Fringe Reviews – Day 7

Ben San DelI’m not going to any Fringe shows tonight.  While there are a lot of shows left on my list, I have gotten into the habit of taking one evening of the festival off.

I recognize that my choice means there are some shows I won’t get to see this year.  That, however, is already to be expected.  There are 169 shows  in the Fringe and just over 50 potential slots an audience member can fill.  I know some people who will Iron man the fringe and try to fill every available slot.

That goal is admirable but I need a night away from the Fringe to recharge my batteries.  I’ll miss everyone at Fringe Central this evening.  That community of artists is one of my favorite parts of the Fringe experience.  But I’ve got to get some sleep!

So no new reviews tomorrow.

I saw three shows last night, though.  Here’s my thoughts on those!

Fiddlestick Conundrum

Ben San Del is a funny guy.  That is not a subjective statement.

I mean, it is a subjective statement.  But it shouldn’t be.

All I can say about his show is that I thought it was funny from beginning to end.  The audience was really into his set and the only reason to avoid his show is if you don’t particularly want to watch stand up comedy at the Fringe.

I don’t understand that choice but it is a choice you can make.

Ben told me later that there was a young woman in the front row who had clearly been dragged there against her will.  His goal was to get her to crack a smile at least once.

He failed.

So you can believe me.  Or you can believe that girl who clearly had no joy in her life.

Green T’s 2001: A Space Odyssey

Green T, meet your target audience.

I’m a huge fan of 2001 and will happily explain to anyone who will listen why the movie is awesome and they just don’t get it.

That said, if you condense it down to less than an hour, eliminate most of the puzzling finale and fill in some of the more confusing moment with narration from the book, the story becomes much more accessible.

The show is filled with impressive physical moments where people are recreating iconic moments from the movie.  We even get to see a flight attendant walk upside down!

The show captured the trance-like contemplative nature of the film and still felt fresh and energetic.  A delicate balancing act but one they executed with near perfection.

The Pat Ryan Effect

I can’t really figure out a gentle way to put it.

This show is one of the most unendurable 45 minutes I’ve ever spent.

In talking it over with some people, I believe the intent of the author is to put the audience into the mind of someone who is depressed and paranoid.  So I’m going to review the show with that in mind.

If you want your audience to sympathize with a point of view, you need to provide a portal.  You need to explain or show what you are trying to do.

This show involved a guy sitting in a chair for 45 minutes speaking about once every three minutes.  Then three people would tell him he was useless and awful and the cycle would start again.  The staging was not inventive.  The writing was uninspired.  The actors, who had very few lines, kept flubbing dialogue.

I give the actors credit for staying committed to their performance in spite of a nearly empty house.

There was no portal for the audience.  Not even a program.  If the author wanted me to feel something other than boredom and confusion, he failed.

If he wanted me to feel bored and confused, then the show was just trolling the audience.

Either way, there is nothing I can recommend about what happened on that stage.

If you are one of those people looking for the worst show at the Fringe, this might be the one.

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About Petsnakereggie

Geek, movie buff, dad, musician, comedian, atheist, liberal and writer. I also really like Taco flavored Doritos.

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