2 & 2 – 2013 NYC Fringe Festival Review

2&2 Program Cover2&2 is an off-off-Broadway show running in the NYC Fringe Festival that has some nerdy elements to it.  It’s about a comic book artist with a fixation on Superman.  Yes, THAT kind of fixation.  However it quickly reveals itself to be a family drama that just happens to have a huge Superman fan in it.  Nerdy theater fans might come for the lure of capes and tights, but they’ll stay for the dramatic turns of a very dysfunctional family.

Tommy (Played by Daniel Dambroff) is a comic book artist who dreams of getting assigned to illustrate Superman some day, but his career aspirations take a backseat to his efforts to resolve childhood issues about his sexuality.  Tommy is gay, and it doesn’t take long for audiences to discover that this has driven a wedge between him and his conservative father.

Meanwhile: Tommy’s sister Rachel (Amanda Audrey) has a new fellow in her life.  A mild, mannered bisexual named David (Claron Hayden)who reminds Tommy of Clark Kent.  Rachel is harboring a secret of her own that could ruin her relationship, and audiences get to watch the siblings vie for the attention of the same man.

It has a premise that would make a novel romantic comedy, but it’s really a family drama.  Playwright Peter Cosmas Sofronas bucks the trend of dramatic formulas by introducing his characters’ deep, dark secrets early on, then revealing them to the audience halfway through the show.  It spares the audience from having to wait for The Big Reveal at the end of the show, and puts some momentous scenes right in the middle of the show.

Just why does Tommy, a grown man, carry a teddy bear with him everywhere he goes?  The answer to that comes in powerful speech delivered by Daniel Dambroff.  This scene is the highlight of the show, well written, devastatingly performed and sharply directed.  It should strike a chord with audience members who had difficulties coming out as kids.

Once the backstory is out, the rest of the show deals with the fallout of secrets revealed, and the aftermath of emotional strife within a broken family.

Despite the superhero stylings, 2&2 really isn’t as geeky as one might suppose.  However, it is a soft-spoken and purposeful show that will be very powerful for people who are working out old family issues.  There is a single performance left in the Fringe Festival as of this writing.  Tickets and more can be found at www.emeraldsentinel.com.

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