Written and Performed by Dominique Salerno; Directed by Sash Bischoff
Part of the 2016 New York International Fringe Festival
Off Off Broadway, Solo Show
Runs through 8.28.16
VENUE #4: Abrazo Interno at the Clemente, 107 Suffolk Street
THIS SHOW IS PART OF FRINGE ENCORES, PLAYING AT SOHO PLAYHOUSE FROM 10.20 to 10.22.
FOR TICKETS AND MORE INFO VISIT sohoplayhouse.com.
by Piper Rasmussen on 8.19.16
Dominique Salerno in The Box Show. Photo by Ann Beyersdorfer.
BOTTOM LINE: The Box Show tightens limits on space, but not on comedy.
One box, 3 feet by 3 feet by a little bit less, lifted about the same distance from the ground, manages to encompass a whole night of comedy, thanks to one powerhouse performer and her creative team. Dominique Salerno is an endless well of energy as she navigates mythical Greece, a cruise piano lounge, the birth canal, and many other improbable places and scenarios from the un-safety of a box so small she can’t even kneel, much less stand up.
Half the fun is seeing Salerno twist and wiggle through her tiny performance space; the other half is, of course, the delightful scenarios she and her team have devised. The show runs like a great night of improv: some scenarios will undoubtedly appeal more than others to different folks in the audience, but everyone is almost guaranteed to get a good laugh at some point.
The order of scenes is organic, but again like improv, certain scenes often seem to spur or refer to others. An unusual figure offers a well-delivered aria (!) from Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, which shares context with a scene from within the body of the Trojan Horse (a true delight, using the box’s four small doors to full advantage), as well as the poignancy of a particular Broadway show tune. The name of a poor, harried recording studio assistant appears again elsewhere—to reveal would be to spoil. The Box Show’s flow of self-reference adds a satisfying unity to Salerno’s versatile character-switching.
Dominique Salerno’s creation is in its third run, with previous performances at Dixon Place and the United Solo Theatre Festival, so it’s a well-polished little gem; it almost seems unfair to compare it to some of the other performances having their premieres at FringeNYC. Yet comedy is not comparative—and this show is hysterical.
(The Box Show plays at VENUE #4: Abrazo Interno at the Clemente, 107 Suffolk Street, through August 21, 2016. The running time is 1 hour 20 minutes. Performances are Sun 8/14 at 8; Tue 8/16 at 8:45; Thu 8/18 at 9; Fri 8/19 at 4:15; Sun 8/21 at 12:30; and Sun 8/28 at 12:30 (added FringeFAVE performance). There is no late seating at FringeNYC. Tickets are $18 and are available at fringenyc.org. For more information visit theboxshow.org. For information about and tickets to this show's Fringe Encores run, visit sohoplayhouse.com.)
The Box Show is written and performed by Dominique Salerno. Directed by Sash Bischoff. Scenic Design by Ann Beyersdorfer. Lighting Design by Sam Short. Original Lighting Design by Brandon Bagwell. Stage Manager is Rachel Heine. Board Op is Arysbells Figurero. Crew is Ben Quinn, Jeremy Kotler, Justin Heavner, and Philip Estrera.