I FUCKING DARE YOU (Berserker Residents): 2016 Fringe review 31

Bradley K. Wrenn and Lee Minora.

Bradley K. Wrenn and Lee Minora.

Maybe I’m not drunk enough for I FUCKING DARE YOU. From the start, the audience falls over themselves with laughter at Lee Minora’s portrayal of a reclusive 19th-century artist “with integrity” who claims indifference while obviously being starved for approval. To me, Minora doesn’t seem to know what she is parodying (why is this woman tasting her own shit?), but the piece, “Cheeks”, begins to land when she feels “hysterical” because of her “unused uteri,” and requests a “very fast” male volunteer. He is staggered with uncomfortable, silent laughter when she asks him, “You have no problem hitting a woman, right?” She makes him chase her around the stage, crying “No!” when he gets close, then running off and shouting “Yes!” and urging him on. The combination of Minora’s spot-on transitions and the hysterical discomfort in the volunteer’s whole body makes this a winningif creepy—moment.

Brad Wrenn looks over his shoulder, blood dribbling from his mouth. “Who wants chicken nuggets?” he asks, very quietly. He advances, takes a drink from a pounder. Black fluid begins to pour from his mouth. “Who wants chicken nuggets?” he asks again, dribbling black bile and cracking up along with his viewers. The audience provides a surprisingly wide array of characters for Wrenn to play off in “Cockatrice”, including the protagonist: One unsuspecting attendee becomes “the chosen one,” tasked with leading the rest of us in revolt and slaying the king, guided by Wrenn as characters ranging from faceless wizards to trolls to cockatrices.

The two pieces foment a rowdy audience that’s comfortable interacting and even going up on stage to blast the bad guy with plush grenades and help the chosen one achieve her mission. [Plays & Players Theatre, 1714 Delancey Place]. September 9-17, 2016; fringearts.com/i-fucking-dare-you.

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About the author

Julius Ferraro

Julius Ferraro is a journalist, playwright, performer, and project manager in Philadelphia. He is co-founder of Curate This and editor-in-chief of thINKingDANCE. His recent plays include Parrot Talk, Micromania, and The Death and Painful Dismemberment of Paul W. Auster.