Joshua Cole Lucas started off Day 4’s offerings, basing his story on Day 6 Story 4. This was very much a nod to the Italian Commedia dell’arte, and proved to be a witty romp. Chichibio is preparing his master’s dinner (modern-day lordly in a button-down shirt and khakis Curado) when the housecleaner, Brunetto, gets a whiff of the chicken and follows it to the kitchen. After a slap fight, Chichibio gives him a leg. Then he has to convince his master that birds only come with one leg. So the two set off into a nearby park, where Chicibio is desperately looking for an example of birds with one leg in order to avoid a beating. I have to admit I was quite impressed with Lucas’s ability to balance on one leg for an extended period of time. Luckily for him, his master is in a good mood and just laughs at the rigamarole. This is also a sly take on the disparity of power roles, when an act of kindness is something to be covered up. It was fast and witty and a wonderfully cheerful way to start Day 4. Music was by Konstantine Lortkipanidze and it was filmed by Amira Lucas, Abby Schweber, and Stephen Lucas. This piece was 5-1/2 minutes.
All three were well produced condensed slices of some big ideas, and told with humor and style.
The second vignette was by Nutsa Tediashvili and based on Day 7, Story 9. This was a lyrical exploration of a woman discovering her desires, turning to her partner (who doesn’t recognize her needs), taking charge, and fulfilling them. It involved a delicious dance, in that inimitable Synetic style, between the woman and her current partner (who is treating her with affection, but not even noticing her needs) and a new partner. Interestingly, both she and the new partner (Alex Mills, who can really carry off a tango-style dance) were enjoying each other thoroughly, but without any hint of possession. This was just pure fun and the three of them danced beautifully together. It was evocative, provocative, and poetically produced. The music was by Konstantine Lortkipanidze and the participants included Maryam Najafzada, Phillip Fletcher, Scott Brown, Shamil Najaf, and Alex Mills. It was too short at five minutes.
The third show was a Lifetime movie condensed into ten minutes, and had a wonderful title: “I Did Things for Love”(nice take on “A Chorus Line”). Karen Morales Chacana based her tale on Day 2, Story 9.
A woman’s husband pays a man $5,000 dollars to test her fidelity. While she is practicing yoga with drapes, he takes her underthings and goes to the husband with them. What happens next is obvious. She is condemned for her supposed infidelity (shades of “Camelot”), escapes her fate, and changes her identity to a man. After a few years, she seizes an opportunity for revenge on the man that lied about seducing her to her husband. The twist at the end was that this might have been a dream (and we’ve gone all the way back to “Dallas.”). It was a funny and irreverent take on traditional women’s lit, and I think from the grin on her face at the end, she was enjoying the riff with us.
Also playing in this were Daphne Wickham-Morales, Oscar Wickham-Morales, Max Wickham, with special thanks to Katie Dubois and Paata Tsikurishvili.
All three were well produced condensed slices of some big ideas, and told with humor and style. Give these a look. Synetic is doing something nicely experimental that showcases their actors talents and gives us all a nice break during this pandemic.
Running Time: The vignettes vary between 3-1/2 and 12-1/2 minutes.
“The Decameron” runs July 10 through July 31, 2020, on a pay-what-you-can basis. For the first 10 days, three shows will be released each day. For more information, please click here.