Reviewed by Matt Ritchey
One of the great things about attending the Fringe annually is that you remember what actors, writers, directors, or groups do work of high caliber or that is your “style.” Michael Shaw Fisher is one of the Kings of Fringe with past musical amazements such as the Top of the Fringe Shakespeare’s Last Night Out, Best Fringe Musical Exorcistic, 2018 Best Musical Doctor Nympbo vs The Sex Zombies and Night of the Rootbeer, which, while better off not mentioned for obvious reasons, does have a connection to his newest play The Death of Sam Mobean.
A majority of Fisher’s hits have been musicals. But it’s when he does his narrative shows, it’s when I get even more invested. Last year’s Night of the Rootbeer was… a show that happened. (The sequel, Revenge of the Rootbeer, is also, inexplicably, happening.) But his production of The Death of Sam Mobean is my current choice for Best Ensemble.
The dark comedy twists and plays with logic, reality, and your mind as a small but expert cast of actors spit rapid-fire poetic dialogue in an effort to find out just who, exactly, killed Sam Mobean. Except that everyone knows. And also, he’s not dead.
A Lynchian stage play with hints of BAAL, Kafka, and Nabokov’s Invitation to a Beheading the intellectual piece is directed to make the insanity perfectly clear and the cast intelligible through the unintelligible-ness. Alli Miller, Eric Curtis Johnson, Heather Schmidt, and Fisher himself take you on a breakneck journey through heated relationships, misunderstandings, heartbreak, murder, and quantum fields. Schoen Hodges, playing Sam Mobean(?), in particular, is a standout. He has a big job and nails it, giving what I see as the best male performance at this year’s Fringe.
Go see Sam Mobean. You’ve already seen it. But go.
Very Highly Recommended
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