THE ROSE GARDEN (Emily Betts & Monti Cerabino): 2019 Fringe review

rose-gardenTHE ROSE GARDEN opens with all the expected theatrical devises and motifs one expects of a period piece play. Men with stylized facial hair, elaborate dresses held with corsets, over articulated consonants with airs of aristocracy. Lewis (Michael Jernick) returns to the family {Buzz} manor with his lower class betrothed, Mary (Maddie Kreitzberg) to the {buzz} disappointment of his aristocrat {buzz} parents (Zoe Feldman and Frank Jimenez) and his former lover (Isabella Bernhardt) who insists that {Buzz}—Okay, Who didn’t turn their phone off? From the back row an audience member (Symphony Thompson) answers her phone breaking the fourth wall and brings the characters crashing to self-awareness that they are characters in a play.

Brief but brilliant, THE ROSE GARDEN questions the purpose of theater when faced with the fleetingness of existence. Featuring great direction by Monti Cerabino and masterful design elements THE ROSE GARDEN is equal parts laughter and thought.

[The Gershman Black Box, 401 South Broad Street] September 13–15, 2019; fringearts.com/event/the-rose-garden

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