The plot of Daniel Tarker’s “The Fortune Teller” is more straightforward. A woman (Renata Friedman), the mistress of a rich and powerful man, has just broken up with her lover and, having been supported by him, is in despair about what to do with her life. As she waits for a cab outside her former apartment, she comes across a self-described fortune teller (Brandon J. Simmons), who claims he will tell her the future for the price of a beer. At first, she’s skeptical. But then he begins to say things about her life that he can’t possibly know. He tells her he sees much happiness in her future and when he asks where she thinks she would be content, she blurts out, “Argentina.” Somehow naming the place out loud gives her the courage to make her dream real; she decides on the spot to take off for South America.
It’s a testament to Tarker’s skill as a storyteller that he is able to spin such a compelling tale in so few minutes and to Friedman’s and Simmons’ talent that they can make their
characters and the situation completely believable. Tarker taps an emotional truth in “The Fortune Teller” that sometimes naming our dreams gives us the strength to pursue them. The performance proved that, though it’s not easy to craft a coherent stage play that runs just ten short minutes, in the right hands it can be done.