Sell Outs And Critical Acclaim Propel THE PARTICULARS Through FringeNYC

The scene Sunday was the best we could have hoped for: a crowd of fringe goers clamoring to see our final performance at this year’s FringeNYC; waiting, hoping, that maybe, just maybe, someone would have an extra ticket. Maybe an industry comp wouldn’t show. Maybe we’d counted wrong and there was, in fact, one seat left.

We did what we could. The director, playwright, and producers gave up their seats and unclaimed comps were released the minute before curtain. Yet still, short of people sitting on each other’s laps (a noted fire hazard), there would alas be some disappointed patrons come 4:01pm. The bad news that they had missed their chance was a bitter pill for those turned away, but for us there was a sweet taste that followed. There was no denying it: we had a hit.

Our success was not only commercial. The New York Times, selecting The Particulars as one of only a handful of the 187 FringeNYC shows it would review, led a chorus of near-unanimous acclaim for Matt MacKenzie’s powerful play:

“Over the course of Matthew MacKenzie’s fine new play Mr. Silliman, usually wearing nothing more than underwear, reveals his gifts for physical comedy and meticulous timing, as well as a princely willingness to cast all vanity into the bonfire…the writing is smart, strange and stirring, in exactly the right ways. Jordana Williams’s direction keeps the performances visually interesting and mostly stitched together, no small feat in what sometimes feels like two separate one-person plays. It helps of course that the creative team has found the perfect stars to animate each of those performances.” – The New York Times (full review)

The Particulars is a profound new play that is written with precision, empathy, and imagination…Actors Ashlie Atkinson as the preacher and Brian Silliman as Gordon give impeccable performances, thriving with MacKenzie’s words. Director Jordana Williams keeps the production active and compelling to watch, which is certainly an accomplishment with such lengthy monologues…The Particulars is a play that can easily thrive beyond the festival, and is well worth catching in this barebones debut. Furthermore, given their production of last year’s FringeNYC hit Greenland, The Bridge Theatre Company have shown themselves adept at finding some stellar Canadian playwrights to bring to the NYC stage.” – (full review)

“Mr. Silliman, expertly directed by Jordana Williams, is not only a sight to see, clad in ill-fitting undies for a great deal of the time, but a marvel to hear—his voice quickens and slows, and has alternating hints of passion and malaise which are simply delightful.” – Stage and Cinema (full review)

“Silliman has a magnetic presence and knows how to vary intonation to build suspense or emphasize the humorous aspects of the script. Director Jordana Williams also deserves some of the credit for drawing out fine performances from both actors in MacKenzie’s oddly compelling play.” – TheaterMania (full review)

The work of our wonderful team would receive one final endorsement from FringeNYC itself at the festivals closing party Sunday night. The Particulars was awarded an Overall Excellence award for Brian Silliman’s portrayal of Gordon, one of the finest characters we’ve seen written this side of Daniel MacIvor. With that, our 2012 Fringe experience came to an end. Another year, another fine Canadian writer getting his due in New York City.

The list of people responsible for our success is enormous: The friends, family, and colleagues who continue to support our cause. The artists who contribute to all elements of our productions. The infinitely talented Canadian writers who honor us with the opportunity to showcase their work in one of the greatest cities in the world.

We are a fortunate bunch here at the Bridge — The Particulars was most certainly a reminder of that. Especially that final performance, which we’re almost certain was a good one. Hard to say, though, when you’re watching through a crack in the door.

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