Poison Apple Initiative have come all the way from Texas, and they brought the heat. The venue for their first Philly production, SOMETIMES CALLIE AND JONAS DIE, is a sweltering 5th floor Old City walk-up. This is hot, rough, and in-your-face low budget theater, and it’s matched by a raw and shit-kicking show. Ah, Fringe, where have you been?
Callie (Kacy Todd) and Jonas (writer and director Bastion Carboni) go around the country “fuck[ing] up shitty people for fun” in nihilistic rampages of sex, drugs, violence, and suicide (which they have a supernatural ability to survive). Their indifference to those they leave in their wake and their dysfunctional love (“I’d chip my favorite coke nail for you”) are tested when they stop off in Austin, Texas, a year after a suicidal departure. Carboni’s script is smart (“someone who fucks over everyone else is going to fuck you over one day”) and he finds real sentiment within his characters’ insouciance. His actors (Paul Harlan and Jen Brown fill the supporting roles) fly back to Texas after the Fringe run, but Carboni will remain with his company. Philly’s independent theater is richer for it. [1fiftyone, 151 N. 3rd Street, 5th floor] September 8-13, 2015; fringearts.com/sometimes-callie-and-jonas-die.