Fringe Fest continues with original faith play

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“Like Father, Like Son” is a faith play written and directed by Roman Denisyuk, a junior interdisciplinary studies major. It follows Ronny, a terminally ill college student who steals $1,700 from the bakery that he used to work at, in order to help his family.

Daniel and Sarah MacAndrews, the bakery owners, become aware that he stole from the bakery and bring him in to confirm that he was the burglar.

At the request of Daniel and Sarah, Ronny arrives at the scene of the crime.

While waiting, one of Ronny’s classmates mentions that she has noticed Ronny conducting secret tests. It is revealed he has Leukemia and he refuses to let anyone know.

One customer enters to order baked goods and discretely stays on stage while he waits for his order to be done. This mysterious man is privy to the heated conversation that ensues in the bakery.

This man is Martin Wolfe, one with a shameful past and history of jail time.

Daniel and Sarah are furious that Ronny is stealing from them, but they take a surprising turn from being angry.

Each actor in this play makes the most of his or her role.

Todd Paropacic plays a scared and sorry yet stubborn Ronny Greevesman. Although Paropacic is a very strong lead, the two actors who steal the show are Brianna Woods – Sarah MacAndrews – and Nick Humes – Daniel MacAndrews.

Humes and Woods are a great comic duo who bring humor to the sad story of a terminally ill thief. Alexandra Mihai plays Catherine, a very naive 16 year-old cashier at the bakery.

Alizabeth Leng manages to capture a few laughs despite having the very minor role of the Grand Duchess.

Although the actors bring the characters to life, many of the characters don’t make sense. It is very difficult to see the objectives of Sarah and Daniel MacAndrews. At first they are furious at Ronny for stealing from the shop. Then, they make a sudden turn from being incredibly angry to peacefully forgiving. Sarah then makes the turn from being extremely forgiving to being filled with rage.

I fail to see the reason behind these sudden transformations. Besides Ronny, I cannot see the characters as real people. They appear more like caricatures than characters.

Denisyuk describes the play as faith-based and he is incredibly obvious about his faith in his play. The play has many instances where it’s loaded with Christian messages.

Many parts of the play seem unnecessary. Although the Grand Duchess, who buys doughnuts and bagels and flirts with Martin Wolfe, brings comic relief, the plot would not have changed one bit without her.

The ghost of Aunt Nadia, played by Jaclyn Emery, can easily be excluded from the play. There are also many lines that add unnecessary parts to the show.

The show ends with a song and choreography that is not only unnecessary, but also adds further confusion to the theme of the show. As an audience member, I cannot decipher what it means.

All in all, the actors make the most with what they were given as a cast. The writing of the show fails to make sense to me and the presence of Christianity is overwhelming. But if you want to see a show with a religiously reassuring message, humorous bits and an emotional protagonist, this is the show for you.

The final performance is 8 p.m. Wednesday in room 3205 of the Palumbo Academic Center. Tickets are $5 or free with a Fringe Pass.

 

 

MICHAEL FUJITO

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