Baron Dave Romm (barondave) wrote,
Baron Dave Romm

2009 Fringe Festival -- Day 11: coda & overview

I only saw one fringe on Sunday. Interestingly (to me), it was also the encore performance, so it would be repeated later that evening. Perhaps that's why the house wasn't full at 1:00. Then relaxed a bit with Johanna, went to Trivia (we came in second), and got a lot of sleep. I will need more, but in the meantime:

Where Egos Dare: The Musical ****

Shakespeare Rehearsal: The Musical

Alumni and campers join together and strut their stuff. Everyone wants to be the star, and everyone goes off-script to show how talented they are. Breaking into inappropriate songs at appropriate moments is hard to get right, and this show does very well, though the songs are often just a line or two. The actors draw their characters well. The singing is fabulous. Lots of ego trips, though there isn't enough time to really develop all six storylines. Still, I don't think I'll ever watch the death scene from Romeo and Juliet in quite the same way ever again. A Shockwave Radio Theater Review.

The script needs tweaking, but not by much. And while the performance as scripted fit nicely into 50 minutes, I felt that the show could have used more of the songs and developed the characters a little more to flesh it out to 90 minutes without too much work. I could have heard more of the singers, especially in duet.

Final Tally: 41 shows. I gave 13 five kitty ratings, but eight of them were four and a half's rounded up. This list is more-or-less in order of quality (or at least my enjoyment) but they don't really compare directly and shouldn't be considered an strict ranking.

Sideways from Wayside School xxxxx
Best Little Crackhouse In Philly xxxxx
The Traveling Musicians xxxxx
Death Camp Diaries xxxxx
Was My Brother In Battle? Songs of War xxxxx
Parry Hotter xxxxx
Jurassic Dork xxxxx
Crescendo xxxxx
The Morning After the Summer of Love xxxxx
Untitled Duet with Housplant xxxxx
An Intimate Eveniing with Fotis xxxxx
The Harty Boys xxxxx
Like A Virgin xxxxx
Storm Still xxxx
Re: Trace xxxx
Pipa xxxx
Squawk! xxxx
Animal Cracker Genocide xxxx
Where Egos Dare xxxx
Comedy of Errors xxxx
Bard Fiction xxxx
This Show Will Change Your Life xxxx
Red Tureen xxxx
Tech Support: The Musical xxxx
Holding Patterns xxxx
AfterLife xxxx
The Twisted Grin xxxx
Alice Unwrapped xxxx
Comedy Go! xxx
casebolt and smith xxx
Dream Time Down Under xxx
Citation Needed xxx
Livelihood xxx
My Sinking Ship xxx
Rumspringa xxx
Your Lithopedion xxx
Seasons In The Sun xxx
The Actor's Nightmare xx
Mansion of Dust xx
June of Arc xx
The man who turned into a dog x


I was probably too hard on "casebolt and smith". The dancing was great, and I was put off by technical issues. On a different day, in a different mood, they would get four kitties.

I may have been swayed by public opinion on "Bard Fiction". In retrospect, I wish they had done the last two scenes (the spear missing Travolta/Jackson, then the restaurant) and then taken the idea to do chunks of other movies in Elizabethan mode. The four kitty rating will stand, but hindsight hasn't been good to them.

Grading on a curve would hurt "The Morning After The Summer of Love". I had a good time, and the performance was very good, but they didn't whip up the crowd like "This Show Will Change Your Life" or "Like A Virgin", and their anti-war messages paled next to "Songs of War" and "Death Camp Diaries". I don't regret bumping them up to a five, if only to encourage their return, but they might be listed a little lower in that section.

The two "fringiest" shows in my listing only got four kitties: "Storm Still" and "Re:Trace". Both were great, in their own way, and unique. It's hard to rate iconoclastic shows that are unlikely to be experienced in quite that way ever again. I generally try to make the bring-your-own venue shows, but there were a lot of them this year, and too many fell by the wayside as I needed to choreograph my days.

I don't regret seeing any of the 13 shows rated three or under. The Fringe is all about experimentation. This isn't the Guthrie, and every artist deserves consideration. I'm happy to recommend my favorites for others, and steer people away from poor shows, but everything I saw had something worthwhile, if only to provide grist for the mill.

I still have all the interviews to work on (and maybe a few more), and will post the rest of the pictures on Facebook (and eventually a full gallery on and so on. For now, I think I'm done with Day 11 and will deal with Real World (tm) issues, starting with lunch.

Continued from Day 10: A spectacular finish
Tags: fringe festival

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