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17 Border Crossings

76
Critics
77
5 reviews
Members
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0 reviews
 

Part of the 2015 Next Wave Festival, this solo show features director, designer and raconteur Thaddeus Phillips as he takes a trip around the world through story, armed with a chair, a table, and a bar of lights.

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The itinerary: a worse-for-wear Communist-era train traveling from Prague to Belgrade; the wheel well of a transatlantic jet to Heathrow; and 15 other border crossings recreated by theater director, designer, and raconteur Thaddeus Phillips. A chair, table, and bar of lights become the imagined settings for invasive body searches at Charles de Gaulle, ayahuasca experiments in the Amazon, KFC-smuggling in Palestine, and run-ins with Ace of Base on Croatian ferries in this engrossing look at the perplexing ins and outs of our fragile right of passage.

 

Cast & Creatives (4)



Reviews (5)

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77
Avg Score

70
The New York Times

"The set is deceptively simple: just a table, a chair, a lamp. But the director, Tatiana Mallarino, has an agreeably inventive approach to staging. Those items are repurposed in a dozen different ways. If the staging compels, as do several of the tales, the text itself doesn’t. The storytelling is efficient, but prosaic. And while Mr. Phillips, who has an air of both seriousness and mischief, is a likable performer, he isn’t so scintillating as to enliven the prose fully." Full Review

95
Phindie

for a previous production "We armchair travelers participate in the discoveries that virtual travel affords. Even as Phillips’s fancy footwork throughout his rich space-and-time travel extravaganza entertains, we may learn something too, beyond the abuses of officialdom and the acquisition of some foreign words." Full Review

95
Westword

for a previous production "Thaddeus Phillips's brilliant piece, '17 Border Crossings,' is a series of monologues based on his own extensive travels. Some of these stories last only a few seconds and some are longer; some are funny, others frightening or sad. They carry implications that go to the heart of what it means to be a human being living among other humans." Full Review

90
Denver Post

for a previous production "There are plenty of poetic moments...Phillips is a compassionate, gifted storyteller with a very fine ear for how people speak their truths. A riff by a Mexican immigrant on why he likes the world 'alien' is a thing of simple beauty." Full Review

75
Broad Street Review

for a previous production "This multi-talented theater wizard renders his own international travel as the subject of this work. By framing his monologues on border crossings, he assembles a mix of experiences from which he can draw humor and as well as make his political critiques. Although his humor and political critique don't always sustain interest, many segments do." Full Review

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