Two characters in airport bars tell their stories of betrayal and brutality in "Flight," an expansion of the monologue "Take" from this year's Fringe Festival.
By JOSHUA TANZER
"Flight" is an extension of the monologue "Take," which debuted at this year's Fringe Festival. Writer-director Timothy P. Jones (previously the award-winning director of the excellent Daniel MacIvor plays "Never Swim Alone" and "See Bob Run") has added a second extended monologue and a final scene bringing the two characters together, which help flesh out the ideas of the original play.
In the first monologue, an attractive young woman arrives in an airport bar and a stranger makes the mistake of asking her story, or her confession if you will. "What is a story if not a confession?" she asks the stranger. "So you're right I do have a confession. But not in a Catholic kid on way."
|Written and directed by: Timothy P. Jones.|
Cast: Benjamin Alfonsi, Rebekka Grella.
Related links: Official site
|Directors Guild Theater|
110 West 57 Street
Nov. 29 - Dec. 16, 2001
Her story is that she moved from Indiana with her boyfriend to live the exciting New York life, only to discover that her boyfriend is gay. What follows is a downward spiral for both the wounded woman and the guilt-ridden boyfriend, leading to shocking final expressions of anger and pain.
The new monologue follows a similar pattern. A handsome young man in an airport bar tells a stranger how he came to Singapore on the trail of his long-lost father, and found dad shacked up with his new family, a servant-concubine-prostitute and her thieving son. As the man puts it, when he saw his dad again after so many years, it looked "kind of like him but with different scenery and an all-new supporting cast."
Misadventures in Singapore and neighboring Malaysia give the high-strung, slightly obsessive-compulsive man all too much insight into his father's nature and how his family history has made him who he is. Some personal fireworks lead to another shocking act.
The woman's monologue has been tightened up a little bit and its staging has been simplified since its original presentation, which used the distracting technique of shutting off the lights to emphasize the characters' points. And the man's parallel story helps make a little more sense of the woman's story in fact, it stands up better on its own. I still don't believe the conclusion of the woman's story, but the man's story mostly makes sense, from his personal psychology to his final act of defiance.
Actors Rebekka Grella and Benjamin Alfonsi do a good job of conveying their characters' combination of pain, anger, instability and self-absorption. But they both oversell the lines these monologues need to feel natural and unforced if they are to be believed as casual airport conversations rather than self-conscious performances.
|DECEMBER 4, 2001|
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