Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Fringe Day 10, Part 5 - August 15, 2004, 8:30pm

Patrick and James: A Love Story
The Artsy Guy, Inc.
Interact Center for Visual and Performing Arts

47 shows behind me, only 1 left. After all this theatrical gluttony of the last ten days, I still saved a little room for dessert.

Everything I said about this play after I first saw it still stands.

It was gratifying to see the tiny house full of people this time. A preponderance of male couples, of course - this is, after all, a perfect date play for gay men.

It was also fun to meet Michael Snyder (playwright and "James") face to face after exchanging a couple of emails when he'd read that first review of mine earlier in the week. Also chatted with Kenny Kiser (producer and "Patrick") again - a phone call and a meeting in passing at one of the Nautilus shows preceeded this. We're all planning to talk after the Fringe releases us and we have a chance to collapse for a while. Who knows? After all the "drama" offstage at my own show, I might be coming out of the Fringe with a new producer and some fellow gay writers as friends after all. Cross your fingers.

My praise this time is for the ladies in the cast - Heather McCornack who played Patrick's sister Tammy, and Lisa Clair who played James' sidekick Katie. These could have been thankless fag hag roles. But they were written, and acted, far better than that. In fact, the ladies get off just as many good lines in a script filled with enough good lines to go around, and some of theirs are the most memorable. Tammy gets the zingers and "wake up and smell your own neurosis, little brother" pep talks. Katie gets the "still single" person material. Both Heather and Lisa make the most of these women and their showcase moments.

The one that sticks with me the most is Katie's speech about the man who got away - and how she still kicks herself a little for not so much pushing him away as letting him just slip away without a fight. It's a well-observed moment and we've all been there (or at least I have, more times than I care to count).

The show may be called Patrick and James, and theirs may be the central relationship, but it would be a poorer show indeed without Tammy and Katie (and without Heather and Lisa to bring them to life).

A perfect end to a manic week of theater-going.

(For more of my writing - plays, past blog entries and more - visit www.matthewaeverett.com)

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