After a couple previews, my 2014 Fringe kicked off in a way reminiscent of Fringes past: sitting in a cramped Old City art gallery to watch a short idiosyncratic one-woman piece. Aleksandra Berczynski once again brings a short, delightfully self-indulgent mono-drama to Fringe audiences. After exploring her low self-esteem, her misfortune of beauty, and how she makes potato salad, Berczynski turns to how she finds CLOSURE.
“I used to love this jacket.” she begins, caressing a soft leather coat. “My mother gave it to me.” For the first few minutes of this twenty-minute piece, Berczynski tells us how the jacket now reminds her of “everything [she] went through.” She is not an actor and it shows. Long pauses punctuate her melodramatic phrases as she describes “that night I turned into a chopped salad. Dressing. Mustard. Maybe some ketchup. I was on the floor. Crying.” But after the short monologue, she puts a movie on a projector: a kettle boiling, Berczynski agonizing over oatmeal and a cup of tea, a phone off the hook—each moment played out to challenging, true-time lengths. Meanwhile, Berczynksi sits on a stool, cutting her coat into small pieces, slowly, wordlessly. Finding closure in destruction of memory. For another year, she’s given us twenty minutes of beauty—quiet almost to the point of exasperating vacuousness, but beautiful. [PII Gallery, 242 Race Street] September 4-10, 2014; fringearts.com/event/closure-2014-09-10.