Fringe Review: Katatonika

Imagine if Quentin Tarantino directed a largely nonverbal reality show set on Skid Row...

Imagine if Quentin Tarantino directed a largely nonverbal reality show set on Skid Row, and you’ve got the major beats of this show: a depraved mix of thugs, molls, heavies, and cash stolen, gained, and stolen again. A bleached blonde with a rabbit puppet stands in for a post-apocalyptic version of Alice in Wonderland, except that the rabbit hole leads only back to her own, and perhaps our own, ennui. With Jeff Fritz’s hypnotic, original music driving the troubled heartbeat of the show, we follow ten characters whose lives follow the predictable types of “graffiti artist” and “coke-binging executive,” all caught on the hamster wheel of adult vice in many of its tangible forms. (Think sex, money, drugs, and violence.) Ultimately, Mel Rada’s direction valiantly begs the question: why do we repeat our mistakes over and over, hoping for either catharsis or redemption? Without the anchor of recognizable dialogue, however, many in this earnest group of actors labor with unnecessary physical effort in their attempt to answer this age-old paradox.

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