Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Posted at 2:43 PM ET, 07/14/2009

Original 'Sin'

By Stephanie Merry
Fringe Festival

Before you continue reading, here's a tip: Open up another tab on your web browser and buy tickets to "The Sin Show" before the thing sells out, because it's only a matter of time. It's that good.

Seaton Smith takes on envy in "The Sin Show." (Alexander Morozov)

All done? Okay. Now I'll tell you why, if you go to a single Fringe performance this year, it should be this one. SpeakeasyDC, the organization that reveres the ancient art of storytelling above all else, is back at Fringe with yet another winner.

This year the show is focusing on the deadly sins: seven actors lay themselves bare on stage to describe their own battles with gluttony, sloth or greed. Each story is impeccably written, blending the humor and sadness that comes with the self-awareness of hindsight.

John Kevin Boggs kicks things off on the right note with his tale of trading in a cigarette addiction for binge-eating. The audience roars with laughter at his self-effacing descriptions of multi-course meals and late-night snacking, then gasps when he reveals how much weight he gains in a four-month period. These emotional ups and downs are what make the individual stories work so well. The audience becomes invested in the narrators, because it's hard not to like someone who's so honest about his or her foibles.

Well, maybe with the exception of pride. But even if Joseph Price didn't prove himself to be likable, his droll delivery in telling an unapologetically arrogant story about his meteoric rise as a college playwright made it one of the strongest segments. Other standouts were Seaton Smith (who's double-booking apparently, since he also has a role in "Slow News Day") and his inexplicable hatred for a popular classmate, and Saurabh Tak, who probably had the most uproarious story of the evening with his tale of lusting after a friend's wife.

Thinking about the show later, it's remarkable how much can be done with so little. True, there was a mesmerizing video installation that punctuated each performance with a bit of thumping music, but none of that was really necessary. In the end, the power came solely from each individual's pared down descriptions of personal flaws.

-- Stephanie

By Stephanie Merry  | July 14, 2009; 2:43 PM ET
Categories:  Theater  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Carlyle Club and Rock Harper Part Ways
Next: 'Skywriter': A Twist on the Familiar

Search Going Out Guide for More Events

By Keyword


if you're gonna advise opening a tab and buying tickets in a paragraph with a hyperlink to the show, why not have that hyperlink go to the ticket buying site????

The single most annoying thing on the WP site is the useless, non-helpful hyperlinking. And you guys wonder about people getting frustrated with you....

Posted by: nogoatee2 | July 15, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Sorry nogoatee! You can navigate to the Fringe Festival page from the link I gave, or you can just paste this link into your browser:

Posted by: Stephanie Merry | July 15, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company