POST: FringeNYC's 'Anonymous, Anonymous' - my brain hurt
What'd I experience?
Starting with the walk to the theater, I almost missed the place had I not seen a long line of people. There is only a small sign in the window letting you know you’ve arrived at the right place. The theater is small and intimate with a very cool atmosphere. It automatically gained cool points when their bathroom entrance was saloon style. Walking in, I went straight to the second row because I hate having people’s heads in my line of sight. Passed on the front row though just in case the actors called for audience participation and woo! I am glad I did because an audience member was called on stage to participate in the play. The show ran a few minutes late, but I couldn’t care less since I was dancing to “I believe in a thing called love” while waiting. Finally, the show began, and the confusion set in.
The play opens with a train car scene - one guy sitting reading a book and another standing and holding a pole. Suddenly, two guys break into the scene yelling “What time is it? SHOW TIME!” They rip off their clothes revealing tutus and do an intricate, choreographed ballet routine. I died laughing. It was a twist on the usual train entertainment that most New Yorkers experience. The play gets dark and scary pretty quick after that. You’re introduced to five characters (Steve, Cassie, Harpo, Duquan, and Ben) who are stuck in a room freaking out and yelling at each other. From what I gathered, I figured it was some post-apocalyptic version of “The Walking Dead.” Turned out to be a foreign invasion. Eh. Close enough.
It is revealed to everyone that the character Steve, is actually the writer of the play and they are all characters in it. This is the point where everything just becomes a constant series of Huh? Moments. I was continuously confused and struggling to keep up with the story. I’m struggling now to even try to describe it because I’m still confused! It was like some sort of inception where Steve writes in a book what happens in the play as you’re watching. The actors find out and chaos erupts as they criticize his writing choices. It didn’t just stop there, though. The plot continues as you switch to the lives of the actors and how they came to play their characters. The story then becomes about how the writer loses the love of his life.
There were so many weird moments throughout the play. In the beginning, one of the actors “forgets his lines” and they try to take a five minute break and I’m sitting there like “Is this really happening? Is this a part of the show?” It seemed like even this break was scripted so I just sat there like okkkkkkk. There’s also several scenes where the actors are talking to the air and not each other which makes it hard to understand what is happening and why they’re not talking to each other. And throughout the whole play my brain hurt trying to keep up. I was looking around like is it just me? Am I not getting it? FOCUS Youssra! And so I’m leaning forward and listening to every word and still nothing.
I walked out of there with my head spinning. Oy! Here I was so excited to write about my first show and I can’t even figure out the plot!
- Youssra D.