GENTILE/ABBI JUTKOWITZ

Costumes CANDICE THOMPSON

Stage Manager ALLISON SMITH

Press Associates JEFFREY SCHULMAN/ALANA O’BRIEN

Cast

Jeromy – Michael Alperin

Bill – Ron Palais

Crocus – Devon Berkshire

Grandma – Elie Finkelstein

Grandpa – Jess Osuna

Seth – Joseph Small

Margaret – Sevrin Anne Mason

Jake – Gary Zhuravenko

Flying Jade – Robert Salas

Mr. Skin – Robert Funaro

Mr. Skin’s Father – Ernest Mingione

My first experience with this year’s Fringe Festival, FAINT, is the kind of play that I have always felt the Fringe was meant to showcase. In theory, with rather quirky, spare production values, and a script that needs tweaking, but shows a lot of promise, FAINT finds a comfy home, flaws and all, as a Festival contender.

However on the Fringe FAINT is however, it must be said that in the larger arena of cohesive theater, it comes across as a series of scenes, social attitudes, ideas, and talented actors desperately in search of a unifying thread. In other words, the plot comes undone, and the disparate parts never mesh.

Set in a world where there is always a bill or a lawyer named Bill, and they enter the scene ready to take your life as payment for services rendered, FAINT appears to attempt to tell the tale of Jeromy, the circus he owns, and the omnipresence of smallpox, death and betrayal. The circus (an indentured servant in the form of a Native American) apparently makes Jeromy a lot of money. His grandmother is senile, his girlfriend is diagnosed with cancer after being injected by a door-to-door smallpox vaccine salesman, and he is often called to the undertaker’s office to make purchases for loved ones long before they are gone. Got it? Me too!

For the oddities, the play has the benefit of solid acting talent that, with minor exceptions, handles the material well. Jess Osuna tackles the piece with the ease of the stage veteran he is. Devon Berkshire, in an abbreviated appearance, does her best to make her time matter. Robert Funaro, while lacking the projected voice required, is wily. Ernest Mingione is steely and directed. You get the point.

FAINT, described as "Part family tragedy, part vicious satire…" is a portrait of lives on the edge of reality, set in a place I would never want to be.

- Kessa De Santis -

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