Wednesday, July 18, 2018

There And Home Again: More Stories From the Sun Cafe San Diego Fringe International 2018

             Delores Fisher and Gingerlily Lowe inside Fringe Offices
 (I've known Gingerlily for many years now.  We re-connect at San Diego International Fringe.)

Asian Story Theater  presentations are always finely staged and acted. After the show ended an hour later, San Diego International Fringe Festival format, I sat in my seat wanting more...more...MORE!

The stage for  There And Home Again: More Stories From the Sun Cafe opens with a brief history of San Diego's Asian immigrant populations whose migrations brought them to participate in the fishing industry of the late 1800s.  Asian immigrants' life-narratives intertwined with those of other immigrants whose daily activities played out in diverse historic sections located along San Diego's  waterfront and Stingaree district.

Historical Society wall plaques record facts that open a small window onto this fascinating portion of San Diego's micro history. There and Home Again, performed over a series of years and in various venues, is a well researched ongoing story which celebrates San Diego's Asian community.

Directed by Kent Brisby, the show revolves first around the early all male fish camps, how they changed and expanded as female immigrants arrived. The plot focus later centers around the historic Sun Cafe building. The location provides a lived-experience loci reflecting changing attitudes and eras for various owners and patrons -- from WWII and Japanese Internment camps through the 50s and 60s to its closing. (article by  Sandee Wilhoit )

The Asian Story Theater's ensemble of actors enliven each narrative segment with a poignancy that signals a depth of living, shadows of cultural metaphors within marginalized lives. This version of the show's sets are sparse but very workable. And, scene changes are smoothly choreographed.

It was a full house with an audience that exited the Geoffrey talking about San Diego's ever changing dynamics. I will look for the show to surface again. A researcher in San Diego's African American history, There and Home Again  left me wanting  . . .more...more...MORE!  

The next show I saw at San Diego Fringe 2018 was . . .well . . . don't  react to the title before you read the review:

The Black and The Jew Reveal:

    Delores Fisher with Epstein and Hassan outside of Fringe offices
(Trying to stop laughing long enough to take a "serious" photo)

I noticed this couple during opening celebrations for San Diego Fringe 2018. Both have a glow. I'm not sure how we started talking. It just seemed natural and flowed into conversations about our youth and teenage dating experiences.  I stated that I would come see the show.

 Epstein and Hassan outside the Fringe offices-opening day

A general rule for me is that a stage that has a minimal set or only that has only lighting had better be entertaining. Epstein and Hassan were hilarious as well as insightful. This award winning couple travels all around the U.S.    They draw from a rich narrative cache of interchangeable dialogue and vignettes based on their lived interactions as a couple and adapt their show to audience responses. The audience laughed loudly in appreciation as various scenes resonated with their experiences.

                                                               Epstein and Hassan
In today's very uptight American societal ambiance, Epstein  and Hassan's show is a much needed mature reality check not only about race, but about couple mutual respect and caring based on a love beyond the stereotypical immature "it's about me, me, me"  reality TV scripted infatuations.


                                                Hassan and Epstein after the show

If the show comes to your city-see it. Epstein and Hassan teach relationship 101 with joy, insight, a little raucous humor, and LOVE.

As San Diego International Fringe Festival VI came to a close, I was happy to have had the time to enjoy a couple of shows in the middle of summer performances and appearances.

 Fringe on!!!!

Delores Fisher

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