Fortune
Reviewed by David Kashimba
Photo by Ed Smith

Marin Theatre Company in Mill Valley strikes it rich with Deborah Zoe Laufer’s Fortune. Laufer’s play is a poignant love story beautifully disguised as a hilarious comedy. It is rich in laughter and rich in love, but by far the greatest fortune in Fortune is the cast.

Julia Brothers plays Maude, a reluctant but very accurate fortuneteller, and Darren Bridgett plays Jeremy, a lonely accountant who becomes Maude’s obsessive client. At first Jeremy seems to be a typical lonely guy wanting to know if he’s ever going to meet “Miss Wright.” Maude levels with him, in an attempt to get rid of him, and tells Jeremy his chances aren’t good.

“What is wrong with me?” Jeremy asks. “Why do I always push people away?” Then he pulls a noose out of his briefcase and starts looking for a good place to hang himself. These are comic characters and the scene is very funny, but whether the audience really believes in whether he’ll do it or not, Maude is truly worried.

Why? That is the question that gnaws at the audience, making them take a closer look at Maude. There is something she’s hiding behind the veils and exotic costumes she wears. Slowly, subtly, the audience realizes that Maude is as lonely as Jeremy but good at disguising it.

Through a series of delightful comic encounters we watch both characters grow from being deathly afraid of taking chances to opening themselves to the dangers and delights of change. The greatest joy in this play is to watch their subtle growth. As played by Bridgett and Brothers, Jeremy and Maude become much more than the comic characters we’re used to seeing in television sitcoms. They become real people whose quirky comic antics are a result of being lonely in a scary world.

For tickets or more information call (415) 388-5208 or visit www.marintheatre.org.

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