Northwest NEWS

July 17, 2000

Front Page

Exhilarating '2.5 Minute Ride' is an emotional roller coaster

by Deborah Stone, features writer

   2.5 Minute Ride, Lisa Kron's solo show, currently running at A Contemporary Theatre, is a wonderful new performance piece by a gifted writer and storyteller.

   Kron takes audiences on a captivating autobiographical journey that is both hilarious and heart-rending. She interweaves three seemingly disparate family stories as she discusses the video she's making about her elderly German Jewish refugee father.

   Her visit to Auschwitz, the former Nazi concentration camp in Poland, is a pilgrimage for her Holocaust survivor father whose parents died in the camp, after sending their son to the U.S. Worrying more about her father's reaction than her own, Kron is surprised by the unexpectedly deep emotions she feels during this journey. She touches upon the grief of the Holocaust and the effects it has had on the families who were separated.

   The annual family trek to the Cedar Point Amusement Park in Sandusky, Ohio, is full of comic descriptions of family members and their preoccupations with food, as well as the assortment of wild rides they take. Her mostly blind, semi-ambulatory father with a heart problem displays the zest he has for life as he goes on the scariest roller coaster at the Park and gives it a glowing review.

   In the third story, Kron describes the preparations for her brother's marriage to a woman he met on the Internet. This includes amusing comments about her mother, a woman who hasn't been photographed for thirty years because she can't stand to see pictures of herself aging. Kron again surprises herself by becoming emotional at the wedding, a feeling that somehow breaks through the irony with which she previously viewed the experience.

   During the show, Kron flips through imaginary slides of her family, using a pointer to highlight various family members and their characteristics. She has incredible candor, sometimes making painfully moving confessions, and provides powerful, colorful images that easily captivate the audience.

   2.5 Minute Ride is a loving tribute to a father, but it is also a story of connections between generations within a solidly bonded family. The show runs through July 30th. For ticket information, call 206-292-7676.