I am thrilled when my expectations are exceeded. The running time of Left Out Productions NYC's Miss Magnolia Beaumont Goes to Provincetown was leaving me a little bit disconcerting for a solo Fringe show, but this is more than a solo show. This is a multiple character one person play that is a crafted work with two distinct and seamlessly woven roles played by Joe Hutcheson.
Using mostly voice and demeanor, Hutcheson dresses for a vacation to Provincetown, Mass and has a guest living inside him, that of Miss Magnolia Beaumont, an antebellum southern belle from Georgia who died in 1863 and ending up living inside Master Joseph, as she calls him. She can't commmunicate with him, but hears and sees as he hears and sees. He's a gay man. Yes, there's a bit of a culture clash, but as she's a genteel lady and more modernly inclined, the conflict is muted and more real. If you took a person from the 1860's and placed them in today's society, many of the social differences we focus on in the present would be more alien, than controversial to the person of the past. That type of authenticity was a refreshing take on the underlying conflict between these characters.
As time progresses, Magnolia is able to communicate with Joseph and the growth begins. Both have secrets and finding how to trust someone else enough to share those secrets is the focus of the story. Humor is a great way to deal with the emotional struggle with trust and Miss Magnolia and Joseph bring laughter and touching revelations together in such a way that I didn't even notice that 90 minutes had passed.