OPERATION: WAWA ROAD TRIP (Tribe of Fools): 2019 Fringe review

Wawa RoadTrip Tribe of Fools reviewTake a wild ride with Joey (Jahzeer Terrell) and his sister Lee (Taiwo Sokan) as they free their father’s ashes from the doldrums of his funerary and wend their way to a very special Wawa.

Traveling from out of state towards Philadelphia these siblings have some seriously fantastic adventures! Surreal encounters with a turnpike ghost, a wacky wizard (Kyle Yackoski), soda cave troll, highly glamorous goose (Tiffany Bacon) plus a melancholy patrol officer and living car radio music (Janice Rowland and guitar), hilarious near collisions with a couple of crazy cats on the Schuylkill Expressway, in addition to a host of mind-bending puppet anomalies, add to the fun. A foray into Sheetz hits the fan turning into a hyper-kinetic near balletic rumble, complete with slow-motion, stop-action moments (Michael Cosenza, fight director) and theme music (Damien Figueras, sound designer). Lee’s enthusiasm and purpose drive them onward until a mishap with Dad’s urn sheds a surprise that threatens to detour her plan. Although he has dutifully stayed the course, turns out little brother actually has reservations about what they are doing, nor does he seem to have the same family memories as his sister. Even as expectations along the road of relationships lead in unexpected directions, the real legacy remains each other.

Infused with insane energy, acrobatics, Jahzeer and Taiwo’s combined animated comedy, along with ingenious lighting (Robin Stamey), set design (Peter Smith), crazy choreography (Zachary Chiero), far-out costumes (Lexa Grace) including ‘roadie” T-shirts, sock puppet highway stripes and more, and terrific triple threat ensemble, Caitlin Corkery’s OPERATION: WAWA ROAD TRIP, directed by Joseph Ahmed is a singularly rare experience.

[Proscenium Theatre at The Drake, 302 South Hicks Street] September 5–21, 2019;
fringearts.com/event/operation-wawa-road-trip

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About the author

Lisa Panzer

Lisa Panzer has worked for many years in theater not only as an actor, but as a director, dramaturg, technical director, lighting designer, stage crew, and roustabout. A few of her favorite past theatrical roles include: Liz Imbrie in Philadelphia Story, Maria in Lend Me a Tenor, Mrs. Tarpey in Spreading the News, Mollie Ralston in Mousetrap, Trinculo in The Tempest, Bernice Roth in Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 and Felicia Dantine in I Hate Hamlet. In addition to theatrical endeavors, Mz. Panzer has also worked as a background performer in television’s Cold Case, Invincible, The Happening, several television commercials, and has played various roles in independent films including Project 21 productions and other commercial acting venues. (See http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3355274/ for additonal information).