The New York International Fringe Festival
In Association with Small Pond Entertainment
Written and Performed by MARY DIMINO
Directed by CHRISTINE MILLER
Tom Noonan’s Paradise Factory
64 E. 4th Street between 2nd Avenue and Bowery
August 13 - 21, 2010
Assistant Director LISA MILINAZZO
Stage Manager REBECCA DAVIS
Lighting Designer KIA ROGERS
Press Representative SCOTTI RHODES
As an eight year old girl growing up in Queens, New York, Mary Dimino asked a Ouija Board if she would ever be skinny. The word "skinny" in Ms. Dimino’s young mind conjured images of everything good in life, or at least images of the things the young Dimino thought she lacked. Being skinny would bring friends, love and happiness.
In her one-woman show SCARED SKINNY, Mary Dimino explores her weight gain, and loss, her often unsuccessful early relationships that all seemed to have a tinge of the bizarre to them, as well as her family life with a presentation that feels so genuine that it is tough not to find her engaging. The "scared" in the title comes partly from Dimino’s professed heritage of fear. Considered a miracle child after her mother suffered a stillbirth and several miscarriages translated into overprotective parenting, and warnings about many an external thing. Traffic, men, sandboxes, the possibility of finding a razor blade in a Halloween apple, were all presented, perhaps with daily reminders, as dangers of the outside world.
Dimino’s recollections of her childhood, and how this impacts her as an adult, reminds us that we all are, in a sense, the sum of our experiences. Beaming grin, even at the most self-deprecating moments, I came away thinking what a shame it is that this woman avoided much social interaction during the time she was at her heaviest. She recalls fad diets, exercise gadgets purchased after late-night infomercial viewing, and some interesting dating history, all with the focus on the funny in the situation. Not so funny are the losses of beloved family members, and the night she overhears two local men discussing her appearance in the most demeaning terms. Though Dimino’s story has much to do with weight, there are some more universal experiences she recounts that make this show relatable to a larger audience.
SCARED SKINNY is ultimately a story of self acceptance and of personal victories. Probably not so different than the experiences of many people, what makes Dimino’s journey worth hearing about is her narrative and presentation. With just a few props and lighting changes, the focus is on her and her words. In this context, that was just fine.
- Kessa De Santis -