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Posted at 11:23 AM ET, 07/20/2009

At the Fringe: 'She Moved Through the Fair'

By Nelson Pressley
Fringe Festival

Ah, the lilt of Irish literature. Polly MacIntyre uses the writing of Edna O'Brien for her solo show "She Moved Through the Fair," and the result is a respectably acted but unexciting string of melodic monologues.

All four sketches concern one woman's intimate interactions with various men, from the eye-opening weirdo she recalls in the first monologue to the married man she's about to lure into a psychological trap. It's a bit hard to believe these are all the same woman, though: has the blushing colleen of the first piece really transformed into the randy dame of the second?

MacIntyre vanishes between each monologue, so the awkward transitions are no help. Even the music that underscores each scene is turned off.)

The tales themselves vary from lovely and funny to a little snoozy. Sounding Irish to her core, MacIntyre (an experienced performer from Philadelphia) is at her best in the second piece, playing a free-spirited woman being wooed by a cocky rock and roll drummer who isn't really up to the job. The misadventures here are racy and told with a good deal of tart sarcasm; it's a story an actress can play.

The other vignettes are more introspective and subtle, without much strategy for energizing them theatrically. So little happens on stage that when MacIntyre arranges flowers in the final piece -- the one about the married man -- a single red bloom begins to seem fraught with dangerous portent. A little more of this might go a long way.

-- Nelson Pressley

By Nelson Pressley  | July 20, 2009; 11:23 AM ET
Categories:  Theater  
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