‘Tina and Amy’: The ‘b’ word and sort of getting things done in Fringe dramedy


A production shot from the Capital Fringe Festival play "What Would Tina and Amy Do?” (See/Saw Theatre )

“What Would Tina and Amy Do?” is a click-bait title. Invoking Tina Fey and Amy Poehler raises hopes of something frisky and sharp, or — this being a fringe festival — maybe a loopy, campy takeoff.

Instead, the extremely conventional 75-minute play in the Bedroom at Fort Fringe is a gentle two-woman buddy dramedy. Adjust your expectations accordingly.

The script is by Mikaela Saccoccio and Larissa Kruesi, with Kruesi playing one of two 23-year-old women at loose ends in love and life. Kruesi is Tinley, who’s unhappy as a receptionist. Catie Carlton is Annie, a dancer who’s not getting her chance to shine. Neither of them dates much. Annie wears a T-shirt that says “Best.” Tinley’s tee says “Friends.”

They try to take charge of their destinies by asking the titular question, with particular reference to the “SNL” skit that had Fey and Poehler embracing the “b” word. “B----es get things done,” they declared. A mantra for Tinley and Annie!

So, what could come between them? A dopey (unseen) boyfriend, of course. The script doesn’t follow the comic implications of the zingy mantra at all, really, as the friendship predictably crashes and then reboots. The scenes get shorter and more on the nose, increasingly marked by deadly quiet blackouts as Kruesi and Carlton change costumes.

The upside is the acting. Kruesi and Carlton are bubbly and loose; they don’t push the material, and when the script allows laughs, the actors find them. Their rapport is winning. It’s the story that stalls out.

“What Would Tina and Amy Do?” will be performed Wednesday through Saturday. Visit capitalfringe.org.

First Post byline, 1992; covering theater for the Post since 1999. His book "American Playwriting and the Anti-Political Prejudice" will be published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2014.
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