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Tilt

ensemble theatre · bam · Ages 17+ · world premiere · United States of America

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Review by TERRY ANNE HOLZMAN

June 22, 2016 certified reviewer

What I liked

I’m waaaay late in reviewing TILT but I just saw it and have to say it was one of, if not THE best show of the Fringe. Ben Moroski’s writing is poetic, tense, dark and so funny. It’s not a stretch to say TILT reminded me of early Shepard and Mamet. Not one wasted word.

Moroski does what we are all taught to do in our dramatic writing classes—-he drops us into the middle of the action. No set-up needed. No on-the-nose exposition. He trusts the audience to go with him into the action filled with questions that will be answered (for the most part). Intentions (past, present, and future) are slowly revealed: We’re in a run-down hotel room in a desolate, windy exurb, where some bad shit has gone down. We find out exactly what through Moroski’s well-executed exposition (the good kind of expo that doesn’t feel like fill-in-the-blanks). I was like a hungry, little squirrel, eating out of the the writer’s hand, as he took me down a rickety road of (possible) redemption for one, and (possible) ruin for the other….

Two handers can be tough to do. But Moroski and Michael Shaw Fisher carry the weight with ease and mad skills. Their stage chemistry is perfection. Michael Shaw Fisher’s psycho hillbilly, is a 100% committed performance. Just brilliant. I could not take my eyes off the performers. No wonder these two win Fringe awards each year.

This could and should go to New York. Bravo boys!

What I didn't like

If I had to pick one thing in an otherwise perfect script it would be the ending (I know, that can be a rather big thing)….While I don’t like neatly “tied-up-in-a-bow” endings, I do like to know how a situation stands at the end. I felt I sort of “knew” what would happen, but was not fully sure and I really, really wanted to know how things were going to turn out. Perhaps a subtle final line (I have one) would take out the guesswork?

My overall impression

A tense 60-minutes that will have you on the edge of your seat. An adrenaline rush of drama. The real deal. Two superb performers (one review called them “rock star actors” and it’s true) working from a nearly-perfect dark but extremely funny script. TILT is why I go to the theater. I predict “Top of Fringe!”

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