Redial is a comedic and clever exploration of the lives of four aspiring actresses living in New York. Playwright Tamar Kummel, an artist herself, has based the play largely on her own experiences.
Redial traces the bizarre and heartwarming stories of actresses through a series of phone conversations. It does an excellent job presenting the uncertainty actors struggle with at the start of their career, and highlights the friendships they can depend on in the midst of their dilemmas.
The plot consists of four actresses living in New York, struggling to make ends meet while pursuing their dream. In the opening dialogue, the audience is introduced to Dominique (Christine Asero) leaving Talia (Shelby Rose) a bizarrely long phone message about her roommate who she is certain is out to “murder” her. Later, Jill (Catherine Frels) relays the details of a party she went to, hosted by her psychiatrist, where all the doors were locked because “they would afraid we all would jump” and the only people having a good time “were standing in the corner talking to themselves”. The show thrives on these entertaining and insightful tales from the everyday lives of Talia, Jill, Cassie and Dominique.
Yet the life of any actress includes fear of failure and loneliness. Shelby Rose does an outstanding job portraying Talia, the actress who tries to cover her insecurities with a happy smile. In a particularly moving scene, Talia breaks down and calls the suicide hotline, where she confides to “Angela” about her fears she won’t “achieve anything” in her life, and will have no one to care for her when she is old. During this phone call Rose does a superb job of revealing insecurities Talia doesn’t want any of her friends knowing.
That’s because her friends all have their own problems to worry about. Jill is trying to decide whether to quit her career and pursue a job in psychiatrist. Dominique struggles with dependency issues when it comes to her married boyfriend who has a penchant for her roommate, and her parents who pay the rent. Their mutual friend Cassie (Jennifer Osborn) is a receptionist by day and aspiring actress by night, who loses her job at a law firm because she is caught preforming vocal warm ups while naked in the supply closet. Asero, Osborn and Frels bring energetic performance to each of these roles, highlighting above all the deep love and respect their characters hold for each other.
For no matter how bad an audition was, they can always call each other up and vent to a sympathetic ear. Redial is heartwarming play that uses comedy to portray the high and low points of actresses’ lives. It is a perfect show for any young person to see, particularly because it portrays the struggles of entering into a new industry in a comedic light, one which makes the world of professional careers seem magically less scary.
Redial has 5 performances, closing July 26, 2012 at Fort Fringe – Shop, 607 New York Ave, NW, Washington, DC.
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Stephanie rates this a 5 out of 5, making it a Pick of the Fringe!