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Last evening, Mrs K and I made our second rare trek out to Mass Ave’s theatre district to take in our friends, Larry Adams and Jaime Johnson, in their play – The Dealer Smiles at iNDYfRINGE. My regular readers may recall that I caught wind of a version this show over a year ago in June 2012, when I finally watched a video of the show which the playwright had sent me, (https://asota.wordpress.com/2012/06/22/the-dealer-smiles-a-play-by-larry-adams/) and was struck by it’s form and message. The same readers may also recall the successful run the show had at Westfield Playhouse earlier this year, which I wrote about last April (https://asota.wordpress.com/2013/04/20/the-dealer-smiles-at-westfield-playhouse/). Seeing it live, shared with other audience members, was a treat and a revelation.

After the Westfield show, the guys planned on expanding the show, reworking some of the angles and ideas, and taking it to iNDYfRINGE 13. Between last April and now, the freshened script was written and rewritten, rehearsals took place, and I was honored to be asked to be included as a sort of ad hoc director, to help stage and iron out the production. All the hard work has certainly paid off.

Last night’s opening show took place before a full house at the Theatre on the Square’s smaller venue (so “sold out” = 50+ audience members) and was a solid success. The piece has grown into an especially smart, very funny, sensitive and moving offering. I realize that I have lost my objectivity now that I have had a hand in this production, but I must say – Larry Adams (who, when he is not writing plays or performing in one, is a family physician in Zionsville) has written an extremely compelling play – taking on mammoth-sized ideas about life, death, the here-after, God, and our relationship to him, and has packaged it in such an appealing, concise, entertaining and mind-sharpening script – I feel I cannot tout it, and this production of it, strongly enough. EVERYONE should see it. I hope all the many fringers who took a chance seeing this show last night will provide the word-of-mouth advertising enthusiasm that this show deserves.

Jaime Johnson (left in both photos) and Larry Adams star in "The Dealer Smiles" at INDYFRINGE13

Jaime Johnson (left in both photos) and Larry Adams star in “The Dealer Smiles” at INDYFRINGE13


Jaime Johnson is especially adroit in the role of Josh, a man in a Spiderman shirt who wants you to believe he is the Christ. His comic skills, with wonderful body language and facial expressions, fill the character and make him the unlikeliest of saviors. Larry, as the recently divorced Matt, is a wonderful foil for Jaime’s talents, while adding his own well-honed approach to the role, especially in the dramatic side of the story. The result is a well-balanced and, dare I say again, enlightening experience for the audience.

My truest hope is that this show will be recognized for what it is, and will be featured by other reviewers as a highlight of this year’s edition of iNDYfRINGE. I hope YOU will take the time to go experience this show.

The Dealer Smiles continues with 5 more showings. They are scheduled:
Sunday, Aug 18 – 7:30pm
Tuesday, Aug 20 – 9:00pm
Thursday, Aug 22 – 7:30pm
Saturday, Aug 24 – 4:30pm
Sunday, Aug 25 -1:30pm
All tickets are $10 and are available at the door. Advance tickets are available by going to http://www.indyfringe.org and pre-ordering them (a service charge is added on). All audience members must make a one-time $5 purchase of a “backer-button” which is good for the duration of the festival.

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