August 3rd, 2007

New Tilley Hat

2007 Fringe Festival: Day 1

Because of the 35W bridge collapse, the main show I wanted to see was cancelled. As long as I was going to the other side of the river, I just spent the whole day at the Ritz (where the Fringe-For-All was held): Four show in a row. Alas, none that I would recommend.

Day 1

Mind Tripping

Magic and Teddy Bears ***

A magic show with smooth patter and excellent slight of hand, but it never rose above the material. Perhaps because it was the first Fringe show, and world premier of the act. The 35W bridge disaster might have kept people on the other side of the river. The show would have gone over better with a larger audience, and it deserves to get it. Lots of audience participation, and lots of teddy bears. A Shockwave Radio Theater review.

The Vinyl Diary: A Modern Musical

The kids have talent ***

Brilliantly acted, sung and choreographed by High School age kids, about high school aged kids. Everything was beautifully done except the sound mixing. I couldn't make out most of the words when the band was playing. The play itself was fun but didn't make a lot of sense: I asked afterward, and got an explanation, and still didn't quite get it. But it was fun to watch and listen to. Short, only 35 minutes. A Shockwave Radio review.

Dance of Illusion

Magic 101 **

The magic was pretty basic a and the dancing was very nice, but there wasn't much of it. Everything was presented deftly, but the show is only a half hour long and I never felt mystified. A Shockwave Radio Review.

Masks of the Illuminati *** 1/2

Boy meets the girl of his dreams in his dreams

I'm a fan of Robert Anton Wilson and was hoping this would be weird or at least thought provoking, but it never quite made it. The acting was good (though the first show suffered from hesitancy) and the dialog was snappy and in character (or at least the characters as seen through the eyes of RAW). The characters may have learned a great lesson, or perhaps they learned the opposite of a great lesson, but I didn't. A Shockwave Radio Theater review.
New Tilley Hat

Bridge info request and Fringe musings

My brother who runs the Climate Progress blog has asked me to write something about the 35W bridge collapse. At the moment, I don't really have a lot to say that would be on topic. Did the drought conditions in Minnesota and low water levels in the Mississippi affect the bridge? It couldn't have helped, but I'd like a better set of resources before writing anything formal. Is global warming going to be a major stressor on aging infrastructure? Again, it seems highly likely, but I'd like to know more.

Can anyone help or at least point me in the right direction?

Fringe: For a guy who was feeling burnt out before the Fringe started, I'm packing 'em in early. The first day is always a bit of a crapshoot, but I've been lucky in previous years and seen at least one great show. Not this year. I saw four shows yesterday, all of which were disappointing; not bad, just not great. Some of that was due to the bridge collapse, as the show I'd built my schedule around was cancelled.

In revenge (or something), I'm seeing two shows today in unique venues, and spreading four shows around the city, leaving plenty of time in between. Scheduled: Blonde on Blonde, a Dylan-themed show that is in the same place right before the show I really want to see:

William Shakespeare's Hystery Queene Margaret in the parking lot. Maybe I can park in the lot for both shows. Dunno.

The Most Mysterious Day of the Year by the troupe that did Wonders of the World: Recite last year.

And if I'm still up for it: An Intimate Evening with Fotis; The Taller Side of Ferrari McSpeedy. This 11:30pm show is provisional, but is far enough after the previous one that I may be recharged.

Tomorrow includes two that I don't want to miss: American Folksongs: The Ballad of Ferris Riley by the Prince Myshkins, a musical group that I like a lot and who's Nonsense Company did Great Hymn of Thanksgiving last year.

And at last, the cancelled show: Flawed Genius. And likely other shows too.

If you want to join me, let me know! I like to sit close to the front (in case the mics don't work) and I'll save you a seat...
New Tilley Hat

2007 Fringe Festival: Day 2

Didn't make the fourth show, since the third one went overtime and I'm trying to avoid burnout. Plus, I have a long day that starts early tomorrow.

Blonde On Blonde **

Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey

Good opening bit about being on the radio followed by a series of of disjointed sketches about unlikeable characters. The sordid lives of two optimistic losers are presented in excruciating detail. Decent acting with a few good bits. Nothing to do with Bob Dylan or his music. A Shockwave Radio Theater review.

William Shakespeare's Hystery Queen Margaret ****

Shakespeare In The Parking Lot

15 hours of the Henry VI cycle done outdoors in an hour. I followed the twists and turns of the real-life soap opera (I think) which itself is a recommendation. The venue allows for the actors to wander off and still be on stage. People climb arrive from the basement and shout from the roof. The puppet show opening and closing is well done. Good acting and good swordplay bring The War of the Roses to life. Not everything worked, but this is why I go to the Fringe. A Shockwave Radio Theater review.

The Most Mysterious Day of the Year ****

No Feral Child Could Save Her

After mulling it over, I think the theme of this play is "keep the lines of communication open". The three cast members create a series of earnestly strange characters during the hour and twenty minutes. Three dimensions and a stage full of moveable props were needed to play two detectives, a lovebird, a raccoon-faced niece, an expository newspaper reader among the inhabitants of a world that looks suspiciously like ours. I got caught up in the absurdist situations and familiar motivations. The first show was a bit rough around the edges and the theater was hot, but this is a true Fringe experience. Recommended if you liked last year's Wonders Of The World: Recite and for anyone who loves someone just a little off kilter. A Shockwave Radio Theater review.

For Saturday: Three Shows in a row at Intermedia Arts. American Folksongs: The Ballad of Ferris Riley (very high on my list), Blue Collar Diaries (don't know anything about this one, but the other two were on my list) and Making Dolls (their three minutes at the Fringe-For-All were very good). A break for dinner and then Flawed Genius (at last), another break and then Monster Movies With My Undead Dad (partially because she took one of my music suggestions).