Los Angeles, CA—In the City of Angeles they have the Hollywood Fringe Festival going on right now. Live theater here is non-stop in this entertainment district.
Standing out is a show called, They Call Me Mr. Fry. Jack Fry is a real Los Angeles, inner-city, substitute, fifth grade school teacher. This is about his first year in what would best be described as somewhat of a combat zone. In fact the teachers get paid extra for the challenges there.
What Jack Fry does in his production is relive the culture shock, fears, hopes, and dreams along with the lives involved in his teaching experience for the audience.
Fry delivers a commanding performance as he takes you through school district’s bureaucratic political correctness gone bonkers. Fry enters a world of gangs, violence, neglect, heartbreak and poverty to capture the attention of his students, long enough to teach them.
Fry’s show has a similar theme to that touching 60’s film with Sidney Poitier, To Sir With Love. The difference it’s Fry that becomes all of the characters in his story. The laughter, anger, tears and joy are amazingly similar between these two theatrical works.
Fry is the natural target of everyone’s wrath, punishment and surprises. Fry teaches these difficult children, but it’s Fry who learns the most important lessons.
Fry realizes a shocking discovery that he spends more time with some of the children and knows them better than their own parents.If I have a gripe about teachers is that so many of them duck, run and simply mark time until they retire. They are not inspired and have no ability to inspire anyone else.
Teachers must be first class showmen and women. How else can you keep the attention of students long enough to transfer that all-important educational information?
I challenge anyone to name more than a handful of teachers that were ever inspiring to him or her. I personally view the American teaching profession as mired in a world of seniority, tenure, unions and abject mediocrity.
Fry’s students are indeed lucky because he’s a born showman. He has a charismatic gift to hold his student’s attention to pass on the information they desperately need to break the chains of poverty.
This show is a, must see for parents, teachers, and politicians everywhere.
This summer Fry is again taking the show on the road to a city near you and has the details on his web site. http://theycallmemisterfry.com/Site/Home.html
Here is a trailer to enjoy: