Part of FringeNYC: Award-winning playwrights join favorite TV and stage actors with stories of sex, comedy and tragedy in an upstate motel that has seen better days. Fringe veterans bring the ridiculous and the sublime together with breakups, make-ups and a drone attack. More…
Categories: Comedy, Drama, Local. From Schondeikkan Productions and Miracle or Two Productions in association with The Journey Company. Written by Gretchen Cryer, Lynne Halliday, Isaac Himmelman, James Hindman, Arlene Hutton, Craig Pospisil. Directed by Chris Goutman.
FROM THE ARTIST:
AWARD WINNING WRITERS PRESENT NEW SHORT PLAYS
THE GORGES MOTEL, new short plays set in a run-down motel in upstate New York, will premiere at the 20th Annual New York International Fringe Festival.
• Gretchen Cryer (I'm Getting My Act Together…, Last Sweet Days of Isaac: Obie, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Awards)
• Lynne Halliday (All of the Above; The Barrow Group 24-hour plays)
• Isaac Himmelman (Play With Your Dinner; The Barrow Group 24-hour plays)
• James Hindman (Pete 'n’ Keely: Outer Critics nom. Drama Desk nom.)
• Arlene Hutton (Samuel French Short Play Festival: three-time winner; Last Train To Nibroc: Drama League nom. The first FringeNYC to Off-Broadway transfer)
• Craig Pospisil (Months on End; The Atrain Plays)
Lives intersect in comic and dramatic fashion in a motel that has seen better days in Watkins Glen, New York. Breakups, make-ups, dinosaurs and a drone attack: the ridiculous and the sublime all come together in one unlikely place.
Chris Goutman, a five-time Emmy Award winning producer/director, leads a cast of six playing multiple roles, including daytime TV star Ilene Kristen (One Life to Live, Ryan’s Hope, General Hospital), Jody Flader (Gossip Girl, Law&Order), Cynthia Mace, Dustin Charles, Ryan Wesley Gilreath, Jordan Skinner and Amanda Sykes.
This will be the sixth Fringe appearance for The Journey Company, which holds the distinction of having developed and produced Arlene Hutton’s Last Train to Nibroc, the very first Fringe NYC production to move Off-Broadway. Hutton was also represented in the first New York Fringe Festival twenty years ago with an evening of one acts, I Dream Before I Take the Stand and other plays by Arlene Hutton.
"A collection of seven loosely connected playlets, the show is primarily concerned with questions of romantic and familial betrayal. Set in different rooms, smartly differentiated in Chris Goutman’s nifty staging, the pieces last about 10 minutes each, with most of the fine cast playing multiple roles…Not every segment is equally successful—there are several rooms for improvement—but most of the people checking in are work checking out." Full Review
"The resulting piece has the feel of somehow being 'woven together' without the scenes necessarily depending upon one another...Because of their brevity, these scenes require actors who are able to quickly develop characters with recognizable conflicts and who have the ability to establish setting with alacrity. Under Goutman’s steady and generous direction, the cast of seven handle these tasks with exceptional craft and flexibility...'The Gorges Motel' will not disappoint." Full Review
"'Gorges Motel' is a great Fringe show to see for some lighthearted fare…Though at times sophomoric and bordering on stereotypical, 'Gorges Motel' is chock-full of surprises and jokes ready for a sit-com pilot. Certain segments grappling with grief, doubt, loss, and other heavier topics keep the evening grounded…While some of the stories were more fully integrated into the central throughline than others, it is quite entertaining to experience a 360-degree view of the Gorges Motel." Full Review
“Such collective theater projects are almost inevitably uneven, but at its best, the play offers some quirky laughs and some touching oddness...Indeed, few of the pieces in ‘The Gorges Motel’ seem initially to fit naturally into a single work, but the final ‘Missing’ suggests that all the playwrights were guided by the metaphorical possibilities of the location - establishing an analogy between the natural wonder of the Watkins Glen gorge and the mystery of human connection.” Full Review
"It's satisfying to have a short peek into the lives of this smattering of characters...The flip side is that our windows in on these characters are brief and fleeting, and in few of these stories do we reach a satisfying point of conclusion…Certainly, leaving things ambiguous is a fair and valid literary choice, but when replicated across so many stories, it starts to feel less artful and more like a tease...But as long as you're OK with that going in, you'll likely find plenty to enjoy." Full Review
"A tantalizing, comic daisy chain of short plays by six playwrights. A couple are fun: Craig Pospisil’s 'Kissing Cousins,' in which two wedding guests discover that they’ve slept with the groom — one (the spot-on Amanda Sykes) quite recently — and Arlene Hutton’s 'Here Comes the Drone,' in which the bride has suffered a trauma. As a whole, though, 'Gorges' disappoints." Full Review
See it if several playwrites writing short pieces around a common location and event, which are loosely joined into a full length performance.
Don't see it if you don't like short plays joined together to create one whole.
See it if You have a short attention span and enjoy seeing very talented actors shine in multiple roles under some superb direction.
Don't see it if You are looking for something deep and heavy and you get confused by talented actors playing more than one role.
See it if you want to see some great actors take on a myriad of characters; you enjoy quick moving work
Don't see it if you are not a fan of collections of short stories; you cannot stand some stories being left unfinished
See it if a string of character sketches that have in common a light touch & warm funny sensibility, with a witty and frequently delightful cast
Don't see it if you're bothered by unevenness or lack of resolution-- some of the stories resolve, others don't.
See it if you like an evening of interwoven one acts. Some are better than others but all well done. Fantastic acting and direction.
Don't see it if you insist on consistency. Comes close, but parts do fall flat. The ones that work are fantastic.
See it if A series of short scenes loosely tied together by a motel location and some related to a wedding. Each scene had a different tone.
Don't see it if You want a single structure linear story with plot and character development beyond short mini plots and conversations
See it if you enjoy short stories in one evening that is all interconnected in some way...
Don't see it if you it's going to bother you later that the stories aren't all that connected...
See it if prefer boulevard comedy be4 it gets to dinner theatre with actors you might know from film or tv, solid company of actors heightens material
Don't see it if prefer a unified approach to your theatre entertainments rather than amalgam
See it if Quirky sit-com premises appeal; Good acting & better direction - (helping to paper over absurdities)
Don't see it if Good plot premise plot sags badly & doesn't really recover; farcical rom-com situations fail to delight
See it if You love seeing a bunch of short plays with fantastic acting and writing. Or if you want to learn who Amanda Sykes is before she gets famous
Don't see it if You don't enjoy actors playing multiple roles and don't enjoy vignettes
See it if You enjoy human dramas and characters with a lot of history with each other. You like top-notch acting from a beyond capable cast.
Don't see it if You are looking for world themes or a reinvention of the wheel.
See it if you like being entertained by a myriad of endearing and funny characters. you like great acting - check Ryan Gilreath, Amanda Sykes & Ilene
Don't see it if you don't like vignettes and boulevard comedy