Editors' pick

Tales of Marriage and Mozzarella

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Editorial Review

Fringe review: 'Tales of Marriage and Mozzarella'
By Fiona Zublin
Tuesday, July 24, 2012

You can tell a place has made it as a theater town when it has an entire company devoted to an extremely specific type of physical theater. D.C.’s commedia dell’arte company, Faction of Fools, takes its responsibilities as ambassadors of Italian clowning very seriously and has taken the art form to new and exciting places. Now in residence at Gallaudet, the company has American Sign Language interpreters for every performance and features a few deaf actors in the company as well.

Faction’s third Fringe offering, “Tales of Marriage and Mozzarella,” hits all the right notes. Each performance offers four of seven possible dell’arte scenes (the configurations differ depending on the date you attend) that use classical clown techniques (more pratfalls than joy buzzers) to communicate the pain of love and the indescribable joy of cheese. Even if you don’t need it, keep an eye on Lindsey D. Snyder’s ASL work at the side of the stage -- her facial expressions are priceless.

Footnote: At the reviewed performance, the action was augmented at the end by an actual surprise wedding of two audience members. This will not happen at every performance, which is too bad, because it was awesome.