Well, here’s a show that doesn’t need any marketing help. The Gayer Show sold out its first performance… on a Saturday afternoon… on the second floor of a gay club. So, yes, this is probably going to sell out. Get your tickets now, if you want to see it.
You know, these guys deserve their success. They’ve been at Fringe repeatedly over the years, and the show is funny and closely observed. Even though it’s highly personal, you’ll probably find something to relate to. I certainly did (and, yes, I’m straight).
One thing that I would like to see, here, though. When Dan recited a quote from the Apostle Paul, illustrating a time when scriptures were used to belittle him and his sexuality, his performance took on real electricity. However, the duo spends much of the show reading their material. It’s not a devastating flaw, but this show has potential that could be realized by committing the material to memory and dramatizing it
With that said, there is a spirit of good will in the air at this show that you don’t normally get at theater.
Seeing It Might Be OK immediately after Painted drew my attention to some obvious similarities between the shows:
- Personal stories that are positioned as being from the actors, focusing on moments of personal challenge and/or pain.
- Collegiate age performers, many of whom I have seen onstage at CCM.
- Visually arresting images throughout.
While Painted definitely had elements to recommend it, It Might Be OK is one of the shows of the festival for me. Why?
It finds a style, a language of its own in the combination of pop songs and dances to create a topology of twenty-something psychology. There is a much a greater variety of personal stories, and It Might Be OK doesn’t attempt to create easy parallels between these personal experience and society-wide tragedies.
And, of course, the umbrella sequence is the most visually arresting image that I’ve seen this festival so far.
It’s reare to see a show with a cast this big maintain their energy throughout a full show–It Might Be OK is a great example of a fringe show that’s successful on every level that it attempts.
Painted is one of the most visually arresting shows that you’ll see this festival, as it revolves around several performers dressed in all white as they mark themselves and each other with finger paint. The point is the pain that we inflict and that is inflicted upon each other.
The show is striking but I wanted more–the personal stories in the early part of the show pretty quickly gave way to more universal moments like the assassination of JFK, the Kent State tragedy, etc., and these elements felt tacked on. The show is about 35 minutes all told, so there was definitely room for more material. (The festival program suggested 50 minutes, so there has been some cutting here or something.)
There are some strengths here. I’d love to see a future iteration of it.
I’ve been using the phrase "review-proof" a bit throughout this festival, and No Strange than Home definitely fits that bill.
The show is made up of 10 closely observed stroies of travel abroad. There’s little to no theatrical artific–in fact, the writer/performer is telling these stories directly from her perspective, in her words, as herself. (This is something that I can say with some certitude, since I met the performer, Katherine Glover, at a festival afterparty early in the festival. This would suggest to wouldbe "real" reviewers–don’t go to the afterparties, unless you really want to have your takes colored by your interactions with the artists.)
The bigger question from a review perspective is: how do you review a show this personal? Aren’t you really reviewing the performer’s personality?
At any rate, the show suffered from the lousy attendance. The room at the Art Academy was sparsely populated with people, and I was the only one laughing at the jokes. You could feel the energy seeping out the room. If you go, sit in front. I know it’s a classroom, but it will be a better experience.
Are we all tourists? Katherine Glover’s “No Stranger Than Home” has a travelogue vibe, but is really asking what cultural identity means. Where are you from?
Am I from from Cincinnati? Am I from New York State? Am I from England/Ireland/Panama as my ethnicity would suggest?
Continue reading “Fringe Reivew: No Stranger Than Home”
It’s kind of nice to know that you have no influence over the attendance of a show. Ed Hammell (AKA Hammell on Trial) has his own following, has a show that generates its own word of mouth, and pretty much has it going on.
This is a brassy, loud, in-your-face show, an anarchist tour de force, balanced on perfectly between the glee in the simple pleasures (sex, drugs, and rock and roll) and the sadness and anger that everyday life brings.
If you’re not easily offended, find a way to scam a ticket and go.
Incredulity is an improv show, which means prospective audience members fall into one of three categories:
- People who hate improv. These people should stay away.
- People who love improv. These people should see it–may be more than once.
- Everyone else. These people should take note that the show is only 40 minutes and give it a shot if it fits into their Fringe schedules.
I’m in the third category. I have a fairly limited experience with improv, but it passed the main tests: I laughed pretty consistently, and I laughed really hard three times.
I started Thursday at Cemetery Golf, the first of the solo shows that I’ve seen.
If Fringe shows in general are difficult to review, solo shows are even harder since they tend to focus very tightly on one person’s experience. I really liked Cemetary Golf–but then my experience is close to the writer/performer, in that we both grew up evangelical in small towns. So, it likely shouldn’t be a surprise that I liked the production more than most of my group.
One thing that we did all agree on is that the performer/writer Jim Loucks nailed the characterizations. The script has plenty of humor in it, but it’s not set up to mock the religious character, even if Loucks doesn’t share their faith (and doesn’t expect you to either).
You’ll see many over-the-top shows at Fringe. This isn’t one of them. You should see it anyway.
I am a terrorist. I got that impression from “Terrorism of Everyday Life” by Ed Hammell. If you think like Ed, you must be a terrorist. Rock infused humor drills from the 70 year old guitar with the massive hole in it. I here the Clash pre-show and I am hooked. I was floored by the slide acoustic ripping at the end. I was laughing at the “Pussy” song.
The politics do more than lean left, they fall of the left cliff. If you are an easily offended Republican, please go. There is nothing here that will offend you. Trust me.
Continue reading “Fringe Review: The Terrorism of Everyday Life”
William Shatner still getting women
Texting while driving with your knees
Dick Cheney is not dead
Those were the topics provided by the audience at “Incredulity”. In the spirit of the improv show, I am going do an improv review.
So, these two talking rabbits walk into a bar. One says to the other…
Continue reading “Fringe Review: Incredulity”