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Friday, June 10, 2011

Review: How to Become JAYEE (Fringe 2011)

Reviewed by  Estelle Rosen

I have very fond memories of the free spirited 60s. Included with those memories, the evil J.Edgar Hoover. How to become JAYEE presents itself as a film in process about Hoover. Unfortunately, what we got was a weak fleeting glimpse that didn’'t touch on the manipulative, lying, corrupt nature of Hoover. Zack Amzallag as Leo, an actor hoping for an Oscar for his portrayal of Hoover, gives us a one dimensional character. We’'re dealing with a multi-layered person. Amzallag was way too reasoned, way too nice, way too soft spoken, in his portrayal of Hoover. Where was the macho Hoover. Where was the evil Hoover. The flat one tone portrayal represented a good idea that went nowhere.

I’'d like to find something good to say about this play, but it’'s difficult. To undertake what could have been a dynamic piece that instead was a washout is sad. The potential wasn’'t utilized in the slightest way.  The narrative was static. The writing didn’t capture strength of subject. The performances didn’t work. The atmosphere was wrong. Nothing held together. Hoover is not an easy subject to portray - many nuances - but  we got none. Much more could have been done more cohesively. Too many times, at the word Hawaii, they gyrate to Hawaiian music...ho hum - a boring idea at the best of times. To do this several times in a 45 minute piece gets very annoying.

With Fringe plays, we never know what to expect.  Many times over the years, I have discovered gems. This was not one of those times.

I would like to rate it 1 charpie but because it was a good idea that may yet work one day...

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  1. This play sucked worse then my vaccum cleaner. All three of the actors were terrible and half the time I couldn't figure out which character the guy was supposed to be. That Hawaiian joke is oooooold. Oh well, at least it was cheap!

  2. You make some good points here. And we do take them into consideration - albeit, with a grain of salt :)

    It was not an easy opening night.

    You're of course more than welcome to come back and see one of the later presentations toward the end of the week!

    Zack Amzallag

    PS Anonymous above, love your mastery of the english language. Very creative!

  3. LOL on Anon...Thanks for the participation Zack.


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