It’s practically a Fringe Festival formula: Choose a beloved cultural touchstone — “Oregon Trail,” perhaps, or “Titanic” — and build a Fringe show around the love you and the audience have for it. Throw in some personal anecdotes, some funny voices. Bam. Done. Fringe gold.
“My Princess Bride,” Joe Brack’s one-man take on everyone’s favorite swashbuckling movie/book, is both entertaining and disappointing. Brack’s got the kind of Boston accent we thought only existed in Broadway musicals and Leonardo DiCaprio’s imagination, but he sheds it for his dead-on impression of the actors in “The Princess Bride,” which are interspersed with reminiscences about his childhood and how he came to think about true love.
Brack runs into two major issues:
First, the vignettes from his life are more interesting than some of the “Princess Bride” recapping, especially because one would think that any audience finding the show funny in the first place is already familiar with “The Princess Bride” and thus needs less plot description.
Second, he misses a huge opportunity by ignoring the fact that the book is “metafiction” — Brack has a copy of the novel and talks about it being written by “S. Morgenstern,” but Morgenstern is a construct of the actual author, William Goldman, who framed his novel as an adaptation (“the ‘good parts’ version”) of an older story. Given that Brack is making a little metafiction himself, you’d think some interaction with Goldman’s literary trickery would offer rich narrative material.
Zublin is a freelance writer.