B. FRANKLIN: WORDS MATTER (Vagabond Productions): 2018 Fringe review

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”
—Benjamin Franklin


An extraordinarily splendid opportunity for an informative and fun visit with Founding Father, inventor, revolutionary, librarian, journalist, visionary, fire fighter and self-made man, Benjamin Franklin awaits your pleasure thanks to the superior talents of author Albert Sherman, Kate Loitz, and director David Wrigley. Within the beautifully appointed Joseph Priestley Chapel, with its rich wooden paneled walls, an inviting, parlor like setting has been arranged where one can sit and take in superbly told tales of Ben’s past, our country’s past, and hopes for the future. Though no ‘air bathing’ takes place, Ben lays bare his thoughts and musings on a life and efforts well spent, in dulcet tones resonate with wisdom, wondrous wit, plus a possibly naughty nod to some of the ladies he has known. Ah, Dr. Franklin certainly does have a way with words, and sure knows how to wield them!

This world premiere is enjoyably interspersed with lively vignettes and reenactments featuring a host of figures prominent in his life including among others, his wife, Debra, daughter Sally, son William, Catharine Ray Greene, Margaret Stevenson his London landlord on Craven St., Louis XVI, Joseph Priestley (a friend of Franklin’s and the chapel setting’s namesake), plus his old frenemies, John Adams, and the Gout all amazingly represented with phenomenal pluck and aplomb by Kate Loitz! Albert Sherman’s captivating voice, expressions and mannerisms make for an immersive Franklin experience loaded with entertainment and educational value. Excellent use of venue space, levels, timing, sound and lighting. For a fantastic, enlightening engagement, DO stop in on B. Franklin and friends for as he says, “An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.”

[Vagabond Productions at At the Joseph Priestley Chapel, First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia 2125 Chestnut Street] September 7-16, 2018; fringearts.com/event/b-franklin-words-matter

3 Replies to “B. FRANKLIN: WORDS MATTER (Vagabond Productions): 2018 Fringe review”
  1. Albert and Kate, my husband and I met you last November 2019 on the cruise to the Amazon on board the Zaandam. (Thank goodness we’re not on that ship today, hopefully you’re not either!)
    We were one of the couples in the audience when you graciously performed your two person play and we thought it was fantastic and most cleaver.
    Best wishes for good health in the days ahead!
    Janice & Mike Strub

    1. Janice and Mike, so sorry for the delay in responding. We “found” your message on the internet by accident. Oh well, I don’t know how to use technology. Thank you for the kind words about the Ben F play. Your feedback at the on-board reading was most helpful to us.

      FYI, we have just booked another cruise on Vandaam, a 70-day circumnavigation of Africa, R/T Ft Lauderdale, leaving Octtober, 2021. Hopefully this virus situation will be resolved by then.

      Be well. And what’s new with you guys?

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