From the oh, so many shows, in the ongoing Los Angeles Fringe Festival, I was attracted to this one, “Paris Syndrome” by its title and even more when I discovered that there really is such a thing as a “Paris Syndrome.” It is defined as a transient mental disorder exhibited by some individuals while visiting or going on vacation to Paris as a result of extreme shock derived from the realization that Paris is not what they had expected it to be. Now I don’t know about you but wouldn’t that also fir a large group of folks who come to “Hollywood” and hang out around Hollywood and Highland actually expecting to meet up let’s say Matt Damon or Julia Roberts. Okay so I am a cynic, but on to the show.
Emmy nominated and USC graduate Ross Buran, wonderfully assisted by Heidi Hayward and Mark David Christenson, tell a tale of a young man who falls in love, gets married and honeymoons in Paris, the City of light and love. Eternal love was his expectation but a few years later his bride bids him farewell sending him, the character him, into deep depression and shock. Finally he determines that the best way to pull out of his simmering funk would be to return to Paris and among other things remove the lock he and his love once placed on a Parisian bridge to symbolize their eternal love. But alas that effort goes array.
But, as in most things in life, the story told in “Paris Syndrome” is much more about the journey than the destination. It is a well-crafted and superbly presented tale filled with a steady stream of great humor as the main character works his way through his many experiences past and present presented in a way that genuinely entertains.
The show is short, only about an hour, but it is a thoroughly enjoyable hour and absolutely worthy of your time. Up for a Tony? Ah, not likely, but again a very enjoyable one hour of your life with several more of happy memories. On a personal note I found it especially amusing as I recently returned from a trip to Paris, and a few other fun places. I was accompanied by my wife of 34 years, my USC graduate daughter, her older sister, my beautiful granddaughter, and two beautiful ladies of our extended family visiting from Singapore. Just one old guy accompanied by six beautiful ladies in the city of light and love; now that was truly awesome. But yep, I too, met the surly cab driver. I’m just too jaded to succumb to the Paris Syndrome.
Kudos to Ross Buran, Heidi Hayward and Mark David Christenson for a job very well done. “Paris Syndrome” runs now through June 24th at The Lounge Theatre, 6201 Santa Monica Boulevard, Hollywood, California. Reservations and ticketing available at: Hollywood Fringe website.
Photos: Ron Irwin unless otherwise noted.
For even more fun visit: ronirwin website.