2022 Capital Fringe Review: ‘Untitled’ by Ellie Pike

A one-woman, undeniably fun comic take on small-town New England life featuring a basketful of characters.

Sure Untitled is such an annoying name for a play, but in Ellie Pike’s one-woman show it makes its point — but no spoilers here. The recent Bowdoin (Maine) College grad takes a page from one-woman chameleon actor/playwright Anna Deveare Smith in this comic take on small-town New England life.

Although it’s not a docudrama like Smith favors, in Untitled Pike invents more than a half-dozen unique characters — using voice, posture, gesture, and accents — to tell the story of Brandy, a Brooklyn-accented dog groomer who wants to rename the town square to dishonor her late husband for unnamed, but apparently egregious, deeds.

Ellie Pike

To narrate the tale, Pike invented a basketful of specific characters. We meet Isaac Weiner, the obsequious town manager intern; Sharon, the town diner’s chatty waitress; Natalie, an activist teen podcaster; Demetri, the brusque Bulgarian cook; and others. Each transformation is accompanied by a little musical jingle and a blackout, helping the audience along. With just a table, a chair, and a few props, Pike, lanky and athletic, at each transition inhabits someone new in voice, demeanor, and story. That this was all invented out of whole cloth makes it doubly enjoyable.

See it for the strong performances and taut writing by an up-and-coming performer/writer.


Untitled plays five times from July 14 to 23, 2022, at W. WASHINGTON – Formerly Forever 21 Georgetown, 3222 M Street NW, Washington, DC. For the performance schedule and tickets ($15), go online.

COVID Safety: The audience is to remain masked for the show. The mask needs to cover your mouth and nose the whole time. Proof of vaccination and ID are checked before entry.

Genre: Comedy
Age appropriateness: Recommended for Children 13 + older

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Lisa Traiger
An arts journalist since 1985, Lisa Traiger writes frequently on the performing arts for Washington Jewish Week and other local and national publications, including Dance, Pointe, and Dance Teacher. She also edits From the Green Room, Dance/USA’s online eJournal. She was a freelance dance critic for The Washington Post Style section from 1997-2006. As arts correspondent, her pieces on the cultural and performing arts appear regularly in the Washington Jewish Week where she has reported on Jewish drum circles, Israeli folk dance, Holocaust survivors, Jewish Freedom Riders, and Jewish American artists from Ben Shahn to Rodgers and Hammerstein, Stephen Sondheim to Y Love, Anna Sokolow to Liz Lerman. Her dance writing can also be read on DanceViewTimes.com. She has written for Washingtonian, The Forward, Moment, Dance Studio Life, Stagebill, Sondheim Review, Asian Week, New Jersey Jewish News, Atlanta Jewish Times, and Washington Review. She received two Simon Rockower Awards for Excellence in Arts Criticism from the American Jewish Press Association; a 2009 shared Rockower for reporting; and in 2007 first-place recognition from the Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Association. In 2003, Traiger was a New York Times Fellow in the Institute for Dance Criticism at the American Dance Festival in Durham, N.C. She holds an M.F.A. in choreography from the University of Maryland, College Park, and has taught dance appreciation at the University of Maryland and Montgomery College, Rockville, Md. Traiger served on the Dance Critics Association Board of Directors from 1991-93, returned to the board in 2005, and served as co-president in 2006-2007. She was a member of the advisory board of the Dance Notation Bureau from 2008-2009.


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