Capital Fringe 2014 Review: ‘The Fever’

(The Best of the Capital Fringe)

The Fever, a tour de force solo performance featuring Patrick O’Brien from last year’s Fringe hit, Underneath the Lintel, is everything a Fringe show should be: a wonderfully challenging and thought-provoking way to spend an evening.

Written by Wallace Shawn (the “inconceivable” actor from The Princess Bride), The Fever focuses on an affluent traveler to a poor country, who is leveled by a nightmarish but enlightening fever that will challenge the consciences of the most liberal of theatre-goers. The Fever won the Obie Award for Best Play, and rightly so, as it is an engaging and challenging piece that looks at the awakening of a pampered man’s conscience. Whether you like the answers The Fever proposes or not, this piece is powerful and well worth spending some serious time grappling with the positions it takes.

Patrick O’Brien delivers the virtuoso performance we’ve come to expect of him as the pampered traveler in The Fever. His innate talent at storytelling transcends the material and helps create a moving and memorable evening. O’Brien dives deep into the material, revealing the anguish, guilt, disgust, and rage behind Shawn’s words.

While this striking piece has depth and challenges the audience to feel guilt for its consumerism and first world lifestyle choices, it doesn’t feel like intellectual heavy lifting. The Fever will force you to think, and may even induce uncomfortable twinges of guilt, but the process will leave you with thought-provoking questions that only you can resolve for yourself.

the fever

The Fever is a not to be missed Fringe experience.

Running Time: 55 minutes.

Recommended for ages 13 and up (some profanity).

The Fever plays through July 25, 2014 at Goethe Institut – 812 7th Street, NW in Washington, DC. For more information and to purchase tickets, go to their Capital Fringe Page.

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