A Day at the Beach - Ultrasuede Productions

Reviewed By Karen Staehling

Fringe Reviewer

Windy, a lesbian, atheist, socialist, meets Barbara Ann, a conservative Idaho preacher’s daughter, on a beach before the apocalypse in Ultrasuede Productions’ performance of “A day at the Beach”. The script was written by Jaye Lee Vocque.  The play, directed by Amber Miller, was filmed on stage before a live audience and features Dahlia Vocque as Windy, Charlie Cardoza as Barbara Ann, and Aaron Miller as Skippy, a surfer dude that occasionally interrupts the women’s conversation with snacks and comments about waves and boobs.

The dialog between Windy and Barbara Ann is clever, funny, and sprinkled with random song lyrics. The two women bond over wine and assorted beverages from Windy’s well-stocked beach bag as the women examine their lives, choices, and differences while counting down the final hours to the apocalypse. Will Windy convince Barbara Ann to re-examine her beliefs and see the world differently? Will Barbara Ann take the leap of faith or have an existential crisis? Will Skippy catch the big wave?

Halfway through the show, the plot takes a big twist that this reviewer did not see coming and enjoyed. There is also a surprise ending.

The single-camera angle and filming before a live audience worked, but viewers might find themselves envying the live audience and wishing they were there. Zooming in closer on the actors would have helped as well as adapting the format for a virtual audience.  Don’t let that dissuade you from watching though, viewers will enjoy the performances, plot twists, and clever banter from the apocalyptic day at the Beach.