Laughing and Crying in 2.5 Minute Ride
By Taberah Joy Holloway
Shana Wride plays Lisa Kron in 2.5 Minute Ride. The title references a roller coaster ride that Lisa goes on with her 80 year old father. Lisa and her family make an annual sojourn to Cedar Point amusement park in Sandusky, Ohio. This backdrop provides much of the humor in 2.5 Minute Ride as various ill and elderly relatives pop nitroglycerin before rides such as the Demon Drop.
2.5 Minute Ride weaves three stories, the annual amusement park vacation, a Jewish wedding and a visit to Auschwitz into a whole. This is storytelling. This is what our ancestors have been doing for hundreds of years before radio, television, and YouTube. The show has few props, no costume changes, and one actor.
I overheard an audience member refer to the show as stand-up comedy. There are definite bits that are straight comedy but the stories reveal so much more. The visit to Auschwitz touches the delicate place where Lisa wants to protect her father but cannot and her father in turn wants to protect her but cannot. The wedding allows Lisa to see the cultural richness in ritual and ceremony. She also sees a more mature side to her brother who previously lived in an attic filled with gay porn.
Wride does an excellent job through facial expressions and emotion conveying the comedy of thriller coasters and the surreal strangeness of Auschwitz.
The lack of visuals reinforces Lisa’s inability to see her family or her father clearly. She knows him through stories. She shares him through stories. She wants more detail, more clarity on who he is, on who she is.
2.5 Minute Ride is playing in repertory with Well through March 19th. Order tickets at diversionary.org/kronrep. Get a discount when you see both!