Fringe Reviews – Day 7
So last night, I think it is fair to say that “Ash Land” won at Fringe. They sold out the Rarig Thurst, a 460 seat theatre. By “sold out,” I mean that not a single person from the Artists’ rush line got into the theatre. Every seat in the theatre was a paying viewer. That has never happened before. It could happen again, though, because they have one more show today. Good for them.
And good for me because I’d already seen the show!
So here’s what I saw yesterday:
At a loss to pick a show, I opted for this kids’ show in the Rarig Experimental.
I had no expectations going it so what I saw was a pleasant surprise. The company takes stories written by grade school children and stages them as short scenes. They try to remain true to the stories as written but the staging ends up being silly and even charming.
I’m not going to say that this is a show that would appeal to all adults as I’m sure there are adults who aren’t interested in childish humor and storytelling. It has a Saturday Morning Cartoon feeling to it. You have to enjoy that kind of silly, strange storytelling most children do. Fortunately, I enjoy that kind of storytelling.
I knew nothing about the company or the show going in so this show rates as one of the more pleasant surprises of this year’s fringe.
So let me see…a mix of Film Noir and 50’s Science Fiction about typefaces? I couldn’t think of a single reason I wouldn’t enjoy this show. Seemed like it was aimed squarely at my strike zone.
And indeed it was. The script is sharp and filled with more font jokes than one would assume you could fit into an hour. The actors are all seasoned performers who understood the genre they were spoofing perfectly.
I particularly enjoyed the staging choices made by the set designer. Set pieces served multiple functions and almost always hid some sort of surprise. The use of two practical lights on stage allowed for making lighting choices that the standard Fringe plot could not provide.
I would definitely say this show is one of my favorites of the 2012 Fringe.
I thought this show was an entertaining mess. I can’t say that I thought it was good but there were several moments of inspired lunacy that saved it from falling completely flat. In fact, it seemed like the entire show was written for Maddie Gibba to chew as much scenery as possible. I can’t say it was a bad choice as she did a masterful job.
Unfortunately, the rest of the show couldn’t match her intensity. I can’t blame all of that on Maddie’s scene stealing. The rest of the actors weren’t given much to work with in a script that felt entirely designed to highlight one performer.
I can’t recommend the show, there is too much wrong with it. If you want to watch one actor nearly rescue a show with her manic energy, though, this is the show to see.