‘You are not responsible for anyone’s reactions to how you live your life.’ I absolutely love this quote. It is something I feel a fair amount of guilt over at times but when it really comes down to it- it’s completely true. This is a quote from the play ‘Bad Connections?’ currently playing at Performance Works as part of the 2013 Vancouver Fringe Festival.
The production is phenomenal. The one man show, played by Paul Cosentino, depicts the lives of Nine New Yorkers. An unmarried couple with a young child and another on the way, their ailing grandfather who has just about given up on life, another couple involving a bitter Jewish woman and her doctor husband who has a gay lover on the side, and your Indian host for the night, who speaks in soothing tones directly to the audience, conducting calming exercises and offering words of wisdom.
Bad Connections deals with the intertwining lives of all the above characters and how an individual’s choice can indirectly affect an entire chain of people. Simultaneously it promotes the fact that positive choices can affect others as well. Bad Connections, Good connections- they are all connections and we are all inextricably linked.
Cosentino’s performance is astounding- fluidly transitioning from character to character, complete with vastly different accents and physicalities. He has the controlled and flexible body of a yoga master and the intensely captivating vocal abilities of a trained actor. He absolutely blew me away with his talent and his endurance in performing various vastly physical, emotional and challenging characters within a one man show lasting for an entire hour.
If you are looking for a fringe production that is a little more thought provoking, slightly more serious, and certainly high calibre, I think you’ve found it.