Barbara Saba’s home city of Rome is like a gorgeous yet faithless lover, where the answer is always no, so the multilingual triple threat left her family behind for opportunities in the post-modern Babel that is Los Angeles. A visit to an arrogant Italian therapist for help curing her cigarette cravings unexpectedly finds Saba digging inter her deep-seated daddy issues instead, as a steamer trunk becomes a time machine transporting her back into her childhood cycle of trauma.
Lies, Anger and Forgiveness
starts out seeming like it will be a comedy, but ends up exploring dark corners of her self-sabotaging psyche once the coronavirus crisis comes crashing close to home. The broad strokes of Saba’s journey to find forgiveness for her father and herself aren’t unique among Fringe solo shows; but under the graceful guidance of director Debra De Lisso, she winningly deploys a virtual army of distinctive character voices to populate her one-woman play, providing her own a cappella soundtrack as Saba sweetly sings and dances her way through a solo tango.
Saba’s story may start far across the sea, but her universal experience of feeling out of sync with your own life should need no translation. With its tight running time and delightful uplifting ending, Saba has perhaps the most emotionally potent of the many pandemic-related shows I’ve seen at this Fringe.
Tickets and show info: Lies, Anger and Forgiveness