August 15th, 2010

New Tilley Hat

2010 Fringe Festival Day 10: Batting Clean-Up

Continued from Day 9: The last surge.

Usually, the Saturday of the Fringe, day 10 of 11, is my last big day. Reviews won't help anything I see on Sunday, and I'm generally tired. This year, I'm not burnt out, but I have hit my physical limit. Carole and I are seeing one show, You Are Not Paris and winding down the day into Trivia.

Final Tally: I've seen 49 fringes, counting dress rehearsals I videoed, easily smashing my previous record of 41 from last year. I'll have seen shows at 18 of the 19 venues (missing the Anton Kissbougel BYOV), posted two galleries (so far) on Facebook and five videos (with more in the can) on YouTube. Did a short report for KFAI, and may do a wrap up if I have time after the videos. *whew*

Click on picture for larger picture.

Cook and husband at the Himalaya Restaurant
The cook and her husband near the buffet at
The Himalaya, Nepalese cuisine.

We saw five shows on Saturday in the seven slots. This made for a relaxing day. Saw the early show at 1pm, made it to a new (to me) restaurant near the next venue, and had time for some interviews and such along the way. Two of the three shows at the Rarig had friends in them, and they were on my list and I'm glad I finally got to them. The middle show was a lucky happenstance of scheduling.


xxxxx four and a half stars, rounded up

"Don't pity a sociopath"

Jessica Ferris is an excellent physical comedienne. Her search for her father involves coming to grips with her grandfather and several members of her family. Along the way she has to decide if she really wants to find the con man who abandoned her 28 years ago. A worthwhile journey. Four and a half stars rounded up for clever staging.

I interviewed Jessica on Shockwave Radio Theater broadcast of 8/6/05. I thought she looked familiar.

Can Michael Come Out And Play?

xxxxx four and a half stars rounded up

"You owe me a cookie"

Mahmoud Hakima
Mahmoud Hakima, outside the Playwrights Center before his performance of
Can Michael Come Out And Play?. Video interview later.

What do you do if your name is "Mahmoud" (with the rolling 'h') and you were born in California but few Americans acknowledge -- or pronounce -- your name? Mahmoud Abdul Hakima doesn't get angry, he turns a lifetime of frustration into a fine, personal, Fringe show. Funny and poignant, he focuses on other people's foolish reactions more than his own puzzlement. I can't really call his catharsis acting, but his performance is affecting. Four and a half stars rounded up for a good ending.

Mahmoud's an agnostic. I don't think I've met anyone else who's an agnostic from Islam, not that I've asked. His story touches upon religious prejudice, but doesn't dwell on it.

Story Time Time Bomb


"The cake was a lie"

Add a kitty if you're a kid, or surrounded by kids in the Arena. Alas, the 7pm show had neither advantage for me. The cast tries very hard to write an interactive children's story, and usually succeeds. It was a pleasant diversion, with lots of people I know. More kids would have made it better.

Tim Wick's show deserved a large (and younger) audience. I'm glad I went, but mostly to see my friends. If this Fringe has had one weakness in the performances we've seen, it's the improv shows. Maybe the heat got to people.

Confessions of a Lazy Hmong Woman


"The Jan Brady Syndrome"

Hmong culture and American culture clash. May Lee-Yang plays a girl who would rather play video games than put on makeup to attract a husband she probably won't like. The rest of her family (all superbly played by Phasuoa Vang) is greatly annoyed. The Hmong folk in the audience laughed more than white fo'k, but I gained a greater understanding of the culture of many of my neighbors. The shadow puppet theater was fringy and wonderful.

I couldn't help but compare this Hmong show with the Muslims of That Sara Aziz or the Lutherans of The Crock Pot. Visiting other cultures is a major plus of the Fringe for me. I guess I really live in the weirdness of Superlatives of Excellence...

Happy Sauce

xxxxx four and a half stars rounded up for effervescence

Contemporary Pop Culture Buzzwords

Okay, it's silly, but it works. The plot involves death, drugs, betrayal mental illness and cynical consumerism; the standard ingredients of comedy. A lot of funny lines are delivered by over-the-top actors. Four and a half stars rounded up for sheer exuberance.

The writer is a friend from my most recent job at the Census. I was very pleased that it was good.

More pictures were posted to Fringe Gallery 2 from today.

Continued in Day 11: One last show.