My overall impression
Your GPS tells you how to get where you’re going, but what if it could tell you more? Such is the inventive premise of THE NAVIGATOR, enjoying its West Coast premiere during Fringe. Written by Eddie antar and directed by Leslie Kincaid Burby for Burning Clown Productions, this show was nominated for 2 Drama Desk Awards and 8 New York Innovative Theatre Awards, all well deserved.
Kelly Anne Burns is the stoic, all-knowing Navigator in Dave’s (Joseph Franchini) car. With every small robotic head movement, Burns embodies the mechanical all-knowing machine, guiding Dave in all things directional as well as financial and personal. Dave has fallen on hard times. He’s out of work, drowning in debt, and his wife is threatening to leave him. Suddenly his car’s navigation system starts giving him the answers to absolutely everything. Franchini is a wonder to watch as he explodes in joy, anger, and sadness as he follows the guidance of his car companion.
Mike Smith Rivera portrays all the men Dave speaks with on his car phone, his stockbroker Al, new boss Marbury, and bookie Brooklyn Bobby, making each character so individual it seems we really are seeing 3 different people playing the roles.
Heidi Jo Scheller portrays Dave’s suffering wife Lilly and the Travel Agent all to happy to speak with Dave about taking his family on the vacation of their dreams.
Adding to the surreal story are the realistic sound effects by Quentin Chiappetta/mediaNoise, enhancing every movement inside the car.
There are 3 more chances to see this brilliantly clever production on Friday, June 27 at 8:30pm, Sat., June 28 at 2:30pm, and Sunday, June 29 at 1pm at the Actors Company Let Live Theatre, 916 Formosa in Hollywood. Tickets are $20 and can be ordered in advance at www.thenagivatorplay.com. Don’t miss it!