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San Francisco Fringe 2015

Perpetual Wednesday

White Collar Crimes

Genre: Comedy

Venue: Exit Theatre


Low Down

Two characters search for the truth in this comedic play. They even go to ancient Egypt to find important people and things to help them.


Perpetual Wednesday is an intriguing title for a show and so is the premise. Produced by White Collar Crimes, it’s performed by Anthony Arnista as Bruce and Jacob Trillo as Walter. Bruce and Walter are magicians currently locked up in a room in a police station as they are about to be interrogated. They think they may have accidentally murdered a volunteer in their previous night’s magic show. Arnista and Trillo certainly have a lot of energy and put it all into their frantic characters. However, from an acting point of view, if they were a little less blustery and broad when interacting, it may be easier to connect and understand who they are. The dialogue goes very fast and at maximum volume from the start, so there is little time given to build the rapport, allow the audience in to get to know them – or really care about the characters early on, even though Arnista and Trillo are compelling performers.

Arnista’s Bruce is the smart one and Trillo’s Walter the naïve one, so the contrasting and fairly complex characters have a good foundation of possibilities. Walter is dressed in a tight brown tweedy jacket and baggy corduroy trousers and Bruce wears a smart green jacket with a black sequined waistcoat. They are both believable showmen, work well together as a duo, and they switch back and forth trying to remember by reenacting what they think happened in the accident, the night before. Through funny fast dialogue and physical acting they rehearse their story for the police, then play the police as good cop bad cop to read their reactions and adjust their story – each of these moments is funny – Arnista and Trillo are quick witted, well rehearsed yet spontaneous.

Bruce and Walter are time travelers in search of their own lives and their future. They decide to delve into this mysterious story deeper to figure everything out and they express this part with shadow puppets. The large black shadow puppets are beautifully made, depicting Egyptian characters from two thousand years ago and a Spell Book that provides immortality – these puppets show well behind the back lit shadow screen. The manipulation of the shadow puppets could benefit from more finesse, although some of the fast moving shadow puppet moments were entertaining. Fortunately, during the last ten minutes of this play the characters settled down and talked to each other, not at each other, which was wonderful to see, hear – and then we could appreciate them.