FLY EAGLES FLY (Tribe of Fools): 2018 Fringe review

fly-eagles-fly-tribe-foolsIn Philadelphia, if you don’t love (or even hate) the EAGLES, there’s something wrong with you. Maybe you were raised in the woods by wolves. Fandom, and it seems especially Philly fandom,  is somehow deeply personal, emotional, sometimes fanatical. With life and football you have to push through it all to get to the joy.

The football story that Tribe of Fools is telling isn’t set in a stadium, but in an office, with people at work who talk about HR and deliver an intricate array of physically tasking moves. Looking behind the rah rah, this little production plays out the flavors of EAGLES fans. The cast is game. Each character represents a stance and an attitude that you’d recognize. Maybe one of these is you. At the office a newbie fan with zero Eagles history bumps up against a true hardcore fan who’s suffered through all the angst with the Eagles. He’s furious: “It’s Midnight Green. Get on my level.” And there’s a guy who is convinced he’d jinx a game if he watched it. I do know a guy who leaves the room when the EAGLES get in the Red Zone because his presence in front of the TV would have this devastating butterfly effect. Another character is the football party pooper who sees only the injuries, and there’s a mixer who seems to be up to something. Looks like there’s a baddie in there somewhere, that is, besides Tom Brady.

Exuberant horsing around and awfully clever slo-mo action take turns with scenes of downer office dialogue. If I would change anything at all it would be to lose some talk (keeping the priceless asides) and integrate more of the flips and tumbles directly into the spoken dramatic action.

Written by Caitlin Corkery and directed by Joseph Ahmed and Terry Brennan, this little play has heart. It shows what a sports team’s victory means, how It picks you up and brings inclusion, temporary pals, the sheer joy of victory, to WIN THE SUPERBOWL! ! You get pumped. If you call yourself any degree of EAGLES fan, you’ll relate. I hope some EAGLES team members might drop down little S. Hicks St. and pop in to see this. See how much they matter to the city. They should be around after their game at Tampa Bay, and then ‘til the end of this show’s run, when they have a home game against the Colts.

[Louis Bluver Theatre at the Drake, 302 S. Hicks Street] September 6-22, 2018  tribeoffools.org

Editor’s note: The Eagles won Super Bowl LII.

 

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About the author

Kathryn Osenlund, theater and film junkie, is a former National Critics Institute fellow, NEA fellow in Arts Journalism, and member of the American Theater Critics Assn Steinberg and Osborn playwriting awards committee. A Barrymore Award nominator and professor emeritus in communications and theater, Kathryn also writes for NY-based CurtainUp.com. On twitter @theatrendorphin.