Fringe Reviews – Day 8
Big day of Fringing yesterday. I actually skipped a time slot so I could have a leisurely dinner and I went and watched my favorite fringe show again.
Here’s my thoughts on what I saw:
This is sort of the perfect fringe show. As a stand alone play, I think they’d have difficulty getting people to attend, even with the talented cast. The show is really a comedy about the interaction between two very different characters. It could have been about stealing a diamond (it is), it could have been about going fishing.
For those of us looking for comedy at the Fringe, this is a great show. It has constant laugh lines and a story that is just enough to let three gifted comedians be funny.
Bohemian RHAPsody: De-Taming of the Shrew
Wow. This show just didn’t work on any level. It seriously seemed like every time the writer had the opportunity to make a choice, she would make the wrong one. She ended up creating a show that felt like there was never a single moment’s consideration given to what an audience might think of the production. It was a personal journey that was so personal, the audience wasn’t really allowed to experience it.
I may do a full blog entry about this later. It isn’t my wish to beat up a producer because as someone who puts on shows at the Fringe, I will always respect the effort of someone trying to create a show. What is interesting to consider in this show is how much was done wrong. It is a textbook show for all the mistakes someone can make in a single show.
I had a lot of friends involved in this show. I think it is a great concept as the producer basically offered a few minutes to Fringe performers who didn’t get their own show through the lottery. As such, the scenes were a little uneven in quality. Some were funny/entertaining/interesting and others were merely OK. Nothing was awful. For me, the best scene was the Improv Comedy Duo featuring Phillip Low and Ben San Del. I still laugh about it every time I think about it.
While there is a fight scene that is used as a connecting piece, it is the only thing that can be considered a through line of the show. I think some audiences were looking for a connection and there is none to find. That is fine by me but there might have been a way to create more of a connection between scenes, either by an introduction or something else. It wasn’t a big problem but it would be something to think about if they do another version of this show next year.
I think it’s a great idea though. It allows for producers who don’t get in through the lottery to do something at the Fringe.
Billy Beechwood and the Mountain of Terror
I re-watched this show because nothing in the 7:00 time slot really interested me and this is my favorite show of the 2012 fringe. Please note I don’t say the “best.” Yes, I saw better shows this year. I didn’t see any other show that I found more consistently funny, clever and playful. And yes, the ending is still the greatest fringe show ending ever.
Kirsten’s solo mime show was a very entertaining series of vignettes based on iOS apps like Angry Birds, Dating sites and YouTube. It’s pretty light stuff but she is so good at her craft that the show is well worth your time. My favorite segments were one where she used masking tape to create a dance partner and the final segment that used pictures on the iPad to serve as inspiration for her actions.
Mime is kind of a dirty word to most comedians. We make fun of it all the time. Truth is, we love good mime as much as anything else. Kirsten has a great sense of what makes an audience laugh.
A friend from college wrote the script on this one and it is not the type of show I tend to attend. It is a sweet story about love and a long life together. I’ll admit it isn’t a strike zone show for me but Greg’s script was very good.
The weakness I found in the show was the lead. I didn’t find her believable as a grieving widow trying to come to terms with her feelings. Given much of the script rested on her, it meant the show didn’t connect with me on an emotional level. I could appreciate the work done on the script and the staging of the show but unfortunately, I never reached the point where I’d suspended disbelief enough to care about the characters.
So that’s it for yesterday. One final day of Fringing today, mostly taken up by the final performances of my shows. I hope to see one or two shows, though. I’ll write a fringe wrap-up later this week.