With 60+ characters but only one senior citizen, Interviews With… is an escapade of word play that dabbles between the silly, absurd and mildly scandalous.
It’s a fast paced milieu of character exploration that seeks to capture the zeitgeist of 2015. Siblings of dictators, little white liars, and people who Instagram food are just some of the characters featured in this whimsical cabaret performed by Rajan Kapoor, Beth Krause, Patrick Slevin and myself, Emily Cohen.
Although the text is scripted, the verve of improvisation pulses strongly throughout. The rogue collective, a DC-based string quartet, accompanies the actors with improvised riffs, blending Foley style sound effects with their modern take on classical music.
About half of the vignettes in Interviews With… resulted from a collaboration between myself and writer Dan Gutstein. Dan has done his own spin off of the interviews concept, publishing a number of sonnets for National Poetry Month in his blog, Blood & Gutstein.
A shorter version of the show debuted in the Back Alley Theater in September 2014. The Fringe premiere has more than a dozen new vignettes and has evolved quite a bit since it was first staged, in part because of the collaboration with the rogue collective, and also due to the involvement of director Brett Abelman. Brett’s direction has helped us move from caricature to character. His input has added nuance to the characters and dynamic choreography.
The play is delightfully silly. I will do my best to not giggle on stage.
Emily Cohen can best be described as a professional dilettante. Thankfully, moxie counts for something. In her day to day, she plays it straight as a government bureaucrat in the DMV’s only Nuclear Free Zone. At night she plays the fiddle and occasionally moonlights as a supernumerary at the opera. This is her first Fringe production.