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The Pool With Five Porches 

The Pool With Five Porches 


A tale of two men lying by the pool, and little else, is a homoerotic miss at this year's Fringe Festival in New York

In Peter Zablotsky's The Pool With Five Porches, part of The Fringe Festival series of theater productions, two men linger by the side of a pool with "healing waters." Man One (played by Scott Whitehurst), crippled by an unnamed plague, has been waiting four years for his waterside miracle. The aggressive Man Two (Kent Jackman)is hoping to be healed of the sorrow of losing his wife and child in an attack.

For a show dealing with themes of water, this show was incredibly dry. Both characters in this one-act production are unlikable and overwrought, and every line of dialogue is read as A STRIDENT DECLARATION! The actors are competent enough, with emotional palettes ranging from irritated to angry, but the material is neither coherent nor particularly interesting--and the "water as healer" metaphor is certainly not new.

As the two men jockey for position and power, each wanting to be the first one in when the miracle water stirs, it's never clear when or where any of this is taking place. What is this mystical land of angels and miracles? Are we in purgatory or a dream? It's a puzzle, but I was too beaten down by the didactic onstage tirades to really care.

Airless but mercifully short (running time: 40 minutes), The Pool With Five Porches is A Show With No Entertainment Value. Sorry, honey, but if I'm going to be trapped in an overheated room with two very angry men, I'd better be having sex with at least one of them. This pool needs to be drained.

The Player's Loft Theatre

115 MacDougal St.
New York, NY 10012
Tickets: (212) 279-4488 or (888) FRINGE-NYC


Sunday, August 13 at 6:45 P.M. Wednesday, August 16 at 7 P.M. Friday, August 18 at 9:15 P.M. Saturday, August 19 at 3:30 P.M. Sunday, August 20 at 8:45 .P.M. Wednesday, August 23 at 5:15 P.M.. Saturday, August 26 at 4:45 P.M.

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Mike Diamond