The second weekend of The Hollywood Fringe Festival is this coming weekend. Putting up a show at the Fringe Fest is a huge undertaking. Not only is it all original material, you are required to provide almost everything. You provide the cast and crew. They provide the space and tell you where to be and when to be there, but that’s it! You have basically no time to set-up and no time to break down. This is what Mara Marski has been up to for the past month or so.
Her show is called ‘The Good luck Girls’. It’s brought to life by three actors; Marski (herself) as Sundae, the Harvard-hopeful American high school senior, Hanna Stanbridge as Jane/Asante, the exchange student, and Mick Lambuth as both Sundae’s father and the governor. We follow these quirky characters through a ridiculous turn of events all in the name of getting into Harvard.
The fact that these characters are in their robes for the majority of this play isn’t the only reason this show comes highly recommended from the ALAG team: the sock puppet stuff is pretty awesome too! But the best part is the depth amidst the stupidity. Jane comes to America as an exchange student from the third world and is met with a large misunderstanding when she first meets Sundae. Sundae hopes to “save” Jane (or Asante, as she prefers to refer to her) in a “Pay it Forward,” “What would Haley Joel Osment do?” sort of way, while exclaiming things like “It’s not hand-outs, it’s charity!” Jane hopes to give herself a better opportunity to become the detective she has always dreamed of being.
Once Jane convinces Sundae she herself doesn’t need saving, Sundae worries about what to do to become worthy enough to get into Harvard. Jane tells Sundae about the girls in her village who are kidnapped by terrorist on their way to school, and the misguided western civilization helping the little countries in need is highlighted through the adventures of these two girls. With quotes like “We have to sex it up because in America we don’t really care about women and their feelings,” and “homo is a choice,” you know you’re in for some great satire. The physical comedy is also on point. The sock puppetry and dance by Lambuth makes me want a copy of the footage right now! The human puppetry and moaning Marski does to avoid actually picking Mick up is perfection. Hanna is the perfect straight man amidst it all.
Mara found a way to make light of heavy subject matter in a smart and meaningful way. If it doesn’t leave you wondering what Western civilization bullshit you buy into, it probably means you buy into it all. This show will ask you to question why we do what we do (is that really where the term viral comes from?) while making you laugh out loud at the same time. And when the stage came up from black out and Mara looked up at us and said “Thanks for coming to our weird little play!” I felt so much inspiration and excitement to see what Marski does next!
‘The Good Luck Girls’ are up at the Complex theater in Hollywood. Shepard Studio, 6472 Santa Monica Blvd. There is a five dollar valet outside the theater for your convenience. The show runs June 20th at 7pm, June 21st at 6:45pm, and June 27th 5:15pm. You can order tickets online here: http://www.hollywoodfringe.org/projects/2387?tab=tickets Follow Mara on twitter @unicornfartz69 or with her blog darkartsandcrafts.wordpress.com ***Special thanks to Kate Magers for proofing this article! (fun fact Kate’s a Harvard Grad herself!)***