DEAD BOYS

ensemble theatre · msm · Ages 17+ · world premiere · 1hr · United States of America

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Review by RUSSELL EATON
July 25, 2017 certified reviewer

What I liked

I thoroughly enjoyed the oddly sincere conversation that develops between two very different individuals. Some of the conversations may seem borderline cliche in topic and theme, but what prevents everything from unraveling is the sincerity that underlines each turn and revelation. Both performances emphasize the almost ridiculous awkwardness of being thrown together in a situation neither can leave. A slight sic-fi element provides the right amount of threat that keeps the characters talking and negotiating their forced alliance.
Above all, the tone of the performances is what made this show truly enjoyable. The script has an almost casual feel at times for a situation packed with deeply tense background and secrets. The candid conversation, which does explode into anger and frustration at times, makes the characters weirdly endearing so when revelations are made concerning the true nature of secrets both men are hiding, it does hit with some surprisingly dramatic power.

What I didn't like

Interesting to read other reviews criticizing the undefined “threat” that throws these two characters into the same location. For me, that was what helped the show work. I can see why some would see it as a weakness of the show, perhaps. This is a show I wish had made use of more props and set, but I realize that is a limitation of the Fringe setting.

My overall impression

Relying heavily on the sincere awkwardness between two strangers facing the same dilemma, this show will win you over as each character reveals just how vulnerable they are – even if admitting that could be a huge risk. Heartfelt performances make the show worth seeing.

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