COCKTAIL PLAYS (Juniper Productions): 2018 Fringe review

Marissa Kennedy and Mark Wheeler in Out of Time. Photo by Mark Kaplan.

Marissa Kennedy and Mark Wheeler in Out of Time. Photo by Marv Kaplan.

Entering the post-industrial bar space of Philadelphia Distilling, we get a drink ticket. It’s for an orange punch, which we like, but we also decide to try some of the specialty libations designed for Juniper Productions’ COCKTAIL PLAYS. Our favorite, a modified old fashioned with barrel-aged gin, goes with our favorite of the production’s four short plays, Bill D’Agostino’s Out of Time.

Like several of the pieces, Out of Time feels written for the space. A tender and telling portrayal of old-age dementia, it sees a man entering a place he believes is a long-past bar. Similarly, Alexandra Espinosa’s engaging dystopian drama Delivery is set in a distillery and Mark Costello’s light comedy Date Night takes place in a bar (the whimsical anti-superhero tale Superlosers by Megan Schumacher rounds out the quartet). Slightly buzzed from our gin-and-honey bees knees, we find the site-specific plays by a diverse group of local playwrights make for welcoming, accessible, easy-to-enjoy theater. Actors Marissa Kennedy, Mary Pat Walsh, and Mark Wheeler ably handle the varied roles which the four plays require. Bottoms up.

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About the author

Christopher Munden

Your faithful correspondent and publisher Christopher Munden has written and edited for many publications, websites, and cultural institutions. He was an editor/publisher of the Philly Fiction book series, collections of short stories written by local writers and set in Philadelphia. He's also a soccer coach and a pretty good skier.