Fringe Festival – Day 5
I know it’s coming. It’s as inevitable as the postcards.
Someone out there is going to post a one or two star review of my show.
I think you could write a horror show all about the process of getting audience reviews. Audience reviews are necessary to having a successful run and they can be super helpful. They are also a source of constant pain.
It may come as a surprise to many people that most Fringe artists have fragile egos. Even though we know that there is no way we can write a show that will please everyone, we are devastated when we get that one bad review because deep down, that is the review we thought was right all along.
As reviews for my show roll in, they are pretty positive. And that’s great.
But someone out there hates what we did. And at some point, they will sit down in front of a keyboard to let us know.
I don’t resent those reviews. But I dread them. Because I’m pretty sure they’re right.
And speaking of reviews, here are my reviews of shows I saw on Monday!
The Sexiest Man Alive vs. The Robot Horde
There are always some really great shows at the Fringe. There are also, inevitably, some horrible ones.
This show is neither. It lives in that intriguing middle ground where the idea is good but the execution needs a little work.
The show had a lot of laughs but there were also lengthy dead spots that could have been polished up. The opening of the show was a long chunk of exposition that could have benefitted from another editing pass. A few of the performers were quite good. A few of them didn’t seem to know their lines.
I really enjoyed the performance of the Robot Vice President (Dan Linden – who also wrote the show) and there were a lot of very funny moments. It isn’t one of the best shows at the Fringe but it feels like the work of a creator who is going to keep getting better.
Speaking of creators who keep getting better, how about Joe Bozic and Mike Fotis? As Ferrari McSpeedy, they have produced some of my favorite shows at the Fringe. Their slightly nihilistic, almost stream of consciousness writing pushes all the right buttons for me. I could never be in a show with them because I’d spend the entire time geeking out about the fact I was in a show with them.
This year’s show is a series of sketches previously produced at the Brave New Workshop in 2014. They may have made some changes since then. I don’t know.
It doesn’t really matter. Their manic scene and character shifts were never boring. The way each scene connected with each other meant I was always engaged as I tried to figure out how something at one point in the show connected to everything else.
And Joe Bozic’s dance was a thing of beauty.
Honestly, if the show was just his three-minute dance, it would have been enough. It was, of course, a whole lot more than that.
The beauty of the Fringe smorgasbord is every now and again, you find a time slot that is effectively “empty.” You don’t know what to watch. So you just go to something. Because you are fringing and you want to see a show.
Teacher in the House was nothing more than a show being produced in a theater I was close to at the time. A friend said he was going so I decided to tag along. I didn’t have a better idea.
You might guess that I was pleased with my choice and indeed I was. Solo shows are a little risky for me. The talent of the artist is typically unmistakable but too often I simply don’t find myself interested in what they have to say. At least not for 45-50 minutes.
Not so with Teacher in the house. Susan Jeremy played multiple characters in a story that combined tales of teaching handicapped children in their homes with cancer survival. If I have a complaint about the show, it was too short. I wanted to know more about the kids she was teaching.
That’s the mark of a good show, honestly. She got me so interested in the story she was telling, I was frustrated when the story was over.