Posted on Jul 22, 2013
5 out of 5
For almost an hour, the solo acting genius of Marilyn Lynch entertains the audience as Bernice, a waitress in a small diner in a small town in Kansas until an intruder comes to visit.
Get ready to laugh. Marilyn Lynch delivers a powerful and touching haracterization of Bernice, a waitress at the O-Kay Diner during an early morning breakfast shift. The monologue tells gossip of the local town, briefs the audience on who did what and when.
Lynch's performance gets audiences laughing as she interacts with customers and serves the daily special, an Italian omelette, because there are so many large cans of that Italian sauce to use up. Bernice's interaction with the locals is funny and then changes as events of the town and the dying town with no jobs, few churches, no grocery store, schools on the verge of closing because the population is moving away.
Lynch’s performance draws standing ovations and her facial expressions, movements, comedic timing produce laughs throughout. And then, comes the unexpected twist. Lynch is divine as Bernice and makes the audience believe as she works her breakfast shift.
An intruder, in the person of Donovan Kidd, changes the direction of the piece and draws Bernice to a new dimension of reality. Great performance by Kidd in a cameo role.
Bernice at Bay works as a tandem piece for The
Butterfly Effect that follows at the same venue. The
pieces work together and audiences are encouraged to
see both shows consecutively. They always run back to
back at City Stage at Union Station.
The cost, with a Fringe button is $10. The show runs
about 1 hour.