Fringe review: 'BFF'
By Fiona Zublin
Saturday, July 14, 2012
It’s difficult to describe “BFF” as performance art, since it doesn’t appear to involve any overt performance. Brian Feldman picks you up outside Fort Fringe and you start walking. You can go to a bar, to a museum, into the lobby of a hotel … wherever. He just wants to get to know you.
With a show like “BFF,” critics face a unique crisis. If you’re up front about the fact that you’re reviewing the show, don’t you make it impossible for the performer to relate to you on a level playing field? If you lie, aren’t you derailing the show, which is meant to be about forging a real friendship? Does it matter, since anyone who pays for a ticket is going to be judging the “performance” as it unfolds anyway? In the end, this reviewer lied by omission. “I’m a journalist” covers a lot of ground.
For two hours, you try to get to know Brian and he tries to get to know you. There are certain people who can get anyone to open up but Brian’s not one . He asks questions, but they’re a little awkward and detached. He’s clearly not used to talking to strangers and not sure how to do it, like those blind dates where you realize your date has pre-googled “topics of conversation.” But for all that, it’s an enjoyable two hours of carte blanche to ask a stranger anything you want to know about himself -- and to get things off your chest that you’re not comfortable admitting to the people who know you. You’re never going to see this guy again. You can tell him absolutely anything and at the end of your two hours, it won’t matter.