Do you get what you pay for?

Show: Life: The Evolution of Man (abridged)
Venue: Green Venue (Tupperware Theatre @ Orlando Repertory Theatre)
Show times: 5-19 @ 10:00pm, 5-20 @ 7:15pm, 5-21 @ 8:00pm, 5-23 @ 6:00pm, 5-25 @ 9:20pm, 5-26 @ 11:20pm and 5-27 @ 1:45pm
Tickets: $10

"Top of the Fringe"-The Toronto Star
"4 and a 1/2 stars"-EYE Magazine

Were they watching the same show as me?

What I think these rave reviews are really referring to is The Bible: The Word of God (abridged), which was a big hit at the Toronto Fringe last year. Elan Farbiarz, while part of The Bible, is appearing solo this year in his coming-of-maturity piece. When I heard the title, I was thinking of something more epic, along the lines of a 2001, going back to the dawn of man. Instead, the play opens at Cory's (the character's) birth and carries us along to modern day, not even through old age and death. What, therefore, qualifies this piece to be entitled The Evolution of Man?

Perhaps The Growth of Man, The Life of Cory Terry would be more appropriate. Also, a reference to the age of said man might help the audience as well.

What this play really gets across is the hardship one man has faced as he grows up, witnesses his mother's abuse, his father's alcoholism, and his own twentysomething drama. If I had known this coming in, I may have had more realistic expectations for what I was about to see.

There is no denying that Farbiarz is a talented actor and writer - I could relate very easily to his character's desire for sex, a career, companionship and identity. The scenes are presented well, the acting is genuine. In fact, I face some of the same issues in my everyday life. I am the intended audience of this story. But...

Much like Zach Braff's Garden State, I think audiences younger than twenty and older than 30 or so will not feel much attachment to the character. Nothing against the artist, the story says what it means to, makes me laugh, almost made me cry, but was not for audiences of all ages.

Is this play worth the $10? Does it advertise itself accurately? These are questions whose answers are different for each of us. I am glad I walked away knowing that I was not alone in my quest for identity and purpose. This play set my wheels in motion, but it won't have the same effect on everyone. Just keep that in mind before you buy your tickets.

1 comment

Brian Feldman wrote 18 years 6 days ago

The poster for this show is

The poster for this show is confusing. I originally thought it was a Reduced Shakespeare Company-written play I had somehow failed to hear about. Alack and alas, this is not so. I wish that weren't the case.

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