elephant shoes & olive juice ***
"To be great is to be misunderstood" -- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Very Fringy. The young actors explore methods of communication, or lack thereof. Not all of it works, but the performances are affecting and you might hear the world a little differently afterwards. The sustained laughs come from a long sketch wherein a secretary desperately needs to unsend an e-mail.
Before the show: Acknowledging when an audience member submitts a letter
elephant shoes & olive juice
MN Fringe Festival, Bryant-Lake Bowl, 8/3/08
Conceptual fun for this former Communications major. I only noticed one geek mistake, as they said "ISP number" when they meant "IP number", but hey, it's the Fringe. Indeed, I gave them an ad lib: At one point, they dropped a keyboard, and the actor humbly apologized. "Computer crash!" I said, which he repeated to much jocularity. Before starting, they provided notecards and envelopes and asked people to write letters, from anyone to anyone. Of the fifty or so, they picked three near the end to read. Mine wasn't one of them. For the record, I submitted:
Fool For A Client *** 1/2
Zero tolerance = Maximum Government
What would you do if you were a vacuum cleaner salesman who wanted to sell ice cream but discovered that banks treated you like a mark being sold a vacuum cleaner? If you are Mark Whitney, you'd go to jail, become versed in law, challenge the rules, and tell your story as a stand-up comic. His routine comes with experience gained in hindsight and a dash of bitterness and is delivered with time-tested laugh lines. Three and a half stars rounded up to four for sustaining a funny rant for 70 minutes.
The Fringe rating system only allows even numbered kitties... er, stars, but it's really three and a half.
I have two more on my schedule, but I'm probably only going to make the first one.
Shockwave Rider Tim Mooney tours the country doing Moliere Than Thou (last year's Fringe show) and the SF play Criteria (from two years ago), and he's always on. This year he's doing Karaoke Knights at McMahon's Pub, a Bring Your Own Venue.
If I have gumption and/or energy, I may see Sun Tzu's The Art of War, but I'll probably go home, catch the last few questions at my usual Trivia contest, and get some sleep.