FRINGE BLOGGER ||
(The following is a guest post from Sammi Cohen, a Rochesteriat Fringe blog contributor and Fringe performer herself.)
Based on what is arguably one of the most popular episodes of The Twilight Zone, “The Monsters are Due on Maple Street,” Panic in Paradise serves as a satirical take on the power our beloved technological devices hold over us as a society. Although the original television show made it a mission to scare viewers out of their wits, Henry DuRocher’s version manages to be both delightful and thought-provoking. The perfectly-stylized acting of the entire ensemble deserves much recognition, but in all honesty, one of the main reasons I was so eager to see this show was for the production quality -- namely, the costumes and set pieces.
I have been friends with Henry for years and his aesthetic has always been an inspiration to me. He was dressing in vintage and thrift store finds before I had really discovered my own love for retro fashion, and his finely-tuned personal style is captivating. He has costumed this production beautifully, and it’s evident how much thought and work he has put into it; from the saturated color coordination to the small additions like vintage collar clips and brooches, his attention to detail astounds me. As a vintage-inspired fashion blogger, I couldn’t help but focus on the outfits (mostly because I would love to wear them myself!), and I felt they added so much to the production as a whole. The result of Henry’s hard work is reminiscent of a John Waters film or of the 1950’s neighborhood in Edward Scissorhands. All of the show’s set pieces are miniature-sized, which is incredibly effective, and it’s obvious how carefully-crafted these pieces are. Fisher Price cars and other children’s toys are used as props throughout, which creates a great dichotomy between the playful aspect of this production and its darker source material.
The show is high-energy and moves along quite quickly. When I was in attendance, the venue was running late, but Panic in Paradise clocked in at under half an hour. If you’re a fan of 1950’s style, the Sci/Fi genre, or succinct entertainment, be sure to catch the second performance of Panic in Paradise: A Parody on Tuesday evening (6:30 PM at RAPA).
Sammi is a native Rochesterian and is no stranger to the Fringe, having performed in the festival for the past three seasons (including this year, as part of Intrepid on the Geva Theatre Nextstage). In addition to her work as a singer and actress, Sammi also runs The Soubrette Brunette, a personal fashion and style blog that focuses on all things retro, kitschy and girly. Follow her antics on Instagram: @thesoubrettebrunette