Fringe Reviews – Day 6
Three more shows last night plus one of my own. While the Rarig Experimental is a small theatre, I was super happy that Stop Talking managed to sell out our 7:00 show.
But who cares about my show? How about the other ones I saw?
This show was very good. The music is as good as any original Fringe music I’ve heard and the two performers were good actors and great singers.
The show had a few problems and they were not the fault of the show itself so much as the nature of being a fringe show.
First, a musical is pretty tough to stage in the round because the audience will have difficulty understanding lyrics when the performer is facing away from them. Because it is in the round, at some point the actor will be facing away from you.
The director also made a strange choice to have a significant portion of the blocking face the section that was immediately next to the musicians. Simply put, you need to recognize that the section next to the musicians will always be the last one to fill and adjust your blocking accordingly.
The other issue I had was the length of the show. Fringe shows can’t be much more than 55 minutes and this show needs to be longer. That’s a good thing – I was willing to watch more.
The problem I had watching the show was that a conflict developed and resolved just too quickly. There was more that could have been done but the time limit prevented the story from progressing naturally.
Those criticisms are really problems that can arise with doing shows at the Fringe. I’ve spent a lot of time on them because I noticed them but I still enjoyed the hell out of the show.
Sara Stevenson Scrimshaw is a friend of mine (and she was in “Highlander: The Musical” last year). As a dancer, I love the way she injects humor and emotion into everything she does. She is as graceful as they come.
Her show this year was five dances inspired by different drinks. I liked and/or loved all of them.
My favorite was probably the Argentinian Malbec tango with Sara and Danielle Robinson-Prater. The two of them complement each other as dancers exceptionally well.
I was less enamored with the Vodka inspired dance. I felt it was a bit too long and the constantly changing music was jarring and distracting. I enjoyed about 2/3rds of it, though. There was just a moment when I felt like I completely understood what the dance was communicating and didn’t need to see it continue.
Even with that critique, I thought the show was easily one of the best dance shows at the Fringe.
Sadly, there was a very small house for this show. People are sometimes put off by mime and that is a shame.
I made it my goal to finally see a show by Kirsten and Dean and I pulled it off!
The show explores different kinds of mime and both Kirsten and Dean are gifted artists. Some of the scenes are funny, some are touching and one is even a little bit scary.
As an artist, the fringe is frequently about exploring ideas that you might not be sure would work as a fully mounted production. Audiences, as well, can get into that spirit of exploration. In that spirit, I think this show was a great fringe experience.