Review: THE PLAY ABOUT MY FATHER at Fuse Theatre Ensemble

Kate Mura's open-hearted solo show runs through May 5.

By: Apr. 22, 2024
Review: THE PLAY ABOUT MY FATHER at Fuse Theatre Ensemble
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If there’s an afterlife, I hope it looks like it does in the first scene of THE PLAY ABOUT MY FATHER: a long line to the Pearly Gates that may never actually move, but it’s fine because the people you love are there, an angel will hold your place in line so you can visit with them, and occasionally Tony makes his famous lasagna. This vision epitomizes the sense of community that infuses Kate Mura’s solo show, now running at Fuse Theatre Ensemble.

When Mura was young, her father suffered a freak accident. The play is a love letter to the family members (both biological and chosen), friends, and larger community who helped Kate’s family through the tragedy. It’s a warm and compassionate show that demonstrates the power of kindness to lift people up in their moments of greatest need and, in doing so, impact the rest of their lives.

An autobiographical show that Mura worked on for 10 years, THE PLAY ABOUT MY FATHER is clearly a labor of love, and that love shines through at every moment. Mura plays many roles – grandmother, aunts, friends, neighbors, priest, Tony, and, briefly, herself – moving fluidly between characters in a way that seems effortless. Her transformations are supported by a dress by costume designer Jessica Kroeze that rivals Cinderella’s for magical properties. It may look like a plain gray frock at first, but it slowly reveals itself to be an impressive feat of sewing engineering.

The risk in plays like this that are so highly personal is that the audience feels removed, like outsiders. This show avoids that entirely. Mura is an open-hearted performer who invites the audience in. I felt like I was getting to know real people, not just watching events in someone else’s life.

So, take someone you love and go see this beautiful show. It runs through May 5 at the cozy Back Door Theatre. All shows at Fuse are free with a suggested donation of $25. Pay what you can upfront and then, if you’re able, be sure to have some extra cash in your pocket because I predict you’ll find that the experience was worth much more. Details and tickets here.




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