Review by Allison Vanek
70 min | Comedy | R
Fringe shows are generally very simple affairs. Most are are low-budget and be can easily adapted to fit any space. But once in a while, a show comes to Fringe and sets up at a BYOV as if it had explicitly been conceived and created with that space in mind.
We Glow is one of those shows. The story is set predominantly in a boardroom, and thus the Tabaret Hall Senate Chambers is an absolutely perfect fit. The boardroom set is already there without the company having to do anything, complete with an excellent use of video projection and a very long wooden table that doubles as a raised stage. The production even creatively made use of the audience, seating 16 audience members around the long table, dressing them in suit jackets, and having them read scripted lines at certain points during the show as the board to whom the actors are presenting.
The actors themselves, Emily Pearlman and Brad Long, perform the show with a continuous intensity and a tremendous amount of energy. They seem to have no fear, throwing themselves headlong into every scene with complete commitment, whether it be a quiet intimate moment between the two characters or an outlandish bit of physical comedy, they do it all. They play off each other well and the final product is a team effort. While at times overpowered by his more engaging co-star, Long’s comedic timing is always right on point, and Pearlman’s physicality and expressions had me in stiches without her even having to say a word.
The story itself is at once both a modern-day love story and, as the program promises, a satirical send-up of corporate ladder climbers. The story is timely and relevant, creating discussions about whether women can in fact have the ideal work-life balance. The jokes landed so well because the audience could often relate. While I didn’t love the ambiguous ending, the story’s non-linear narrative structure and surprises twists made for a very enjoyable and engaging performance. Add another 20 minutes on the back end, and throw in a 15 minute intermission, and this is a show I would pay $50+ to see performed off-Broadway.
We Glow is playing at BYOV-F Tabaret Hall at 550 Cumberland St. in the Senate Chambers, room 0083 at 20:00 on Saturday June 22nd, Sunday June 23rd, Monday June 24th, Wednesday June 26th Thursday June 27th, Friday June 28th and Saturday June 29th, as well as 14:00 on Sunday June 30th.