August 10th, 2011

New Tilley Hat

2011 Fringe Festival Day 6: An Ascending Hump Day

Continued from Day 5: A Great Day at Mixed Blood

Day 6 of an 11 day event! The Fringe is now officially half over; more, really, when you count the showcases and such. Hump Day! And each show we saw was better than the last, ending on a high-energy performance. Whee!

Designing the schedule made Tuesday seem a bit like Social Obligation Day: Two shows by friends and one returning Fringe favorite. Carole and I have been pulling apart and putting together the rest of the week. The major change from my Preliminary Schedule was the addition of one show that got some good reviews that fit nicely into today's choreography.

Camelot is Crumbling: An Arthurian Nightmare

xx 1/2

"Our moral truth was a better one"

I like phillip low and have enjoyed everything else he's done, so had high hopes for this one. Alas, instead of his usual rapid-fire political rants we have… a slower exegesis on morals and obligations in the time of high chivalry and low Christianity. With recorded narration by Charles Bethel, phil slips in and out of Sir Lancelot and Mordred, each commenting on their sordid lives of betrayal. Lancelot, the heroic figure, comes off the bigger villain while Mordred, the traditional villain, comes off the stronger moral character.

Precisely what was going on, and why, was hard to follow. The ambitious effort doesn't gel. I think he was trying to make a point about moral consistency and duty. When phil finally slings some logorrhea, the show gains energy. But too little too late.

Deadline: A Choose Your Own Adventure Story


Okay improv

As always with improvisational humor, you pays your money and you takes your chances. These guys were okay. Hanging improv off the audience choosing a plotline was a good idea, but not milked enough. They didn't bounce off the audience very well, and kept losing character. Not really a lot to say; improv is like that.

Dancing With Death


Zombie Ecdysiasts

I made a video interview/excerpt about this Fringe last week, which I'm going to embed because I like it.

"Dancing With Death" interviews and excerpts

I thought the individual dancing was very good, notably the solo by Kalila Indivar. The ensemble choreography was not very tight, which distracted from some of the emotional appeal. Still, much of the fear and sorrow surrounding death came out, including a gallows humor zombie invasion.

Something's Gone Wrong in the Dreamhouse

xxxx 1/2

"Shoe power! Sole Supremacy!"

In many ways, today's world is a reflection of the 1930s: Worldwide financial crises all of which fall mainly on the poor, who get blamed for the incompetence and greed of the rich. Racism and class warfare spill out into the streets. Religious intolerance codified in national law.

Along come Scream Blue Murmer, the rabble-rousing high-energy singer-poets from Northern Ireland. Treading a careful water of angry non-violence, they will make your blood boil and/or your hands clapping.

Audiences join in. Carole and I were both dragged onstage; she to sing and me to shake percussion. A dozen or so of us were in front of the shyer crowd. A good crowd for 10 pm on a Tuesday.

The sound system was acting up, which distracted, and songs about semi-obscure events from eighty years ago weren't placed in enough context. But the high-energy performance and passionate commitment to their moral cause carried the day. I'll have an audio interview with the guitarist up later.

Even though we were only a few blocks from Fringe Central, neither Carole and I were willing to brave the Moto-i at 11:30 after four Fringes. We picked up some fast food (White Castle is across the street. Don't judge us), sipped rum and watched a Daily Show and Colbert Report from last week. Knowing we'd never catch up, I deleted a bunch of stuff from the DVR. Oh yeah, that reminds me… I have to call Comcast and continue complaining about their screwed up menu and recordings…

Today (Wed) might change yet again. I really want to see Red Resurrected at the Lab then have an open slot. I have two shows at the Rarig penciled in, but neither are high priority.

Continued in Day 7: Dance and comedy to lift the spirits.