2016 Fringe Reviews – Day 10
As Fringe winds to a close and I start watching shows that weren’t on my early watch list, I start ending up in theaters based, in large part, on where I need to be for my own performances. Fringe roulette can yield some very good experiences and some…not as good ones.
Yesterday’s fringing involved picking a few shows that weren’t on my list. Such choices are exciting because I really don’t know what to expect.
That’s really what the Fringe is all about anyway. You don’t know what to expect. Sure, there are always some artists who have reliably produced quality work. Even so, they are all doing something new and until you sit down in the theater, you don’t know what they have in store for you.
I have one more day to experiment.
Sam Landman impresses me with his versatility. Every time I see one of his plays, I’m struck by how dissimilar it is to the last one I watched.
SmashHammer is a romp of a musical that seems more interested in being a heavy metal musical than it does in anything else. Which is exactly the point. I thought Madison Olimb killed it as the hero Nicodemus. She had a great voice and really seemed to be enjoying the role.
It is hard to say anything bad about show that features a Wizard shredding the guitar so I won’t even bother.
I gave this show a shot because I didn’t know what else to see in the time slot and I ended up being enraptured by Brad Erickson’s performance as Charles Schultz. He was funny, vulnerable, thoughtful, and charming.
He’s been performing the character for schools so he obviously has managed to refine what he does but he really breathes life into Schultz. The exploration of the life influences that turned a kid who loved to draw into the most well known cartoonist of all time was captivating.
Finding a show like this one is what Fringe Roulette is all about.
This was an improv show with a rotating cast of guest performers. I was fortunate enough to attend the performance featuring Shanan Custer and Carolyn Pool.
I confess that my entire recollection of this show was Shanan and Carolyn repeatedly shouting “fuck you Gwyneth Paltrow!”
There was more. Much more. But that was certainly enough.
I can’t put my finger on what didn’t work for me in this dramatic tale about a bank robber’s wife. The script was good but I don’t know that it was particularly compelling. I never really found myself getting excited by the unfolding story.
In the second act, I was frustrated by the choice of one actor to play his character as extremely soft spoken. So soft spoken, in fact, that I could barely hear him. Given I was in the smallest Fringe venue, that is something of an inexcusable choice.
Everything about this show was done well. The story didn’t stick with me. I’m not sure if that is the fault of the writer or me. I’m going to go with me because others in the theater seemed to get a lot more out of the show than I did.