Capital Fringe Preview: ‘Stopgap’ by Joel Markowitz

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It’s amazing how many fantastic young actors appear in Fringe shows who you just hope would be ‘discovered,’ and that’s the way I felt with the exceptional cast of Stopgap. This hardworking cast performed like troupers in a play that needed at least 45 minutes of cuts. And they had to move furniture and hand each other props during the show. They were like professional jugglers and they deserve kudos for their heartfelt performances. These fine actors are Caitlin Diana Doyle (May Green-the soon-to-be inseminated one); Michael Litchfield (Robert) and Jonathan Colby (David) – the two men in love; Julie James (Eileen Haley – David’s supportive Mom); and supporting players Megan Westman (Jen Parker) and Travis Blumer (Ted). Director Jamila Reddy did a fine fine job directing Danielle Mohlman’s play in this intimate space.

The talented cast of 'Stopgap. Photo by Mimsi Janis.

Being a Gay man I appreciate the themes used in the plays and I could relate to so many of the relationship issues and problems and over-emotional reactions and seld-doubts and confusion the two gay characters faced. The play focuses on gay adoption, relationships breaking up, and a single friend considering artificial insemination. And of course, it’s all predictable.

I would suggest they stop moving all the chatskis around. I bet that if you added up all the time they took to move, hand, and place (into banker storage boxes) it had to be at least 30 minutes worth of time but it felt like hours. And this was so unfair to this great cast because it slowed the show down to a crawl at times. And worse. when you were ‘feeling’ something for these ever-suffering characters, you just didn’t have enough time to soak it in because the lights came down again and the chairs moved again or the table moved again. I would like to see this play again performed using just a table, a couch, and a couple of chairs (and of course some editing) because it has the potential to be a powerful ’90 minutes’ of great theatre.

There is a lot of heart in the writing and performances and I wish them all well, as the creative process moves (I need to use a better word) on.

For more information and to purchase tickets, check our Fringe Preview.

 

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Joel Markowitz
Joel Markowitz is the Publisher and Editor of DCMetroTheaterArts. He founded the site with his brother Bruce to help promote the vast riches of theatre and the arts in the DC Metro area that includes Maryland, Virginia, and DC theater and music venues, universities, schools, Children's theaters, professional, and community theatres. Joel is an advocate for promoting the 'stars of the future' in his popular 'Scene Stealers' articles. He wrote a column for 5 years called ‘Theatre Schmooze’ and recorded podcast interviews for DC Theatre Scene. His work can also be seen and read on BroadwayStars. Joel also wrote a monthly preview of what was about to open in DC area theatres for BroadwayWorld. He is an avid film and theater goer, and a suffering Buffalo Bills and Sabres fan. Joel was a regular guest on 'The Lunch and Judy Show' radio program starring Judy Stadt in NYC. Joel founded The Ushers Theatre Going Group in the DC area in 1990, which had a 25-year run when it took its final curtain call last year. Joel is a proud member of The American Critics Association.