Adapted from Frank Pierson’s “Dog Day Afternoon” which was inspired by an article from Life Magazine, Stockholm Savings by Michael DeMeo is a high-octane comedic thriller about a bank robbery. Touching upon themes including homosexuality, fears, social media and the media's spin on news stories, Stockholm Savings finds a smart way to explore the depths one will go to achieve a goal. The story follows Adam as he and his partner Andre enter a bank for a robbery. As someone who formally worked at a bank, Adam knows all the ins and outs preventing the employees from messing up his plan. When the cops end up on the scene, Adam's plan is thrown out the window causing a hostage situation and thus a captivating character study. By blending high-stakes terror with a tinge of laughter, DeMeo allows the audience to ride a rollercoaster of emotions. DeMeo succeeds effortlessly by subtly placing his themes into the play and allowing them to be a part of the plot and not be it. DeMeo does an expert job developing the story and characters, rarely providing fluff. Everything in the script has a purpose. The situation is raw, the characters are real, and together, they make a brilliant story.
The entire ensemble of Stockholm Savings brought you right into their world. As head robber Adam, Ryan Nicolls gave a full forced performance. He brought force but deep within was heart and humility. There was control in his performance despite the character quickly unraveling. For once, you sympathized with the bad guy. To bring the laughs and the realization that social media is truly the end of society, Megan Russell as teller Michelle was simply hilariously. With a beautiful smile and bright disposition, you almost had to wonder if she was a little too comfortable in the situation. As local cop Ochenson, Justin R.G. Holcomb found great ground in his strength. Or was it simply immense manipulation? Reginald L. Wilson had possibly the smallest character but the most intrigue. He was more than just the sidekick and with a little room to expand the script, DeMeo could benefit by offering more to the character.
Stockholm Savings is one of those sleeper shows at Fringe. It should have a future life and could be a very interesting journey to stage it in a thrust set up. Truly place the audience in the action.