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Friday, June 10, 2011

Review: Danny and the Deep Blue Sea (Fringe 2011)

Reviewed by Jessica Wei

Crushing. This is the only word to describe “Danny and the Deep Blue Sea”. In an empty bar in the Bronx, Danny and Roberta meet and immediately begin to share their own respectively messed up pasts. This play is dark, angry, violent, tender as a raw scrape, yet perforated with optimism. As Roberta and Danny's night unravels, moving from the bar and into the bedroom, the audience is intimately introduced to these two deeply psychotic characters, who are so down on their luck they can lick the salty gravel of rock bottom, just waiting to be saved. So crushing one can't even take their eyes off the stage. Daniella Forjè, as Roberta, is a magnet on stage. She's charming, heartbreaking, and she's got a flawless New Yawker accent. Danny, played by Jonathan Shatzsky, is brooding and a little too angry, but keeps up well. 

The acting and direction are a little over-melodramatic for reasons I can't quite understand – fully nude, long-drawn sex/wrestling/caveman tango scene entirely necessary? - but it hits the tender moments right on the nail. The lows are depressingly low, and the highs demand and deserve front-row-at-a-Habs-game type of cheering. This is a Fringe show that should be seen. 


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