Posted on Jul 20, 2014
4 out of 5
The "4Play" series of short plays on and about relationships (mostly) has quickly established itself as a KC Fringe staple. It is good to see that this is continuing, as this year's crop brings us 4 plays inhabiting the same universe and even a little more besides.
First is "Desire" by Frank Higgins. More a brief monologue on the difference between what we desire with our minds versus what other parts of our body have to say. A short but interesting listen, and worth a few chuckles.
Next up is "99 Ways", also by Higgins. This follows the travails of a couple following one of those "99 ways to please your lover" checklists found inů well, about half of all women's magazines, now this reviewer thinks of it. This is an extremely funny bit, and very well done.
Third is "Fishers of Men" by Schaeffer Nelson, in which an idealistic young missionary finds himself talking to a cynical gay man on religion, love, sex, and regret. An interesting one, this, more serious than its predecessors. I almost would have liked to see this one go further, but such is the nature of short plays.
Teresa Leggard's "The Birthday" is an interesting dip into.. well, science fiction? Magical realism? A woman decides to spend her birthday alone until a young lady drops by who has a very, very good reason for her to get out and let her hair down a bit. Very good interaction between the two women, and an intriguing premise handled well.
Finally, Forrest Attaway presents "The Interview". I am sorry to say I didn't care too much for this one, in which a TV hostess interviews a rock star who claims he just rescued a dog that was being gang-raped by squirrels. Quite apart from the rape "humor", the sketch doesn't seem to really go anywhere or do anything. The shock value presumably is meant to be sufficient to carry the thing. Well, at least the dog is nice.
In any case, a good variety of work on display. The performers were all solid and carried their characters well. I suspect we'll be seeing more 4Play iterations for many years to come. And that can be no bad thing.