As I got out of my seat, putting my sweater back on, it hit me that I just came off a roller coaster that just kept going up and doing spirals for 106 minutes. The play opens with high energy salsa in the background and a charged opening monologue by Calderon himself. That can at times be worrisome because the only place to go is higher and sometimes a script doesn’t work out that way. That doesn’t happen here. The talented and giving ensemble pulls the audience into the hotel room and continues to build the energy to a fever pitch as the story unfolds. Paul Calderon’s Fringe of Humanity is a high- octane, cocaine-fueled explosion of storytelling that keeps you glued to the next word, action, moment.
Fringe of Humanity tells the story of a director, Nick Valdez (played by Paul Calderon), finalizing his script before filming begins and the unredeemable characters that contribute to the hour and forty-six minutes of mayhem. As they sort out their own defects of characters through the seven deadly sins, the world outside is also violently crumbling.
I so enjoy watching actors enjoy their craft. Paul Calderon wears three hats as playwright, director and actor. Calderon’s strong and passionate writing lays the groundwork for his ensemble actors to embody his words. His direction freed the ensemble to raise the stakes of their characters. The energy put forth by David Zayas (Ross Gausmann), William Rothlein (Ken “Patch” Kelly), Rebecca Nyahay (Liz Gausmann), Luke Smith (Pierce), Alex Emanuel (Ryan), Jakob Von Eichel (Steve), Jessica Damouni (Vicky), and Feliz Ramirez (Crissy) is palpable in the space.
FRINGE OF HUMANITY stars David Zayas, Paul Calderon, William Rothlein, Rebecca Nyahay, Luke Smith, Alex Emanuel, Jakob Von Eichel, Jessica Damouni, Feliz Ramirez, Greg Prosser (understudy) and Nixon Cesar (understudy). The production team includes Catherine Calderon (co-director, associate producer), Montgomery Mauro (lighting), Sebastian Mitre (assistant to the director, associate producer), Lindsey Hurly (stage manager), and Sarah Norris (producer).
FRINGE OF HUMANITY runs January 11 – 28, Wednesday – Saturday at 8pm with an additional 3pm matinee on Saturday, Jan. 21. Access Theater is located at 380 Broadway on the 4th floor (at White Street) — accessible from the A/C/E/N/Q/R/6 trains at Canal Street or the 1 train at Franklin. Tickets are $18 at http://www.BrownPaperTickets.com.