Some couples spend time together playing a sport, traveling, or watching a favorite show. For MR.AND MRS. FITCH, the title characters of the play presented by Backyard Renaissance they find their connection in being the snarky, society gossips that bring the hottest news to the public to devour.
Andrew Oswald and Sandy Campbell bring a fun and frothy energy to the pair who, when faced with the accelerated pace required to stay ahead of the websites and bloggers that are creeping into their realm of influence. From their apartment in Manhattan they stress over what the write and how to regain some of the influence they had that has slipped in this internet driven world.
The only thing they can do is create a story that is so compelling and so vague that it drives reader’s crazy and left wanting the next installment as soon as possible. After all survival is more important than fake news, and gossip is a sink or swim industry.
Oswald and Campbell are delightful as they trade bon mots, sing Cole Porter tunes, and make the play better than it truly is as written by Douglas Carter Beane. The script thinks it’s cleverer than it is, and is packed with snarky comments and works too hard to make these characters seem cultured and sophisticated.
The numerous literary references they bat around in a conversation in their living room with each other include Blake, Hemingway, Yeats, and more which make them more caricature than character. They’re more like the pretentious people you meet at a party who quizzes you on your cultural and literary knowledge while giving you a patronizing look if you get a detail wrong. It’s no wonder they’re having a hard time getting invited to events at the start of the play, no one wants those people at their event for too long.
Directed by Francis Gercke the play has an excellent pace, keeping the flow moving even with monologues woven in that could derail the momentum. Oswald and Campbell carry the play these characters with energy and a bite that help the characters and the play transcend was initially written on the page. This is a fitting portrayal for characters who decide to transcend their lackluster gossip by creating something more interesting for everyone to consume.
For more information on Backyard Renaissance and their season of shows go to www.backyardrenaissance.com