Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Magical Mystery Detour


The Fringe Show, "Magical Mystery Detour" featured Gemma Wilcox as more than 20 characters. The story followed her on a road trip that the actress took as she questioned life and love. The actress would switch characters on a dime even becoming inanimate objects like the car or a coin. As she drove down the road, the dog would be panting happily in the back seat and the car would talk about road conditions. There was a certain child like joy as Gemme became an annoying buzzing fly who spouted rude comments. Catching Gemma as she switched characters every few seconds was a challenge, but luckily she drove fairly often.

A particularly memorable scene involved her decision to get a massage. Her dog stayed behind at the car and she was lifted by a brawny masseuse.  As she floated in bliss, wondering if the masseuse was single and how many children they should have, she switched back to the dog who had just met another dog and they were sniffing butts. Switch back to Gemma as she planned a life filled with pleasure and sensitive touch. Back to her dog who was humping wildly. Gemma panted and thrush her hips with abandon. As she intellectualized and reasoned, her dog was just being a dog. It was hilarious.

There is a dancer's grace as she shifted from a soaring seagull into the woman climbing lighthouse steps. It is from this high vantage point that she surveyed her life. The troubled reason for her pilgrimage became clear and she was ready to move on. Her relationship was on the rocks and her mother had just died. The ending was poignant as she blew her troubles into a coin and threw it into the ocean. As a one woman show, this was a real tour de force, theater at it's best. I left the theater glowing.


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