Review by: John Girhiny
BEARS! In The City! launches its debut performance of “Sorry ‘Bout That.”, a lighthearted romp which chronicles the adventures of an urban bear. Accidents may happen, mistakes may be made, laughs will be had by all.
The play examines the relationship between bears and humans and how they adapt to each other’s natural habitats and instincts.
“It seems humans enjoy putting themselves above other animals and exploiting that arbitrary status. We always hear stories of bears ‘intruding’ on new subdivisions in the middle of the woods – people choose to move to the middle of bear habitat, and then want the bears to work around them somehow. There are tons of stories designed to teach humans how to live with/around bears… We thought it would be fun and enlightening to flip the idea to demonstrate its absurdity; let’s bring some bears into our environment and make them live in our constraints,” said Cohn.
The play also reflects the immigrant experience. “We have all been the odd bear out. The story is relatable because we’ve all had that experience where we may behave in a way that’s ‘different’ from the norm but may be completely natural to us,” said Rai.
The above is taken from the press release by the company. It is an excellent idea but does not work in its actualization. Julie Cohn is a vivacious actor with a strong commitment to the show. She wears an excellent bear costume and puts on some very good facial expressions. The idea needs to be developed far more and the performance needs polish.
Some of the off stage utterances are not clear. The baby bear’s voice possibly should be changed to make its lines more understandable.
There are a few good lines (when bears get scared people die, is one) and a silliness which would appeal to some. There were a couple of people in the audience who giggled throughout.
This is an example of a introductory Fringe entry.