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Cartoon Culture

Sailor Man

Sailor Man, billed as a “darkly comic tribute to the exploits of a beloved spinach-eating seaman,” will premiere Aug. 9-22 as part of the New York International Fringe Festival.

The 45-minute production, at the Lafayette Street Theater at 45 Bleecker Street, “explores what happens when familiar scenarios from cartoons are divorced from their harmless context and performed naturalistically, by complex human beings.”

Created by Ryan Iverson and Scott Peterman, the show features the writers in the respective roles of Sailor Man and The Brute. Lauren Blumenfeld plays Olive.

The plot of Sailor Man, according to production notes:

“Two rivals – a pumped-up Navy man and a heavyset, bearded thug – repeatedly beat each other nearly to death over the affection of a fickle, skinny woman named Olive. However, when performed realistically, fists fly, blood flows, and this straightforward storyline transforms into a provocative look at how our society values violence. The end product is brutal and harsh, full of bottled-up anger and regret, and much closer in tone to Sam Shepard than the traditional Saturday morning fare.”

“In cartoons, when a man gets punched in the face, his neck transforms into a spring; in Sailor Man, his nose breaks and he coughs up blood and teeth and bile,” stated Iverson. “Our goal is to see how audiences react when we approach this subject matter from a dramatic angle and show them something that’s simultaneously real and ridiculous.”

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(Thanks, Tim Dunleavy)