There are two types of theater, one that makes you laugh or cry and one that gives you an unforgettable experience. Fatty Fatty No Friends is the latter. Once this fast-paced musical starts, it is like a tsunami of emotions constantly sweeping over you with unrelenting angst. We get caught in the storm, and have to ride it out. The show feels like one big gasp;you hold your breath and don’t let go until the show ends. I was so immersed in this play and emotionally provoked that I was speechless for about ten minutes after it finished because I was so internally stirred that I needed time to digest and decompress after witnessing this intense piece of theater
Bullying has become the plague of the 21st century. Kids are being confronted with horrific torment, that causes many of them to snap or, worse yet, commit suicide. Such is the life of Tommy, an obese child who gets picked on daily because of his size Not surprisingly, Tommy eventually rebels and takes revenge on his tormenters. However justified, Tommy’s conscience is bothered by his maniacal plan. This forces Tommy to re-evaluate his choices and decide on what kind of man he hopes to become.
I think everyone can relate to Tommy’s dilemma and the outrageous cruelty that kids can inflict on each other, Jason Sofge plays the broken Tommy excellently. His raw emotional connection to Tommy is captivating, which makes our identification with his character even stronger. Oh yeah, he can also sing the pants (pun-intended) off like it’s nobody’s business. He is a force to be reckoned with, not because of his size, but because of his immense talent. Mia Moretti Thomas has the unenviable task of playing Sally, the head bully. Moretti goes for the jugular in every scene and we hate her in the best sense of the word. There are two ominous demons who lurk around the stage, never exiting that further torment Tommy. Not only do they sing well, but they do it on stilts. My hats go off to Isaac Harold and Jessica Rose Furran who played these challenging characters very well.
The only slight qualm I had is with the unequal volume of the actors. Most projected well, but there were some whose sound was lost in the big theater. I can go on and on about the merits of this production. But the fact that it was brought back by the Fringe Encore Series, says a lot in and of itself. This is one of the best productions I’ve seen in a long time. Simply put, it’s FATastic!
Fatty Fatty No Friends plays noy through September 17, 2014 at Soho Playhouse 15 Vandam St. http://www.mindtheartentertainment.com/