Capital Fringe Review: ‘The Actual Dance’ by Mike Spain

The Actual Dance is not a one man play. It is a heartfelt dramatic sharing of what Samuel A, Simon experience after his wife of 33 years was diagnosed with breast cancer. Simon emotionally shares with the audience his unique perspective. We hear the stories of people who battle cancer all the time, but we rarely hear the stories of the love ones who stand by their spouses when they have cancer, and here we do.

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Simon talked about breaking down and crying and how his ill wife, Susan, comforted him, while battling cancer. He explained how he had to learn so many new medical terms so he could understand his wife’s condition and the medications she was taking.

Simon weaves a creative bit about ‘the dance.’ He tells of a makeshift orchestra coming together for that final dance and how the orchestra warms up, how they start to play their song, and how they can suddenly stop mid-tune and pack up and leave. It is when they play the song completely that someone dies and that’s the ‘Actual Dance.’ The dance is something Simon believes will happen, something he dreaed to talk about until his psychologist helped him gain new insight on the dance – that it was a really a thing of beauty and dignity. Perhaps the ‘Actual Dance’ was not something to fear, but a graceful way to leave.

The Actual Dance is also a testimony of love between Susan and Sam. He shares stories about how they met when she lived in Houston and he lived in El Paso.

Jon Roberts cues up that orchestra and a few other sound effects as the Sound Designer for the show. Roberts’ sounds adds immensely to the production.

Kudos to Samuel Simon for bringing awareness to Breast Cancer, to bringing awareness to what spouses and partners go through, and for being so candid. After the show he invited audience members to a nearby coffee shop to discuss the show.

Do Sam and Susan dance Susan’s “Actual Dance”? You’ll have to come see the show to find out.

Running time: 60 minutes.

The Actual Dance plays through July 27, 2013 at Fort Fringe-The Bedroom-612 L Street NW, in Washington, DC. For performance information and to purchase tickets, go to their Capital Fringe Page.


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