The New York International Fringe Festival (or FringeNYC) is a multi-arts extravaganza spanning from August 13th to August 29th. The festival is jam-packed with variety. Look at these numbers: 5,000 artists, 1,200 performances, 200 shows, 20 venues spread over 15 days for a price of $15 a ticket (advance ticket). Staged plays, multimedia performances, improv, stand-up, performance art- it’s all here, ranging over every possible genre. The festival is a great place to catch an amazing show coupled with talented performers all for an affordable ticket price.
I had the opportunity to see a play called Prey- an extremely well-written and well rounded piece packaged around a simple premise with enough depth to keep things interesting. Prey’s writing, by Scott Decker is both smart and slick and it packs in drama, suspense, and even some comedic elements. As its website states, “Prey is a tense, hard hitting drama about accountability, punishment, and forgiveness, even from those with wounds that never truly heal”.
The direction of Geoffrey Cantor combined with the play’s highly engrossing actors pull you in right from the start and doesn’t let go until the end. Sean Patrick Reilly is utterly brilliant as Paul, the “protagonist as well as antagonist” of the story. Decker’s character Jack plays Paul’s opposite as the “antagonist/protagonist.” The audience comes to find that lines are constantly blurred and the characters in this play are not always what they seem. Gian Carbonara is excellent as Tony, a homosexual who comes to grips with his identity. His character provides some comic relief but also blurs lines of typical stereotypes associated with a good/bad/gay/tough character. He hits all of his comedic and dramatic points quite well. Claudia Godi is also great as Angela. She brings a defined personality and charisma to a strong female character.
Quality writing, strong acting and simple yet effective production value make Prey a hit. Unfortunately while this play’s run at Fringe is over, we hope it will receive a run outside of Fringe because it is definitely worth seeing. But there is still time to check out the plethora of other happenings at Fringe. For more information on both, check out: www.fringenyc.org and preytheplay.com.
- Seymour Winterbush