Fringe 2018 review: 'Mason, Son of Ma' is a solo vision quest told through song


It’s difficult to convey the effect of a spiritual experience in words, but Orlando’s Nils Taranger makes the effort in Mason, Son of Ma.

Depressed when his parents don't accept his homosexuality, Nils begins his journey with two weeks of meditation in complete darkness. He visits drum circles and shamans. In ecstasy, he exclaims of a goddess of pure love, of serpents and bright white light. He climbs a golden pyramid.

For the hour of the show, Taranger stands alone onstage in rainbow leggings, engulfed by the giant Orange Venue. He sings and plays a painted guitar, sometimes standing, sometimes kneeling, occasionally breaking into monologue.

Some may find the format repetitive. With his intense vibrato and consistently distraught tone, Taranger doesn’t fully realize his ambition of bringing us to a spiritual place. When the show ended, the recorded house music was more from Taranger, causing me to question the performer’s ego.

This piece would play better in a more intimate setting where Taranger could engage the audience more interactively. He seems kind and sincere in his desire to share a profound healing experience with the audience, and there’s a place at Fringe for shows that break with convention to explore one mood or topic in depth. If you’ve never been the new age kind, Mason, Son of Ma will take you to a unique headspace.

Mason, Son of Ma
Orange Venue
50 minutes
Ages 13 and up
10:45 p.m. Wednesday, May 23
8:30 p.m. Thursday, May 24
12:30 p.m. Saturday, May 26

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