Fringe review: The Ties That Bind And Gag

Despite some funny dialogue, this family road trip comedy stops and starts

THE TIES THAT BIND AND GAG by Anna Mehler Paperny and Juliet Paperny (Poor Life Choices Productions). At Factory Studio. July 10 at 4:30 pm, July 11 at 11:15 pm, July 12 at 3:45 pm, July 14 at 8 pm. See listing. Rating: NN

Set solely in a car as a family of five head to a funeral in L.A., this show doesn’t progress beyond the arguments and complaints bouncing between the characters.

What the writers capture well is a family dynamic that can ring true to anyone stuck on the road, with grandmothers gladly taking you on a guilt trip, or single uncles experimenting with Tinder dates for the first time. But as crackling as the dialogue can be, the lack of story hurts the show’s pace.

Also, what’s the point of a speakerphone call with the father still at home in Toronto? It’s a pointless scene, since we don’t learn anything about anyone from that conversation.

The Ties That Bind And Gag feels like one act of a play that badly needs another hour to wrap up its many loose ends.

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