Watermark’s 2014 Orlando Fringe Reviews: Desperately Seeking the Exit

By : Veronica Brezina
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In Desperately Seeking the Exit, writer and performer Peter Michael Marino tells the hilarious behind-the-scenes story of how his musical based off of the film Desperately Seeking Susan flopped and rebirthed.

The 1985 comedy-drama film, which starred Madonna, Rosanna Arquette and Adian Quinn, told the story of how Roberty (Arquette), a suburban housewife living in New Jersey, becomes fascinated with the classified ads that portray the romance between Jim (Robert Joy) and Susan (Madonna). Roberta accidentally gets hit on the head and suffers amnesia, which causes her to believe she is Susan.
Marino was love-struck with the film. He memorized every line of the script and the actors’ performances, then created a $6 million musical in 2007 with a soundtrack of songs from Blondie. The show closed just a month after its premiere on London’s West End. But that wasn’t the end of it. As they say in the business, the show must go on, and so it did it in Tokyo and where it was very successful.

Desperately Seeking the Exit is a one-man-show that memorializes Marino’s flop as he takes the stage. Wearing a Godzilla T-shirt, which is appropriate because his musical’s rebirth was in Tokyo, Marino takes the audience along on his heartbreaking yet fabulously hilarious adventure in London and the countless obstacles he faced from the London lifestyle to why the show ultimately flopped.

Marino came of age through his career’s failures and wins. Via his Fringe show, he bravely stands up in front of an audience and expresses his growth through his performance.

Marino has performed this show at Edinburgh Fringe and in two fringes in Australia. It was named the Best Comedy by “The Advertiser.” Desperately Seeking the Exit premiered in New York City in May before going on tour in New York and L.A.

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