Once again, Aleksandra Berczynski provides an unpolished gem of the Philadelphia Fringe Festival. Her twenty-minute, one-woman show ALICE takes an idiosyncratically personal look at human sadness in its many seemingly happy guises.
In Berczynski’s hands, a bubbly reading of a uplifting children’s book on companionship—a “bright-eyed” mouse wears down a bear’s resistance to friendship and seals it with hard-to-get coquetry—reveals the deep loneliness which underlies our search for company. Her character—blond-wigged, attractive Alice—dons glasses and reads an academic text (“I is an illusion”); this side of her personality is no more satisfying. She tries on designer shoes and adorns herself with designer labels (literally). She is lost; who is she? Like sad lyrics to a happy beat, this is quiet, uncomplicated theater, pleasing and sorrowful even beyond the limits of Berczynski’s sharp self awareness.
[PII Gallery, 242 Race Street] September 9-15, 2016; fringearts.com/alice.