Playwright Matthew Capodicasa has tapped into a truly terrifying idea in The City Of… The premise: What would happen if an entire town just gradually started forgetting everything about each other, themselves, and even about how to be human?
The results play out like something out of The Twilight Zone or Black Mirror. Things get post-apocalyptic rather quickly. One married couple, Irene (Yesenia Iglesias) and Arthur (Nicklas Aliff) tries desperately to hold onto at least their memories of each other, quizzing themselves throughout each day on various facts surrounding their relationship and each other (one charming example: Irene’s passionate dislike for chowders. But they can only stay holed up in their apartment for so long — with food running out, they must venture out into the chaos of the world eventually, and there they face disturbing sights: cars parked because their owners have forgotten how to drive; zombie-like grocery shoppers, wandering the stores cluelessly.
While trying to find their way home (yes, they’ve forgotten where it is), the couple stumbles across Z (Scott Sedar), a man who is not only immune from the disease of forgetfulness plaguing the town, but seems to remember absolutely everything.
The City Of…
closes July 21, 2018
Details and tickets
The City Of…, one of several commissioned Fringe pieces based on myths, is inspired by a short story by Jorge Luis Borges called “Funes the Memorious,” which revolves around such a character (an injury has left him with this uncanny recall ability). In The City Of…, Z’s ability proves to be almost more of a handicap than an asset at times, giving the play a special sort of urgency.
Iglesias and Aliff have a tender chemistry with each other, as well as a facile ability to slip into other roles when needed, and Sedar is a sage, steady presence as Z. Capodisca’s words have a poetic, lyrical quality to them. The City Of…is a great premise with an unfortunate touch of relevance in the current era of “fake news” and suspicion towards objective fact.
The City Of… by Matthew Capodicasa.Directed by Patrick Pearson. with Yesenia Iglesias, Nicklas Aliff, Scott Sedar. Presented at Capital Fringe 2018 . Review by Missy Frederick.