Elan Zafir’s autobiographical solo “The Unaccompanied Minor” is a high point in the ongoing Capital Fringe Festival in Southwest D.C., says Roger Catlin, who also checks out the Parkland-based school-shooting drama “14,” while Celia Wren reviews DanceArtTheater’s “Through the Wall.”
“The Unaccompanied Minor” sounds like the Fringe show that will address border separations.
Rather, it is Elan Zafir’s explosive depiction of his own personal heartbreak — seeing his son just four times a year by going through the maddening airport process of transferring unaccompanied youth between divorced couples as if they were prisoner exchanges. Even with the bureaucratic hoops of airport pickup complete, it’s only the beginning of the struggle, as father and son relearn how to relate to each other every time.
Zafir’s impassioned portrayal, intensified within the intimate confines of the walls of a paneled Christ United Methodist Church meeting room, takes him through his own childhood of broken connections, disappointments and a jolting move from Canada to Florida, embodying a dozen characters along the way in whip-smart, breakneck fashion.
The athletic Zafir, who appeared most recently in Mosaic Theater’s “The Vagrant Trilogy,” has devised a show with layers of theatricality that crackle from its use of quick flashbacks, rising tension and even the appearance of Rambo. It culminates in the brilliant juxtaposition of a custody hearing with a high school gang fight.
More than a great Fringe offering,”The Unaccompanied Minor” is a cathartic attempt to vault the myriad walls that can divide father and child.
Roger Catlin — The Washington Post