Spring 2012 Fringe of Marin--Program One

Flora Lynn Van Appledorn and Harold Delinsky in Dirty Questions by George Dykstra

Thanks to the inspiration and leadership of Dr. Annette Lust, the Fringe of Marin Festival is now in its 29th season!  Program One opened Friday, April 13 with seven new plays and solos.  The festival begins by asking "Dirty Questions" and ends with "The Gatekeeper" guarding the cemetery of emotions.

Talented playwright, George Dykstra, wrote and directed a clever, funny and poignant comedy, Dirty Questions in which a very old prostitute, Flora Lynn Van Appledorn is interviewed by Harold Delinsky to make sure she is being treated fairly and she in turn introduces him to life.  Under Dykstra's brilliant direction, the two make a dynamic duo.  This play was followed by three solo monologues performed by Carol Sheldon and directed by Pamela Rand in which "Three Old Ladies Talk About Sex." The first old lady is British and has a very broad concept of sex. Sheldon has great animated facial expressions, a great sense of timing and includes some interaction with her audience. Her second monologue, Wanda Lee is a southern lady with a walker who reminisces about her sexual encounter with a hired hand. She is quite believable here and brings her story to life successfully. Her third monologue is French with a musical introduction by Piaf and here she uses her body quite well but has some difficulty with her French accent.  The final piece of the first half of the program was All Gone written and directed by Pamela Rand.  On opening night, Lisa was played by Paula Suyehiro.  From Sunday night on, Pamela Rand has replaced her.  Rand and Burl Lampert perform the roles of Lisa and Jerry in a farce about liposuction.  These two made beautiful music together with perfect timing and hilarious movement in this madcap farce.  

The second half of the program opened with Recipe for Life written and performed by Melinda E. Lopez accompanied by Dale R. Carlson on the sax and flute; Suzanne Birrell on the acoustic bass; Gifford Teeple on congas and David Moltzen on percussion.  Lopez was baking a cake for love, not hate and sang about passion and preached global peace and freedom. The fine musical quartet sometimes drowned out the dialog.  This play was followed by A Chance Encounter by David Hirzel and directed by Jim Colgan. In this play, John (C. Conrad Cady) and Jane (Crystal Nezgoda) run into each other at an airport.  They were former lovers after a 12 year separation. Both are talented actors and their dialog gets better and more believable as it goes on. After a passionate reunion, they end up quarreling.  

The sixth play of the evening was Noah, The Play written and directed by Charley Lerrigo and starring Lynda Sheridan as Noah's wife, Na'amah, Byron Lambie as Noah and Miyoko Schinner as God.  Sheridan is perfectly cast as Noah's shrewish wife and Lambie, a strong festival actor, has a challenging role of Noah who questions who and what is God.  Miyoko Schinner creates God as a beautiful woman who orders Noah to build an ark.  The grand finale of the evening is The Gatekeeper written by Patricia L. Morin and directed by Suzan Lorraine.  In this play, a lawyer, Camille (Terri Barker) meets with the gatekeeper, Ken Sollazzo at Cemetery of Emotions to change getting rid of anger to getting rid of mistrust. The play is very philosophical with great dialog and is also thought provoking about all of the human emotions that one experiences through life. Both ken Sollazzo and Terri Baker give strong performances.

A memorable outcome of the Fringe of Marin is to discover fresh voices and to bring in the community to participate either as an artists or spectator.

Program One continues Saturday, April 21 and 28 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, April 22 at 2 p.m. 

All performances take place at Meadowlands Assembly Hall, Dominican University, 50 Acacia (at Grand), San Rafael, CA. For information, call 415-673-3131.

Flora Lynn Isaacson