This review of Adam Fried's Misunderstood: An Unrequited Love Story at The Duplex Cabaret Theatre was written by Dr. Thomas Robert Stevens and published in Volume X, Issue 5 (2015) of the online edition of Applause! Applause!
Misunderstood: An Unrequited Love Story
Written & Performed by Adam Fried
Music Direction by Peter Tinaglia & Rachel Whorton
The Duplex Cabaret Theatre
61 Christopher Street
New York, New York 10014
Reviewed 6/21/15 at 9:30 p.m.
In Misunderstood: An Unrequited Love Story, Adam Fried takes us along on his journey to find love and career success in New York City. Having grown up in Ohio and then getting his B.A. in Musical Theatre from Ball State University (in Muncie, Indiana), a wide-eyed, optimistic, charismatic Jewish boy flies into the Big Apple from Cincinnati to seek fame and fortune. He also hopes to fall in love and to spend the rest of his life with his soul-mate. Leading with his heart instead of his head, he jumps into numerous relationships, which fail to work out. Flashing back in time to Ohio, Adam reports his first relationship embarrassment involved a girl who came to his family's home for Passover. He fell in love with her and thought the "A" and "F" on her shirt the next day meant Adam Fried, when it really meant Abercrombie & Fitch. Next came a fellow actor he met at the Barn Theatre in Augusta, Michigan, who was his first boyfriend. Both were confused regarding their sexuality. They only had secret midnight encounters with each other and never mentioned their involvement to anyone else. Eventually, they stopped speaking.
Once in New York, Adam took acting and dance classes and tried to pursue his career goals. Eventually, he got a role in a national tour of a play and earned his Actor's Equity card. Eventually, he dated a guy from London, who he met in a gay bar. Just as the love bug bit, his boyfriend's work visa wasn't renewed. Next came "an asshole with a Napoleon complex" and a blond-haired lawyer who turned out to be an alcoholic. Online dating put him in contact with a lot of people who looked good on paper but with whom he had no chemistry. As he sang, "there is a fine, fine, line between love and a waste of time." As a result, he has decided to invest his time in his "family, friends and career." He understands now that "life moves really fast. You need to know and own who you are. Life is one big journey. It's O.K. to enjoy that journey and let life happen as it may. If I meet someone, they can come along for the ride."
Misunderstood: An Unrequited Love Story originally opened at The Laurie Beechman Theatre. It then moved to Don't Tell Mama, and most recently, The Duplex Cabaret Theatre. Adam Fried is moving to Los Angeles to be closer to his sister and to be a guncle (i.e. gay uncle). He intends to reprise the show in Los Angeles. It contains a number of songs but my favorite was his rendition of Kooman & Dimond's "To Excess." Adam Fried shares his personal experiences with us in a funny and heartfelt manner. Most people will be able to identify with the experiences and challenges he has faced. We are all not that different. We'd like love and career success but also, in time, we come to realize the importance of family, friends, and most importantly, ourselves. Adam Fried's secret weapon is that, while he too gets depressed from time to time, he also has a positive, optimistic attitude about life and his future. His friend Jen didn't nickname him "Shiny" for no reason.
For more information about Adam Fried, visit www.AdamFried.com or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/adamfriednyc