Best Theater Surprise - 2013
Underneath the Lintel
How much do you know about Hoofddorp, Holland? If you took nothing else from Underneath the Lintel, Glen Berger's breathtaking monologue that was one of the peaks of June's St. Lou Fringe, you'd have learned about the high stakes involved for those who do not return library books in Hoofddorp. Our interlocutor here is an obsessive-compulsive librarian (brilliantly, idiosyncratically enacted by Pat O'Brien) who finds a 123-year-old overdue library book and sets out to track down the violator. In one hour, we travel the universe, right into the mind of God. "Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further," God tells Job in the Old Testament. Berger and O'Brien took us to the rim of the unknown, exposed us to "a world in which all is forgiven because all is forgotten." Underneath the Lintel was Exhibit A in making the case that in just two summers, St. Lou Fringe has become indispensable to the inquiring mind.