August 10th, 2006

New Tilley Hat

Fringe: Day Eight

Another five star show, and almost a fifth. For a while there, I thought I was getting soft, but the dreadful imrov show cleared my palate, and I could really only justify four and a half for Kevin Kling, so I'm left with two possibilities: Going to the pre-Fringe reviews and paying attention to friend's recommendations led me to a bunch of the best ones and/or the Fringe really is that much better this year. Whee!

I probably wouldn't have gone to this one except for some good recommendations. Three shows in the same venue (then to the Wedge for dinner, which I'm eating now).

Jungle Mary Bang Bang Five Stars
The Poppins Trap The Sherman Brothers have long been among my favorite songwriters, so I expected to enjoy myself. I didn't expect tears. All the songs are from Disney productions, and none of them are done as they were in the movies. The set pieces are great. I enjoyed the Andrews Sisters version of "Sister Suffragette" and the Manhattan Transfer version of "It's A Small World"... heck, I enjoyed all of them. Individually, the singers are excellent. As a group, they are transcendent. Their voices intertwine beautifully, guided by medley arrangements that are brilliant, humorous and heart-wrenching. Maybe it's a bunch of pleasant childhood moviegoing memories crashing together, but I have to say: Thanks.

88 Improv presents The Hitchhiker One Star
Maybe they had an off night I hate to rate an improvisational group this low, but the show I saw (Thurs) wasn't funny and didn't have a Hitchhiker. They claimed audience participation, but they asked for a name and an occupation in the beginning and that's it. They should have involved the audience more, especially in the slow times... which was most of the show.

A sold out show! Good thing I had reservations.

In Hopes of Claudia Four and a half stars
Press 1 For Christianity A journey into Hell, guided by Kevin Kling superbly accompanied by Simone Perrin. The show was a bit rough around the edges, but that shouldn't stop you from trying to see Kling's brilliant monologs or his interpretive dijerido and tuba playing or Perrin's accordion and guitar that augment her singing. The small venue works really well for this intimate show, but it means you should probably reserve a seat early.

24 Fringe shows, equaling last year with three days to go... While I'm not even close to being in the top range of shows seen, I seem to be fairly high up in the number of shows reviewed. I'm about 1.5% of the reviews....