Once a year the Illusion Theater in Minneapolis hosts the “Fresh Ink Series” where they feature new shows which are still in process of hopefully becoming something in the future. Last year, Max Wojtanowicz and Sheena Janson wrote a play for the Fringe Festival. Due to its popularity, they were asked to present it during this series. The show is titled “Fruit Fly” and tells the story of a twenty year friendship. This time through, Sheena was played by Cat Brindisi alongside Max.
Max is such a bubbly, funny, light hearted guy and watching this show gave me more insight into his life. It showed raw emotions when he sang about drinking alone on a Thursday. His best friend was starting to date a guy and he was left behind (or so it seemed). Cat Brindisi did a wonderful job playing the best friend who balances her two loves: her gay friend of many years and her new boyfriend.
Many of the songs were talk/sung. They were witty and got audience members laughing. Using sock puppets and pretending to be each others moms by wearing wigs were only a few of the silly things they did. Since the show is a read through and partially memorized, there are minimal props and no costume changes. It was helpful because it allowed the audience to focus on listening to the material and soak it in.
The show’s music by Michael Gruber with musical direction by John Lynn sounded great. “Fruit Fly” is a clever one act show. Hopefully it will continue to transform and be performed again in the near future. From the Q & A talkback after the show, it seems the creative team would be more than happy to see this project take flight. Be on the lookout for future productions.