Donate Now to Support KDHX

Listen Live
Saturday, 22 June 2013 21:51

St. Lou Fringe 2013: 'Underneath the Lintel' is overpowering

Written by Chuck Lavazzi
Rate this item
(0 votes)

The Details

St. Lou Fringe 2013: 'Underneath the Lintel' is overpowering
stlfringe.com

Glen Berger’s 2001 one-man play “Underneath the Lintel” is the story of an obsessive Librarian (we never do learn his name) in a small Dutch town whose neatly ordered (if not terribly fulfilling) life is turned upside-down when a copy of a Baedeker travel guide turns up in his “returns” box one day. It’s 123 years overdue, filled with notes in a variety of different languages (yet all, apparently by the same hand), and the borrower is identified in the records only as “A.”

The Librarian’s attempt to track down the mysterious “A.” quickly turns into a globe-trotting manhunt that begins to take on supernatural overtones when it appears that “A.” might not be an ordinary human.

The Librarian tells us his story in a vast flood of monologue, interspersed with presentations of an “impressive presentation of lovely evidences” culled during his hunt—a dry-cleaning ticket, an animal quarantine record, a letter, a photograph, a wax cylinder recording, a pair of tattered trousers. He shows us slides of the places he visited (every one of which had a production of “Les Miserables” running) with appropriate background music. He evens stops the fire hose of ideas and asides now and then to reflect on what it all means to his own life—and to ours.

As performed by veteran film and television actor Pat O’Brien (you may remember his as Mr. Dewey in the TV show “Saved By the Bell”), “Underneath the Lintel” is a completely riveting story. From the moment he appears on stage, O’Brien totally inhabits this eccentric, brilliant, and wildly loquacious character, effortlessly reeling off the many discoveries, insights, and wry digressions as though he were making them up on the spot. It’s a bravura performance, and not just because it’s such a spectacular feat of memorization. Mr. O’Brien’s concentration never wavered and I never, for one moment, felt that I was watching anyone other than the Librarian up there.

“Underneath the Lintel” is, in short, the best thing I’ve seen at the Fringe this year. As I’m writing this, you have two more chances to see this remarkable piece of theatre: tonight (Saturday, June 22) at 10:30 PM and tomorrow (Sunday, June 23) at 2:30 PM. Performances take place in the cabaret space at the Kranzberg Center, 501 North Grand. For more information: stlfringe.com
 

Additional Info

Sponsor Message

Become a Sponsor

Find KDHX Online

KDHX on Instagram
KDHX on YouTube
KDHX on SoundCloud
KDHX on Facebook
KDHX on Twitter
KDHX on flickr

Local Artist Spotlight


The Mound City Slickers

Mon August 4

KDHX Recommends

August
Friday
29

Small Black, Scarlet Tanager

KDHX welcomes Small Black to the Ready Room, with Scarlet Tanager. This event is all ages.


August
Saturday
30

Cave States at Harvest Sessions 2014

Cave States at Harvest Sessions 2014 Cave States makes its debut live performance at Harvest Sessions this week. The acoustic Americana band features veteran St. Louis musicians Danny Kathriner, Chris Grabau, Todd Schnitzer, John Higgins and John Horton. This free...


September
Friday
05

Art Outside

Art Outside is not an ordinary fair, but one that features art, music and plenty of food and drink from Schlafly Beer. Hosted at the brewery’s Bottleworks location in Maplewood, Missouri, Art Outside draws approximately 15,000...


Get Answers!

If you have questions or need to contact KDHX, visit our answers portal at answers.kdhx.org.

Online Users

9 users and 14897 guests online
Sign in with Facebook

SYSTEM: S5 Box

Login/My Account

Sign in with Facebook