Monday, August 20, 2007
http://jamespeak.blogspot.com/2007/08/jimmys-fringe-roundup.html On Saturday, I went to see Adam Szymkowicz's latest, Susan Gets Some Play, a very funny 40-minute meta-comedy play-within-a-play about, well, actress Susan Louise O'Connor trying to find a boyfriend (or at least a romp in the hey). It's as simple as that. Although...no, it's not really as simple as that. Susan and her best friend Jay try to find Susan a boyfriend by holding auditions for an imaginary production in hopes of finding Mr. Right; or at the very least, a date or make-out session. They end up auditioning as many people as they can, including a "guest celebrity" and people from the audience. Hell, the usher even gave out raffle tickets for the chance to win a date with Susan (alas, I didn't win). Ultimately, Susan isn't wild about this duplicitous process of finding a boyfriend (in one scene, she admits to have asked Szymkowicz to write this play for her, but now she feels cheap and on display), and is even less wild about all her co-stars milking their make-out scenes with her. To quote Monty Python: It's silly. There are multiple in-jokes with this show, including references to Szymkowicz's earlier work (there's a scene deliberately mimicking the New York production of Nerve), as well as jokes on insufferably self-referential New York theatre and the ignorance non-theatre-makers have on the process of putting on a play in the city (my molars would grind when a character would refer to the auditions as "play practice," which I'm sure was intended). And oh yes, there's a cool non sequitur song and dance number to boot. That Susan Gets Some Play doesn't take itself too seriously and doesn't alienate the audience with the numerous in-jokes (most of them are either fairly inclusive or not distracting enough to be jarring) makes it work. It's incredibly slight run-time (under an hour) doesn't hurt, either. With the help of the cast Moritz von Stuelpnagel's direction, Susan Gets Some Play is thoroughly unapologetic with its simple yet whimsical premise, which is one of the main reasons why this show is so light and enjoyable. note from me: I think it's more like 48 minutes but the rest is pretty damn accurate.