Hearts Full of Blood 

By James Asmus; Directed by Andrew Hobgood

 A scene from The New Colony's Hearts Full of Blood.

BOTTOM LINE: Greek tragedy meets modern comedy with the help of a stellar cast and well-written script.

Hearts Full of Blood is the newest offering from Chicago based theatre company, The New Colony, which is currently closing out its run at this years Fringe Festival. Based on a true story, Hearts Full of Blood, tells the tragic, yet darkly comic tale of the quintessential happy American couple as they struggle to conceive their first child. Their perfect existence is shattered when a dark secret emerges as they try to get to the root of their fertility problems. Throw in two best friends who are desperately trying to find some sort of valuable connection in this modern world and you have the makings for one the best plays that I've seen at this Fringe Festival or any other festival in recent memory.

The New Colony has managed to create a fresh and exciting modern gothic American tragedy that will no doubt stay with you long after the final moments of this exciting new play. One of the coolest aspects, other than the fact that it is based on a true story, is that part of the script is improvised every night. The four actors have been with the piece since its early stages of development and have free reign to take certain artistic liberties and create fresh and exciting moments every night. So, even if you've already seen this show, go see it again and experience something fresh.

The four actors give incredible performances. Gary Tiedemann and Sarah Gitenstein are extremely poised and honest as a young couple faced with extreme hardship. The standout performances, though, come from Mary Hollis Inboden and Evan Linder as the young couple's closest friends. Both Linder and Inboden have the audience hanging on their every word and deliver biting one liners with ease while providing much appreciated subtle moments of clever comedy in this tragic tale.

Go see Hearts Full of Blood. It is good. Not all festival shows are worth your time and money, but you would be doing yourself a favor to spend your hard earned dough on something that you will truly love and enjoy, like this production. I hope that this is not the last NYC has heard of Hearts Full of Blood or The New Colony. This is the kind of gritty, heartfelt, intelligent, and fearless work that I want to see and I imagine you will want to see it as well. 

(Hearts Full of Blood plays at HERE Arts Center- Mainstage Theater, 145 6th Avenue. Enter on Dominick Street, one block South of Spring Street on the West Side of 6th Avenue, across from the small park. Remaining performances are Saturday 8/28 at 5pm and Sunday 8/29 at 12pm. Tickets are $15 in advance, $18 at the door, and are available at, 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.)