a one-women drama by Lisa Kron
directed by M. Bevin O'Gara
featuring Adrianne Krstansky* as Lisa
*member of Actors' Equity Association, the union of professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States
Life's a rollercoaster. Enjoy!
This one-woman show by critically acclaimed author Lisa Kron invites us on a journey that is both uproariously funny and surprisingly sobering, as we are introduced to a cast of characters through the Kron family album. From her devout Jewish brother desperate to find his "shana maidel," to her 75 year-old father returning to Auschwitz, where his own parents were killed, Kron asks the question of how we can find humor in the midst of life's cruel twists of fate.
“Remarkable...emotional vibrations that won’t stop.” The New York Times
Approximately 90 minutes. (no intermission)
Event Name: 2.5 MINUTE RIDE
Article: 2.5 Minute Ride
EDGE Boston - Oct 08, 2009
By Kilian Melloy
One woman, a slide projector with no actual slides, and three story threads that weave and twine in a hilarious, mesmerizing way: that’s 2.5 Minute...
One woman, a slide projector with no actual slides, and three story threads that weave and twine in a hilarious, mesmerizing way: that’s 2.5 Minute Ride, a memoir and monologue written by Lisa Kron and performed by Adrianne Krstansky.
The production premieres the fourth season of Downstage @ New Rep and is directed by M. Bevin O’Gara, who guides Krstansky’s performance, along with the show’s other elements, with an eye to the confessional and the naturalistic. As Kron, the daughter of a Holocaust survivor who visits Auschwitz with her elderly father, Krstansky in unstoppable and irresistible: she commands hearty laughter even as she breaks the heart--not just for the victims of the Holocaust, but, as the narration continues, for the perpetrators also, victims as they were of a monstrous machine of war and murder.
But that is only one strand in the show’s triptych. Kron’s script parallels the Auschwitz trip with another family outing--this time with both parents, as well as a flock of aunts and cousins--to an amusement park, where her nearly-blind 75-year-old father, munching on nitroglycerin tabs, cheerfully queues up to ride a roller coaster. It’s a plain and plainly presented metaphor, but neither Kron nor anyone else is apologizing for it: her father enjoys every minute, even though her mother is convinced that an earlier ride caused a hemorrhage that led to her father’s severe loss of sight.
The third strand deals with the wedding of Kron’s brother, who sets out one day to find a wife online. For Kron’s mother, the occasion is something like the roller coaster is for her father, though perhaps without the expectation of fun: she frets over her clothing, her hair and makeup, and everything else. (The character Krstansky plays confides that her mother must have been thrilled to hear that her daughter was a lesbian, knowing that would be one wedding she wouldn’t have to deal with.)
But the various rites, passages, and literal roller coaster rides through life leaves everyone radiant--an outcome underscored by the blank projection of white light from the slide projector. Those white squares (and, later, colored fields of light that pop up all around the stage courtesy of lighting designer Caleb Magoon) are invitations to the audience’s imagination, only the first means of bridging the gap between performer and onlooker. By the time the 85-minute show is done, you almost feel like a member of this oddball extended family.
"2.5 Minute Ride" plays through October 24 at the Black Box Theater, located at the Arsenal Center for the Arts, 321 Arsenal Street in Watertown.
Tickets cost $25 general admission and can be obtained online at www.newrep.org or via phone at 617-923-8487.
Performance schedule: Thursday evenings at 8:00 p.m.; Friday and Saturday evenings at 8:30 p.m.; Saturday afternoons at 4:00 p.m.; Sunday afternoons at 3:00 p.m.; Sunday evenings at 8:00. There will also be one Wednesday evening performance on Oct. 21 at 8:00 p.m.
Talkbacks are scheduled for after the Sunday 3:00 p.m. performances on Oct. 11 and Oct. 18.
Kilian Melloy reviews media, conducts interviews, and writes commentary for EDGEBoston, where he also serves as Assistant Arts Editor.