THANK YOU NOTES Premieres At Tampa Fringe
Gratitude finds the strangest expressions in local playwright Marie-Claude Tremblay's ribald new comedy, Thank You Notes, whose Innovocative Theatre production hits the 2019 Tampa International Fringe Festival May 4 through 11 at Hillsborough Community College's Ybor Campus Studio Theatre.
Though Jaime's wedding ceremony is quickly approaching, she's no bridezilla. That would hardly be professional - she's a seasoned wedding planner herself. Under budget and ahead of schedule as the final hours tick down, Jaime sits down to write those necessary thank you notes for everyone who's helped out with the wedding.
That's when she realizes she needs to write a special set of cards of gratitude-kiss-off notes to all the jerks, scrubs and also-ran ex-boyfriends who didn't make the cut. "All the losers...who never gave me the time of day, who dumped me, who never called, who stood me up and even broke my heart. I want to thank them all," Jaime says. "If they hadn't rejected me, I might still be with one of them!"
But as she gleefully revisits all the tough-guy snowflakes and bad kissers, and every random perv and moocher in her past, Jamie uneasily starts to notice parallels between each of them and her fiancé, Mark. Is something going on she's just now realizing? Have the red flags been there all along? Is it too late to cancel the caterer? Is her last thank you note going to her fiancé?
"We all love or have loved, and that love has had an impact on us," notes Tremblay. "No matter how we try, we always carry baggage of our past relationships into a new one. Jaime's dating life is a train wreck. But here she is, still sitting on that train, still believing in love."
This production marks a return to the roots for Innovocative Theatre. The company debuted at the Tampa Fringe in a 2017 production of Dark Vanilla Jungle that Creative Loafing called "spectacular," praising the "mercurial intensity" of Tremblay's performance in the starring role. In this production, the noted actor takes on the roles of lead and playwright, in a comedy of mores in contemporary relationships.
"The Fringe is definitely a great place to experiment and put up new work in front of an audience," notes producing artistic director Staci Sabarsky. The romantic comedy, a definite change-up from Innovocative's traditional fare, "has an unusual premise, and it's evocative in its honestly graphic examination of Jaime's exes."
The company's 2019 season continues with The Hundred Dresses, an anti-bullying play for young children, August 2-11, 2019, at Stageworks Theatre on Kennedy Boulevard in Tampa.