Leaving Normal *** 1/2
"I'll do anything for a moment"
After 8/7/08 performance
Xperimental Theater, U of M
Melissa almost dances her way through the show, shifting gravity and closing herself into luggage. I've never seen a performer with their back to the audience as much, though she more than makes up for it by interacting with and crawling through the attendees. She changes personalities to tell an odd, interwoven set of stories that didn't really gel but were fun to watch. Three and a half stars rounded up for the cookie.
Melissa is terrific with the audience and has a pleasant innocence about her that masks the physicality of the show. I wish the story were more understandable, though it's possible I just missed something and that another performance will be clearer.
Sun Tzu's, The Art of War ****
Fun Concept, Terrific Playbill
Except for the beginning and ending bits, this is read directly from Sun Tzu, with ninja demonstrators and a mambo to break things up. Who knew that Stooge Fu was invented by the Chinese 2500 years ago? While episodic and slow moving at times, it's authentic and you might learn how to defeat your enemy. Almost a whole kitty goes to the playbill and Fringe website write-up.
This Play Is Trash ****
The cast of This Play Is Trash
outside the Bedlam Theater after the Ootie Fest 7/30/08
Nicely done character studies of various people on the street or waiting for a bus, all dealing with some aspect of garbage though that was rarely the main focus. Funny and sometimes sad, inspired by a true garbage event in New York. The drummer and sax player were great street musicians.
Gone, Gone, Gone ****
Pas De Deux With Tape and Paper Towel
Monica Rodero & Daniel Schuchart
Ootie Fest, Bedlam Theater, 7/30/08
Two excellent dancers create a sensual flowing synergy. I don't know what the title means but the duets were funny, flirtatious, earthy and true.
If you're counting, that makes 30 Fringes. if you're not counting, it's even more, adding in the Showcases. Four in a row is sometimes hard on the viewing psyche, but the venues were all close. Beforehand, I had a nice dinner at K-Wok, one of my favorite restaurants. And I had a camera with me! Ah, but that's a story for another day...
Three more days left. I don't consider it a true Fringe Festival until I've seen something I don't like, and so far it's all been good. Too good. I've now seen most (but by no means all) of the shows I had flagged to see and may just randomly pick shows just to see what happens. Tomorrow is the Vikings game to avoid, so I'm trying to stick to venues far away from the Dome. And I have almost nothing down for Saturday. Ah well.