Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Fringe: Jen and Liz in Love

In Jesse Weaver's slow-starting but ultimately funny and effective one-act, two fortyish small-town women with over-the-top Boston-area accents alternately tiptoe and stomp around a shared past they've never spoken of before. The key that opens up the subject is the absurd circumstance: Liz (Helene Galek), who has spent the day in the local fair's kissing booth, kissing every man in town through a small aperture, finds herself locked inside as the day draws to a close. Her old friend Jen (Cindy Keiter) hangs around to keep her company while they wait for Liz's husband to return with the key. Here, contrary to the old saying, out of sight means more in mind than ever. In a faint Beckettian echo, we see nothing of the emotional and loudmouthed Liz but lips and an eye, while dowdy Jen drifts uncertainly around the booth, one moment plaintively touching the belly of the cartoon vixen painted on the side, the next moment stomping off angrily. Out of the intentionally overcooked broth of jokes and accusations, a small, honestly touching story of love and regret emerges like aromatic steam.

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