BOTTOM LINE: Take your own little vacation with this wonderful one-man show about a southern belle trapped in the body of a gay man on his birthday trip to Provincetown.
There is something romantic about a train. At least that's what Miss Magnolia Beatrice Devareux Beaumont thinks, and I'm inclined to agree. Miss Magnolia is a pre-Civil war era Southern belle who, in the prime of her youth, suffered the unfortunate incident of choking to death on a piece of pork, and now finds her soul trapped in the body of a thirty-something gay man, named Joe (or Master Joseph, as Magnolia refers to him), living in modern-day New York City. She quietly resides in his body, unbeknown to him, an observer learning new things everyday. That is, until one day during a birthday vacation to gay ol' Provincetown (the phrase means two entirely different things to the two of them), when a painting of the Civil War disturbs Magnolia so much that her voice can suddenly be heard by Joe. What was supposed to be a party of one, becomes a much different party of two as Magnolia and Joe learn to live with each other and their distinct differences.
This one man show magically transports one out of their seat and into their imagination. Hutcheson does a masterful job of painting a beautiful picture, both as writer and performer With his vivid use of imagery, you can almost smell the salty air, feel the minnows swimming around your ankles, and see the jetty through both the wonderment of Miss Magnolia's eyes and the appreciation of Joe's eyes. Hutcheson delves into both main characters, and a handful of others, with precision and passion. He turns on a dime from one character to the next with clear intentions and great timing.
With nothing but a couple of black cubes, a hand-held fan, a few simple sound effects, and some nicely placed music, Hutcheson brings the audience on a heartfelt journey full of calm, chaos, and plenty of laughter. As the sound of the train rumbles away from Provincetown, and the lights fade on stage, it is clear that we are all a little better off for having met the acquaintance of Miss Magnolia Beaumont (Debutant).
(Miss Magnolia Beaumont Goes To Provincetown plays at the Studio at Cherry Lane Theatre, 38 Commerce Street (between 7th Avenue & Hudson Street), through August 26th. Remaining performances are Friday 8/20 at 9:15pm, Tuesday 8/24 at 5:45pm, Thursday 8/26 at 2:45pm. For more information visit www.MissMagnoliaBeaumont.com. Tickets are $15 in advance, $18 at the door, and are available at FringeNYC.com, by calling 866.468.7619, or in person at FringeCENTRAL, located at 1 East 8th Street at 5th Avenue. There is NO LATE SEATING for Fringe NYC shows.)