Fringe Festival – Day 2
I’ve talked to a lot of artists about reviewing for Fringe shows and most of us don’t write reviews for the Fringe Festival site. It’s kind of counter-intuitive. We all really need reviews to get audiences interested in our shows. But most of the time we don’t review the shows of other artists.
In general, I’ll do a review on the Fringe site if I see a show I really enjoy and it doesn’t have many reviews or I feel like the rating is too low. That, in my mind, is a show that needs support from as many sources as possible.
If the show has a lot of reviews and is doing well, it doesn’t need my help if I liked it. If I didn’t like it, I have too much respect for the work of the people involved to torpedo the show’s rating by posting a negative review. A one or two star review can really screw a producer’s rating.
If I were an audience member with no skin in the game, I wouldn’t have an issue posting a negative review on the show page. As a producer, writer, and sometime performer, I want to help other producers. A bad review on the Fringe site can really hurt them.
So I’ll write a bad review here on my own page and perhaps they will find it helpful. Or perhaps they won’t read it.
Probably the second thing.
Confessions of a Butter Princess or Why the Cow Jumped Over the Moon
Oh my was this a FRINGEY Fringe show. By that I mean it threw a whole bunch of concepts together in a bizarre, confusing mishmash of a story and I never really got it.
I choose to believe that I was simply not smart enough to understand what was going on and not that the material was impenetrable.
There were some chuckles to be had throughout but the story of three butter princesses, a trapped cow, and an alien butter…queen, I think, was mostly very wordy and I never felt like I was in on the joke.
I was genuinely baffled. And maybe it was because the show was smarter than me. I’m willing to accept that possibility. But that meant I couldn’t enjoy the show because I was too busy trying to figure it out.
I went to see this show because of Shanan Custer. She will elevate anything by her presence.
The preview didn’t really interest me that much. I thought it was going to be a parody and/or impeachment of reality show culture.
I was wrong. Not about Shanan. She was great.
But the show managed to surprise me by setting up a premise and then almost immediately setting that premise aside. It was funny but it was also unexpected. It explored relationships through a group of women involved in a dysfunctional relationship with the same man and with each other.
This was the first show of the Fringe that really surprised me.
This show really didn’t surprise me at all. I went in expecting a mostly serious monologue piece about the challenges of being an overweight woman in our society and that was what I got.
The actresses were all very good and the writing was strong but in general, I avoid this kind of show because I don’t feel it has anything new to teach me. I keep going because I hope I’m wrong.
I understood the message of the show before I sat down to watch. I sympathize with the message of the show. I just didn’t feel as if the show found any new ground.
I will typically avoid this type of production simply because I’ve heard the message. The show can be very good and I still won’t feel a connection.
This show was very good. But it wasn’t for me.
A Funny Thing Happened on the way to the Death Star
So yeah, this show was for me.
This is a throw-every-joke-at-the-wall-and-don’t-worry-about-which-ones-stick kind of show. There are so many running gags, they sometimes trip over each other.
But if you are a Star Wars fan and you don’t go to the show, you’ve missed a show written by geeks for geeks. And that is a darn shame.
Based on attendance and reviews, I shouldn’t need to convince anyone to see this show. But let me encourage you to see it anyway. I went to the opening performance and the performance was tight and confident. There were glitches (there always are) but the actors powered right through them.
I definitely did not feel like my time was wasted.