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San Francisco Fringe 2022

60 Minutes of Our Lives

Somewhat Unique Productions

Genre: Solo Performance

Venue: EXIT Theatre, San Francisco


Low Down

An actor has a suitcase full of props and only an hour on the stage but, together with the help of the audience, they’ll race to get through as many of these 16 short plays as they’re able.


The program for this show is a menu of choices – not of meals but of short plays. Steven Westdahl asks us to shout out the number of the play we want to see. There are sixteen short plays and the random order at each performance presents Westdahl with an exciting challenge to see how many short plays he can perform in one hour. At the show I attended we were an on the ball audience and as soon as a play ended we were ready to shout out another suggestion, so we all contributed to the content and pacing of the show..

A retro looking suitcase sits on a table displayed on its side with taped off sections, each containing a different prop. Westdahl is athletic in his changeovers from one play to another, either bringing on a chair and table and sundry props or taking them offstage, as well as changing costumes, depending on what is needed for each one to three minute play. He is always active, until he settles to perform the next play.

The strength of this show is the variety of topics and emotions. The performance is never predictable and the mood ranges from sweet, comedic, quirky, human, sad to tragic. Westdahl is a compelling actor with a strong presence and a full range of emotions. His writing is creative, witty, fun, creative and poignant. He is also a physical actor and some content is expressed through visual and gestural storytelling.

Props and story themes vary and include a zany story about a soup can, disco dancing to disco music and flashing lights, a doll’s head and a story about his brother, a photo of his dog and the utter sadness of her recent passing, the messy fun of walking on egg shells- literally with pieces of crunchy egg shells all over the stage at the end of the show.

The frantic set and quick costume changes plus the completely random order of each scene at every show and the time challenge to do as many as possible in 60 minutes means that there are surprises even for Westdahl, and he is playful and personable in between scenes as he changes mental and emotional gear for each play. This all makes for a very entertaining show that is unpredictable, well written and well performed!