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Fringe 2010: Secret Obscenities

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courtesy of ‘erin m’

I’m reviewing eight plays over the next eight days for the 2010 Capital Fringe Festival, in collaboration with DC Theatre Scene. Get your button and join me!

Two perverted men in raincoats. On a park bench. Outside a girls’ school. Think you know what’s going on? Just wait til they start calling each other Sigmund and Karl, claiming to have witnessed events from a hundred years ago – throw in some torture talk and vague references to Chilean dictators, and you have quite a puzzle. Oh, and lots of flashing.

Washington Shakespeare Company’s production of Secret Obscenities is the kind of play that requires you to pay attention or you’ll get lost in the twists. Written by Marco Antonio de la Parra and set in 1980’s Chile, the two protagonists dance around the truth of their situation until the very end. Starting out as hysterically funny “dirty old men,” Brian Crane as Sigmund and Christopher Herring as Karl display enough antics to keep you entertained before delving into deep philosophical and political issues. There’s frantic physical comedy punctuated by well, dick jokes. Clocking in at a rapid 70 minutes, it explores what happens when you lose your identity to the totalitarian state. Continue reading