Capital Fringe Review: ‘Domino’s Pizza Saved My Life’ by Sydney- Chanele Dawkins


The art of oral storytelling is a dying one. The natural grace and easy that monologist Dylan Fresco has sharing the intimate details of his personal life, and the heartaches and triumphs of his family history with an audience of complete strangers,  is truly a gift.  Domino’s Pizza Saved My Life, Fresco’s latest solo show is making it’s first appearance in the DC metro area at Goethe Institut – Main Stage as a part of the Capital Fringe Festival, after being a sold-out hit at the Minnesota Fringe Festival – the nation’s largest, for the last two years. The assured confidence and skill that Fresco entranced the audience as he shared his biographical yearnings is touching, comforting, and pleasantly, amusing.

Dylan Fresco.

The show begins in the dark. Little is seen but a dim spotlight in the center floor, but we hear the beautiful strumming of guitar setting the mood and filling the room with romantic Russian folk music. Enter, Dylan Fresco, as he begins to sing in Russian. He tells the audience that he is not from Russia, but his family who left in in late 1800’s is … And so begins the journey of self-discovery as Fresco, a Jewish boy growing up in New York, explores the intriguing tales of family lore, summer camp, and his personal encounters with global events.

I laughed, I sighed, and came close to the brink of tears in this 60 minutes of authoritative, emotional reflection. The honesty, and passion of Fresco’s odes connected by moments of uplifting song and guitar gave me everything I look for in a fulfilling, unique Fringe experience.

How Domino’s Pizza saved his life, motivated change, and deepened his outlook on the world is just one of the funny, heartfelt stories you will take away with you in this soulful, mesmerizing performance from a natural born storyteller.

Dominoes Pizza Saved My Life is a rare treat of personal nostalgia, song, and wit. It’s so good, I want another slice. This is one Fringe show you don’t want to miss!

Four shows remain you to get your piece of the pie!

Get more information and purchase tickets by reading our Fringe Preview.

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Sydney-Chanele Dawkins
Sydney-Chanele Dawkins is an award-winning feature filmmaker, film curator, film festival producer and a theater/film critic and arts writer. She also serves as an impassioned advocate for the Arts as Chair of the Alexandria Commission for the Arts in Alexandria, VA. Fearless. Tenacious. Passionate. Loyal. These characteristics best describe Sydney-Chanele's approach to life, her enthusiasm for live theater and the arts, and her cinephile obsession with world cinema. Her successful first film, 'Modern Love is Automatic' premiered at SXSW in Austin, Texas, and made its European debut at the Edinburgh Film Festival. She recently completed her third film, the animated - 'The Wonderful Woes of Marsh' - which is rounding the film festival circuit. In 2013, Sydney-Chanele produced the box office hit,Neil Simon's Rumors for the McLean Community Players at Alden Theater, Her next producing effort in 2014 is Pearl Cleage's 'Blues for an Alabama Sky' for Port City Playhouse. Programmer for Cinema Art Bethesda and Co Chair of the Film Program for Artomatic, Sydney-Chanele is the past Festival Director of the Alexandria Film Festival, the Reel Independent Film Festival,and Female Shorts & Video Showcase. She is active in leadership and programming positions with DC Metro area Film Festivals including: Filmfest DC, DC Shorts, the Washington Jewish Film Festival, Arabian Sights Film festival, and AFI Docs. Please feel free to contact me with your comments and questions - sydneychanele@gmail.com [Note: Sydney-Chanele Dawkins passed away on July 8, 2015, at age 47, after a battle with Breast Cancer.]