Review: ANDROMEDA BREAKS AND THE CITY OF... at Capital Fringe

By: Jul. 22, 2018
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Review: ANDROMEDA BREAKS AND THE CITY OF... at Capital Fringe The City Of..., written by Matthew Capodicasa and directed by Patrick Pearson, is a worthy addition to your fringe schedule. The compelling dystopian drama follows Irene and Arthur, a couple desperately trying to remember each other and their way back home after a mysterious apocalyptic event that robs everyone of their memories. Along the way they meet Z, a man who was gifted a painfully accurate memory ever since a car accident several years ago.

Capodicasa's script has a beautiful rhythm. Pearson's direction and the actors' use of the space makes the city feel alive and desperate, despite the lack of props and sets.

Yesenia Iglesias as Irene and Nicklaus Aliff as Arthur give great performances. Scott Sedar is fantastic as Z, a part that easily could have slipped into parody. He illuminates Z's wisdom and vulnerability in equal measure.

The play touches on several themes, including the use of social media and nostalgia, the way that trauma manifests through memory, and the recent proliferation of fake news. Any one of these meaty concepts could have supported a play all its own, and I found myself wishing that the script would have taken more time with at least one of these themes. But overall, The City Of... is an excellent production worth your time.Review: ANDROMEDA BREAKS AND THE CITY OF... at Capital Fringe

I would also recommend Andromeda Breaks, a modern noir adaptation of the Greek myth of Andromeda and Perseus, written by Stephen Spotswood and directed by Nick Martin. Spotswood reimagines Andromeda as the daughter of a modern crime family; she's been pulled into the police station for questioning by Detective Percy. As the interview progresses, it becomes clear that Andromeda is not nearly as helpless, and Percy not nearly as cool under pressure, as it may first appear. I am a real fan of detective stories, but they're a hard a genre to put on stage. Andromeda Breaks manages to capture the delicious slow burn of a good mystery in a one-set play, which is no small feat and should be applauded.

The relationship between the play and its source material is truly delightful. The script manages to walk the line between mythical references and realistic dialogue, creating a world that is just a little more magical than our own. Andromeda and Percy went to the same small town Southern high school, but Andromeda's favorite time of the year is the Bacchus festival celebrations. Andromeda's cousin Minnie has just been brutally murdered by the police. Also, she was a Minotaur.

Actors Billie Krishawn (Andromeda) and Jeremy Keith Hunter (Percy) root these fantastical references in truthful emotional performances. The chemistry between the two actors is captivating.

Both shows are playing at Arena Stage and run about an hour. The Capital Fringe Festival runs until July 29th. You can find tickets here.


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