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Day 1: Vroom!
A change of plans at the last minute, then another change of plans in the middle, made a relaxing first day of Fringe. I did two video interviews after the second show and didn't rush from the Jungle Theater to the West Bank. Found parking at Bedlam (a rarity!) and sauntered into Fringe Central at almost exactly 8:30. I might have made the 8:30 show at the Mixed Blood, but was just too late. I had a relaxing time at Fringe Central and talking to the volunteers at Mixed Blood and various other Twilight fans. But I'm getting ahead of myself:
living traces - burning breath
High School (and a couple of college) kids
of The Manhattan Experimental Theater Workshop
do a "shaping" exercise. 8/5/10
xxx 1/2 three and a half stars, rounded up
Precision dada troupe
Very talented high school dancers created a show during a five-week workshop, and they rise above expectations. Not all of it worked, but much did and a few bits were spectacular. You do have to read the program beforehand to understand where they are in the Scheherazade/Aladdin story, which is told in non-linear form showing only a few glimpses of the Arabian Tales. A Shockwave Radio Theater Review.
Video coming soon. I interviewed this troupe after their show, amid the motorcycles gathering at Dulanos. *whew*
They did a great five minutes at the Ootifest; I had this show scheduled for Saturday but in a spot likely to be passed over (due to travel time from a slightly-over-time show), so I rearranged Thursday to slip them in. While the whole performance wasn't as wonderful as the preview, the parts that were good were very good. Reminded me a little of Pilobolus Three and a half stars for a Fringy show is a good start.
Underneath the Lintel
There are no accidental herrings
Pat O'Brien, promoting his show in the lobby of the Jungle Theater. 8/5/10
Patrick O'Brien is terrific as a tightly wound librarian who's curiosity sets him off on a scavenger hunt of epic proportions. The writing is tight, the character is endearing and the story provides much fodder for late night debates.
Video coming soon.
This show was a last minute substitution, and didn't get a lot of buzz. With luck, it will now. Pat was pleased with his first day audience of about 40, and that should really increase. The Jungle Theater is a very nice venue.
Bite Me Twilight
***** four and a half stars, rounded up for the live music
Tom Reed at the Ootifest, 7/12/10
I've never read the Twilight books, and now I don't have to. Tom Reed's hilarious recapitulation of the four books is enough for me. Tom barely stops for political digs or snarky remarks on oil spills. He assumes all the characters, morphing instantly using his fungible face, posture and voice. Judging by the squeals of the females in the audience, he's as cute as a werewolf.
I've read/seen all the Harry Potter, so got the in jokes in Tom's show last year. While a few jokes garnered laughs from fans as they went over my head, I laughed through most of the performance. Tom's as good as the great Luke Ski at distilling an entire work into a few lines.
The 200-seat Mixed Blood Theatre was almost full on the first day of the Fringe. As predicted. I sort of built my day around this show, which was the right thing to do. Further shows will be sold out, so reserve seats or arrive very early.
Continued at 2010 Fringe Festival Day 2: Misses and very big hits.