Fringe’s marvelous ‘Soci@l Medi@ Expert’ has punchy fun of best 140-character tweets


Nathan Wolfson stars in "Social Media Expert," a new independent comedy-drama by John Krizel. (Courtesy John Krizel/Courtesy John Krizel)
July 15, 2013

Writer/director John Krizel’s “Soci@l Medi@ Expert” takes a healthy jab at Twitter and a paint-scratching sideswipe at all things corporate. Krizel’s engaging 80-minute comedy reveals a sensibility marinated in the nerdiness of “The Office” and the hipness of “Saturday Night Live” with a soupcon of sci-fi futurism. It’s a savory recipe.

David (Nathan Wolfson) works for the fast-food chain Jingleburger and is tasked with raising the company’s profile on Twitter. David believes he can make Jingleburger competitive with its biggest McPetitors using social media. He shares his ideas with Rose (Megan Westman), the savvy new intern he’d like to hit on, and his dorky manager, Greg (Zachary Fithian).

David’s roommate, Andy (Chris Aldrich, in an expert comic turn), is a confirmed social-media hater. He texts not; neither does he tweet. Still, he shares David’s fascination with an obscenely named Twitter geek who comments on David’s Jingleburger postings.

After David, Andy and Rose go out for drinks and karaoke and Andy hooks up with Rose’s equally skeptical friend Claire (Katie Ryan, another gifted comic actor), disaster strikes Jingleburger. It seems there’s horse meat in them patties. When upper management won’t let him tweet to counter the bad PR, David throws a tantrum, nearly loses his job, then gets drunk. The next morning, a brilliant Twitter response has vastly improved the company’s image, and David gets the credit — only he doesn’t remember posting it.

At this juncture, the obscene hashtag guy (Josh Benjamin) and David cross paths and Krizel’s play dives into the theory of “singularity,” in which technological superintelligence surpasses or even melds with the human brain.

That’s a lot to chew on in 80 minutes, but cast and crew serve up the play’s quick laugh-and-idea-packed scenes with ease.

Horwitz is a freelance writer.

Soci@l Medi@ Expert

Written and directed by John Krizel. 80 minutes. Through July 27 at Capital Fringe Festival. Visit www.capfringe.org.

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