Thursday, August 26, 2010

Fringe: Möbius

Photo: Tim Palin

What do you get if you mix Proof, a bad Twilight Zone episode, and a tin ear? Michael López Sáenz’s Möbius, currently playing as part of the Fringe Festival. From the long, unsuccessful, opening monologue, to the long, unsuccessful, closing monologue, Möbius attempts to achieve thoughtful significance but instead strings together dated cliches, two-dimensional characters, pointless arguments, murky chronology, and unsurprising and/or uninteresting twists. Montgomery and Mackenzie are 17-year-old twins; Montgomery is gay and is scared to come out to his parents; their father has barely been at home in the previous three months; their mother is, we are told again and again, controlling, though we mostly see her be petulant. Everyone is furious at everyone else. The question is why, and the answer is not as interesting as it should be. The performers are awkward and unconvincing in similar ways, which makes me think that director Jeanine DeFalco has a lot to answer for. The one scene that works occurs in a gym locker room when Montgomery tries to ask out the (straight) guy of his dreams, who is strutting around naked.

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