SoCal.com Theatre Review – ‘They Call Me Mister Fry’



If you can appreciate one man’s daring attempt at teaching 5th graders in South Central Los Angeles, then They Call Me Mister Fry is a must see. From teachers to students to everyone in between, this play is about what we all can teach each other, from heartache to happiness.

 

The critically acclaimed true to life one man show They Call Me Mister Fry starring Jack Freiberger takes center stage at the Crown City Theatre located adjacent to St. Matthew’s Church in North Hollywood. Actor/Teacher Jack Freiberger a.k.a. “Mr. Fry” gave an engaging and heart felt performance of his autobiographic tale surrounding his first year teaching assignment instructing 5th graders in South Central Los Angeles.

 

From helicopter “lockdowns” to student “rape babies” to imaginary gum chewing in class, Freiberger learned more from his students than what he felt he could teach the students in return. His portrayal of his frustrations, fears and eventual life altering transformation is delivered with such honesty and intensity it leaves us non-teachers wondering if we picked the right career path.

 

Director Jeff Michalski brings over 30 years experience as a teacher and performer in the theatre arts to They Call Me Mister Fry and successfully guides Freiberger into a moving and animated performance. The open stage set design by Matthew J. Williamson matched with Gary Lamb’s light design creates a welcoming and relaxed atmosphere for patrons as Freiberger embraces the audience with his King Arthurian world of education and bullet whole and graffiti laden classroom.

 

This one-man show is not just a simple retelling of Jack Freiberger’s trials and tribulations during his first year of teaching but rather a meditation and exploration on what we can teach each about life no matter what our age and situation in life.