A Writer's Vision(s)

Long Fringe

A Writer's Vision(s)

Salvage Vanguard Theater, 2803 Manor Rd., 479-7529


Jan. 28, 10:15pm; Jan. 30, 5:15pm

Running time: 1 hr., 30 min.

John Boulanger mashes up the constructs of Dr. Seuss and A Christmas Carol inside a playwright's loopy mind for his latest piece, A Writer's Vision(s). The play focuses on Jerome, played by the affably nebbish Michael Amendola, a burgeoning dramatist who thinks he's losing his mind when he's visited by three figures only he can see: his muse, his inner child, and his repressed sexuality. Throw in a rhyming narrator in a deliciously gruesome Seussian suit, and you can see these source texts' formulaic influence.

If the setup seems a bit silly, that's good – because Vision(s) is flat-out funny. Boulanger's humor keeps coming at you as frenetically as a Marx Brothers movie; his sensibility hits in the sweet spot that's irreverent without being offensive. The wild characters, including a schizophrenically blind muse dressed like a pimp and a fabulous bearded lady, whirl their craziness around the straight man playwright like a group of drunkenly wicked Muppets.

Vision(s) boasts an impeccable cast that any show in Austin, let alone a fringe show, would be ecstatic to have. Stories about writers and writing are well-worn (and frankly uninteresting) territory, and A Writer's Vision(s) doesn't add anything to that long-running dialogue. As entertainment, though, it is a thoroughly enjoyable, fast-paced riot.

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A Writer's Vision(s), John Boulanger, Imagine That Productions, FronteraFest

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