The Radicalization of Rolfe (FringeNYC)
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The Radicalization of Rolfe (FringeNYC)

The Radicalization of Rolfe (FringeNYC) NYC Reviews and Tickets

(68 Reviews)
Members say
Clever, Entertaining, Great acting, Funny, Intelligent

About the Show

A FringeNYC Encore: Austria, the 1930s. Messenger boy Rolfe, 17 (going on 18) is about to discover that forbidden sex and the Third Reich don't mix. This dark comedy proves that B-characters have a destiny, too.

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Member Reviews (68)

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57 Reviews | 9 Followers
Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Funny, Intelligent

See it if You enjoy famous stories told from another perspective. Are familiar with "the sound of music"

Don't see it if Are upset by nazi portrayals and the dangers of homophobia under their regime.

106 Reviews | 13 Followers
Great writing, Relevant, Ambitious

See it if your memories of the Sound of Music can handle a little backstory, which is scarily relevent to our political climate.

Don't see it if bad people, doing bad things for their own gain upsets you. Or you don't want anything but the good associated with the movie.

86 Reviews | 57 Followers
Absorbing, Clever, Entertaining, Funny, Intelligent

See it if You need your social justice leavened with a great deal of inside Sound of Music humor.

Don't see it if Long sit down scenes of confrontation bore you.

50 Reviews | 13 Followers
Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Great writing, Thought-provoking

See it if You want to see an original exploration of the Nazi theme in the Sound of Music that is well written, acted, and directed,

Don't see it if You can't bear to see another show about Nazis.

54 Reviews | 15 Followers
Clever, Great acting, Great writing, Great staging

See it if You would enjoy a more complex, problematic look at the characters for The Sound of Music. Politics, sexual orientation and a bit of kitsch.

Don't see it if You don't care about people

161 Reviews | 29 Followers
Absorbing, Clever, Entertaining, Funny, Great acting

See it if You are a diehard fan of The Sound of Music (as I am) and would like to see a different take on some of the other characters in the story.

Don't see it if You expect to see Maria singing "My Favorite Things" although there are many references to Maria and The Captain.

181 Reviews | 103 Followers
Clever, Delightful, Entertaining, Funny, Enchanting

See it if you want to see one of the best Fringe plays this summer. A funny yet thoughtful companion to "The Sound of Music" with a darker message.

Don't see it if you can't stand the frequent and funny references to "The Sound of Music".

499 Reviews | 133 Followers
Must see, Excellent cast/performances, Clever & insightful, Insider humor, Needs editing

See it if a fan of SOM, LGBT themes, & can appreciate the imagined back stories of minor characters

Don't see it if not familiar with the S.O.M & too much exposition makes you crazy Read more

Critic Reviews (12)

Talkin' Broadway
October 28th, 2016

"Bergh has tried fervently to escape the shackles of the source, but they don't release easily...Bergh has plenty of points to make, but they have trouble landing amid all the comedic landmines...It may feel like a lot of filler. This is not because of the actors, who are competent and professional (if never exciting), or director Abigail Zealey Bess, who's staged things with the most kitchen-sink fidelity possible in this format. There's just nowhere for them to go with the material."
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DC Metro Theater Arts
October 27th, 2016

"A uniquely witty original take-off on 'The Sound of Music'...The script is clever and amusing, as it challenges the audience to recognize the well-known show tunes from which they’re taken. But the funny pop-culture references are underscored with intimate views of the devastating effects inherent in the familiar historical themes of socio-political indoctrination, intolerance, and work-camp atrocities that drive the play."
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The New York Times
August 16th, 2016
For a previous production

"A play that was just as much fun as — and cleverer than — it promised to be...In Abigail Zealey Bess’s tone-perfect production, Rolfe (Logan Sutherland) is gay and closeted, unable to stay away from the sweet, teasing Johan (Alex J. Gould). The two are so lovely together that you’ll root for them, and that’s part of the point. Filled with 'Sound of Music' jokes, yet unblinking about the realities of 1930s Austria, this is a lark of a play with sadness at its core."
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Time Out New York
August 17th, 2016
For a previous production

“Broad puns, corny references to Rodgers & Hammerstein and an obscure yet relevant allusion to Marvel's Red Skull are all in the mix. But Bergh doesn’t just crank out meta jokes...The dramatic stakes help move 'The Radicalization of Rolfe' beyond mere spoof, and offer characters of some depth (feelingly acted by a strong cast)...To be sure, Bergh’s humor caters to a distinct niche—camp-loving History Channel and Broadway buffs—but the Players Theatre was alive with the sound of laughter.”
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August 24th, 2016
For a previous production

"A darkly funny new drama…An intriguing look at what might have been if the original property had gone darker. In Abigail Zealey Bess' well-honed production, there are a lot of great belly laughs…But it's not afraid to go deeper, and Sutherland beautifully plays his character's inner conflict, especially in the wrenching last scene. The Von Trapps might make it over the mountain, but Rolfe learns the hard way that Liesl isn't the only one who's totally unprepared to face a world of men."
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Theatre is Easy
August 17th, 2016
For a previous production

"Allusions to 'Sound of Music' are acknowledged unabashedly in the writing and provide a welcome comedic edge to an inherently dark story. If a good number of references undoubtedly went over my head, the cast’s impressive ability to play to the truth of the text meant this never bothered me...Certainly 'Rolfe' will appeal to fans of 'Sound of Music;' what's perhaps even more important is that it will also appeal to those who might not count the classic musical among their favorite things."
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August 15th, 2016
For a previous production

“Getting comic mileage with just a few choice bits of song, lyrics and dialogue from its source, Bergh's play is otherwise soundly and commendably rooted in its serious depiction of Nazi indoctrination of youth...It only takes five chairs, one table and five fine actors to create the dispiriting ambiance of late 1930s Salzburg under the smooth direction of Abigail Zealey Bess, who moves things forward with short and snappy confrontational scenes that afford increasingly emotional content."
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Stage Buddy
August 22nd, 2016
For a previous production

“There are plenty of knowing winks to the audience here to entertain ‘Sound of Music’ fans...Though these references certainly stand out, they don’t feel out of place with the rest of the play, whose witty tone makes the show a pleasure to watch...At the same time, the production deals with some heavy subject matter, and 'Rolfe' manages to balance its wit and cheery show tune references perfectly with its weighty take on the Nazi Party’s rise...The production unsettles even as it entertains."
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