Another day at Fringe. Another blackbox. Another simple lighting plot. Another pair of women, Katie Knutson and the hugely pregnant Arianna Ross, spend 50 minutes sharing their bumpy journeys to love and self-acceptance with an unwitting audience.
Where to start with love? High school, of course. Because there is no place filled with more hope or love. Perhaps prison. But, really, let’s be honest, it’s a tie.
So it is there that the show clumsibly opens: two women in their mid-30’s describe what it’s like to kiss the same boy, who can’t kiss. Oh, no! I think it’s meant to be not just funny and sweet, but something that everyone can relate to. Unfortunately, the two performances did more to convey awkward adolescence than anything else. And this just-not-quite-on-target heart and humor clung and slowed down the entire show, from discussions of college mates until the how I met my husband short. Both women are entirely watchable, but not completely compelling in their presence.
And quite frankly, I was shocked to read that someone (Kelly Mayfield) had choreographed the event. There was a short non-sequitor song that reminded me of dances choreographed in junior high. And in that vein, rendering these tales did little more than solidify the quotidian, and did almost nothing to address the theatrical. At dinner parties it’s endearing (if suburban) to hear a story about gay “boyfriends” but its not a story that holds the dramatic, and in the hands of these two storytellers, who sometimes take to half-way “acting out’ their stories, sex and vomit are stripped away, and all that is left is a muddle of love.
The exception to their mundane spinnings comes with how the two women share their sexual assaults. It’s gripping and sad, and shared without pity or shame- exactly what both the story and audience require. And the women go two steps further, offering options to others who have gone through similar events giving the contact information for SARA: Sexual Assault Resource Agency and RAINN: Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network and giving audience members a chance to talk with them after the shows. Good women telling horrific tales that are in fact just as common as falling in love. And it is from this mud that Sex, Love & Vomit finds it’s bloom.
- Running Time: 70 minutes
- Remaining Shows: Sex, Love & Vomit has closed.