With a show that explores so much seemingly unrelated territory, picking a place to start is a bit of a daunting task. Cathedral City is actor/writer Kurt Fitzpatrick’s fourth solo Fringe show since 2004, and though I haven’t seen the previous three it feels like he was trying for something new with this one.
Playing around ten different characters (it gets difficult to keep track) besides himself, Fitzpatrick tells his (presumably) real-life story of suffering from a herniated spinal disc, a painful condition that resulted in risky but successful corrective surgery. This story is overshadowed, though, by the motley crew of imaginary characters who arbitrarily come in and out of the narrative.
Among many others, these characters include: a camp counselor who tells atheist ghost stories, a Southern gentleman who invents a time machine and does pointless things with it, an African-American mother and daughter, and a high class supply teacher. Alternating between these characters shows off Fitzpatrick’s ability as an actor but do little to move forward any sort of plot, though they all cleverly allude to each other.
Strange motifs come out as well, such as the idea of a paradox (Schrodinger’s Cat gets the required mention), the 1987 film Creepshow II, and posture, one that actually does make sense given the nature of the actual storyline.
All in all, this show is a bit ADD. If one or two of the characters could be expanded upon and allowed to take up more stage time, this show would seem much more coherent.
Written and Performed by Kurt Fitzpatrick
Directed and Dramaturgy by Alison Cousins
Performing at Studio Leonard-Beaulne