Monday, August 04, 2003

Fringe - Day 3 - Part 2

War Golems
Loring Playhouse

This should really be required viewing for anyone who has to make decisions to send soldiers into harm's way. Or any of us who live in freedom and safety because of the protection that these military men and women provide for us.

Don't get me wrong. It's not that the show's unrelentingly grim or anything. It's actually got a lot of humor in it. And not all of it is dark humor by any means.

But war, not just the Vietnam War, but any war, carries a very real human price that the survivors pay just as dearly for as those who go home in flag-draped coffins. Very likely, those who live to tell these stories, those who are forced to carry them the rest of their lives, and make some kind of peace with them, pay the highest price of all.

The clear human portrait the audience is left with when the show is over is that of a young man, not even 20 years old, thrust into an inhuman situation and forced to make decisions that ultimately made him less of a human being. And it was something from which he never recovered.

The fact that this person we're introduced to actually lived, and was the father of the actor who now uses slides, clippings, letters and personal stories to take on his persona, makes the whole thing that much more immediate, and real, and horrible, and touching.

We should all be blessed with the sort of talent and insight to pay tribute to our fathers and mothers the way Zach Curtis is doing here, under the always able direction of Matt Sciple. Maybe we could finally learn all they have to teach us, and find a way to make the world a better place for our own children.

Among the many one-person shows in the Fringe, this stands out as one of the best. Go meet Rob Curtis. He was an amazing man.

No comments: