- OnStage New York Critic
I hope one day people will say: “I can’t imagine there were times when somebody had to hide their homosexuality in fear that they won’t be accepted”. I was thinking about it while watching my second show produced by TOSOS, the first professional theater company established in 1974 in New York to deal “openly and honestly” with the LGBT experience.
Kathleen Warnock’s The Further Adventures Of… shows some anachronisms, just like the company’s signature play, Doric Wilson’s Street Theater. Like the fact that the heroine, Maggie, had to go to Vermont to marry her girlfriend. These traces of a certain time period make The Further Adventures Of… a testimony of an epoch, yet at the same time it’s a timeless story of love, superheroes and a writer. Part of the Fringe Festival this year, The Further Adventures Of… began it’s journey in 2007. Kathleen Warnock first wrote it for Wings Theater’s 24-hour play festival, since then the play has been produced 12 times (by Kathleen’s count). What began as a 10-minute play became a 75-minute show, every minute of which is brisk and engaging.
Meet Maggie Day (Jamie Heinlein, who originated the role), the writer investigating the behind-the-scenes of the 50s sci-fi serial, Atlantis, 1 Million Years B.C. The TV show about Commander Zoron (Mark Finley) and Prince Kal (Tim Burke) holds a special place in her heart. Watching it and reenacting scenes with her friend made her realize two important things about herself: she is a lesbian and she wants to be a writer.
From her childhood memories brought to life by Tim Burke and Mark Finley, we fast-forward to Maggie’s meetings with the aged producer of Atlantis (Mark Finley), and equally aged Frank Gallagher, who played Prince Kal (Tim Burke). As Maggie is pulling other people’s secrets from the closet, she analyzes her own marriage, writer’s ethical boundaries, and her life principals.
All three actors: Heinlein, Burke and Finley have played in this show during multiple runs, which might explain the great chemistry on stage. Direction by Eric Chase brings forward the smart, funny and touching writing of Warnock. The ascetic design is entirely just one chair on stage.
At times I wanted to close my eyes and enjoy The Further Adventures Of… as if it was an audio book. The text consisting of dialogue, followed by Maggie’s reflection on them delivered directly to the audience, sounded a lot like an investigating journalistic podcast. But I just couldn’t take my eyes of the stage where Burke and Finley. Both were dressed in crisp white shirts and portraying multiple people from Maggie’s memories and fantasies, sometimes in a hilarious campy manner and sometimes so touching and believable that it made me tear up.
Tickets are $18.00 and are available at www.fringenyc.org. Performances take place at Venue #3, Teatro LATEA, 107 Suffolk Street (between Rivington & Delancey). Subway: F to Delancey, J/M/Z to Essex.
Remaining Show dates are:
Saturday, August 20 @ 7:15 pm
Wednesday, August 24 @ 5:00 pm
Saturday, August 27 @ 9:15 pm
For more information, visit www.tososnyc.org