Written by Elizabeth Ann Foster

My friend Victoria just inherited an alarm cat named Gabriel. Every morning he slaps her on her head at 5:30 am without fail. A few weeks ago, Gabriel witnessed his owner of a decade hang himself in their one room home. One wonders what effect that suicide had on Gabriel. Did the suicide occur at 5:30 am, and is that the hour that sets him off to relive it every day?

In Jaxx & Lolo, Lolo loses her friend Jaxx to suicide and inherits Jaxx’s 3 cats – Romeo, Juliet and Ophelia. Lauren O’Brien, writer and performer, plays all characters in the play including each of the cats. The audience is treated to O’Brien’s multiple talents including singing, playing the guitar,  , her impersonations of cats and embodying the soul of Jaxx.

Poet Jackie Sheeler – “Jaxx.”

We relive the day that took Lolo forever to get to Jaxx after Jaxx tweeted she was going to comit suicide.  We have a minute by minute account including a clock time stamp projected into the scenes reinacted.

A cab ride through Manhattan only to have forgotten the key heightens the suspense. The frustrations of dealing with authority from police to Lolo’s boss are crafted into pure entertainment by O’ Brien.

Director Christine Renee Miller hopes that in these times of dwindling connection that this show can “reaffirm the beautiful friendship in your own lives and remind you to hold them close.” A bittersweet sentiment we should all heed.

Kraine Theater is a quirky venue. The Bar is in the middle of the audience seating, in addition to another bar outside the actual theatre stage space. Lolo & Jaxx is part of the Frigid festival, the only Indie theater that gives 100% of box office proceeds back to the artists whose works are performed. A collection was made after the performance to support the venue and festival. Frigid runs for three weeks in two theaters, 30 shows with over 150 performances. There are opening night to closing ceremonies with many special events. 2020 marks the festival’s 13th year.

Lauren O’Brien. Photo credit: Becky Yee.

It take courage to write about suicide. O’Brien has paid a loving tribute to Jaxx in this amazing tale of friendship.

People’s stories need to be told as painful as they are. It is a healing process and awareness that can be brought to the struggles of our fellow human beings who often suffer silently. This is a play set in NYC about friends in NYC that will leave a piece of NYC in everyone that is fortunate enough to see it. This play forces you to grow and embrace. Exactly what is needed. Go see it not because it is a play about suicide, but one of hope, connection and redemption that is lovingly crafted.

Jaxx & Lolo – written and performed by Lauren O’Brien.

Directed by Christine Renee Miller; projection design by Lianne Arnold; sound design by Paul Anthony.

Kraine Theater 85 East 4th Street New York, New York. February 19 thru March 14, 2020. Saturday 3/14 at 8:00 pm. Tickets $15 available at  www.FrigidNYC/Events/JaxxAndLolo. A 3 show pass is available for $30 at Frigid.nyc/packages. Runtime 1 hour no intermission.  Warning: use of strobe lighting during performance.

Extended: Saturday, March 14 at 8 pm. Ticket link: https://www.frigid.nyc/events/.jaxxandlolo.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255.