Monday, August 30, 2010

Fringe: As I Am Truly Known

Emily Rieder's As I Am Fully Known, in which she also stars, is well on its way to being excellent. The story of a Catholic lesbian who becomes convinced that her same-sex relationship is causing God to punish her family, the play presents fully-drawn characters, interesting obstacles, and believable, funny, lyrical-yet-real dialogue. The chronology of the show isn't totally clear, and some parts are flat-out preachy. (Is the priest's "gay people are okay" monologue really necessary? If so, couldn't it be half as long?). The show also requires too many lengthy scene changes that slow the pacing. But these problems are small compared with the many strengths of the piece. And all five actors (Gretchen Ferris, Ross DeGraw, Rebecca Nerz, Jesse Presler, and Rieder) provide textured, true performances, and Presler deserves particular applause for his hysterical depiction of the main character's ne'er-do-well cousin. I look forward to seeing As I Am Fully Known again. (The title, by the way, comes from First Corinthians 13:12: "Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.")

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