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Hazards

A catalog of terrors quotidian and cataclysmic, interspersed with odd dances and the odd comic twitch

Reviewed by Wayne Alan Brenner, Fri., Jan. 31, 2014

Exhibitionism
Photo courtesy of Nancy Adler

Hazards

Salvage Vanguard Theater, www.fronterafest.org
Final performances: Thursday, Jan. 30, 7pm; Friday, Jan 31, 11pm
Running time: 45 min.

Mina Samuels – writer and performance artist out of New York City – takes the stage to warn us of the hazards that can befall humans making their way through this world. She crawls, literally, from the curtains into the spotlight, crawling and (as if the stuttered sequence of Darwinian progression were fueled by tech-booth photons) evolving into the speaker before us now, the black-clad speaker who dons a fluorescent orange safety vest (boasting a pair of bright medals), consults a clipboard checklist, and gives voice to her exhaustive list of Things To Be Wary Of. The list contains terrors quotidian and cataclysmic, inevitable and unlikely, summed by a single word or phrase – several of which so unnerve the speaker as to send her into odd dances of anxiety, dances that perhaps demonstrate the more sensible option of fight-or-flight. Or maybe they're indicative of a good response to fear: action of any kind. Or maybe they're just gambits of, you know, physical comedy? Interrupted by calls on the old-school phone curly-wired to the depths of her large carrying bag, giving an occasional twitch or paranoid side-eye to Forces Unseen, Samuels eventually completes her arch, cautionary litany and devolves back to the floor-hugging crawl that leads her to exit into the curtains' soft fabric obscurity.

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