Continuing with our goal of An Easy Fringe, I scheduled three shows at Mixed Blood. Carole and I popped out of one and got on line for another. Three well-attended shows, and I think one sold out after we got tickets. It was such an easy (and successful!) day that Carole wanted to see a fourth show as long as it was still in this venue. Without knowing anything about it, we just went. Longtime Fringer Todd joined us for several shows, which was pleasant.
Exquisite Ensemble Drumming
Last year's Taiko Bam! was one of my favorites, so Taiko Blast! was high on my list. A good call. The drummers were awesome. The audience was really into it and helped feed the energy. A virtuoso performance from start to finish, with dashes of humor and audience participation. A bonus: The drummer who was 8 1/2 months pregnant last year came out and introduced her child. Highly recommended.
Disney Dethroned: Snowcahontas and the Tangled FrogBeast
"Save me… platonically."
I'm officially jaded. If you liked his previous shows, you'll like Disney Dethroned. But.
One of the most anticipated shows of this year's Fringe was good but not transcendent. Tom Reed's malleable face was so much a part of his Harry Potter and Twilight synopses but rarely evident here.
His take on Disney Princesses is great. Makes similar points about sexism and expectations as Change Agent did, but wields a more effective satirical scalpel.
I hope I'm not being too hard on an excellent comedian. But.
"Oh Canada, you are our prostate gland"
Six Appeal's Ootifest entry didn't impress me. "A show about the problems of being an adolescent boy. Been there, done that." I didn't have this show high on my list, but it fit nicely in today's Fringing. And I'm glad we went. My second five kitty show of the day. As it turned out, the song they did in the sampler was the first one; a good introduction to the concept but my least favorite song of the bunch.
The singers are six adolescent-looking males wearing only a shower-towel around their waist. Don't let that fool you: The singing is terrific. They slip in and out of doo-wop and operatic styles with ease, harmonies and counterpoint soaring.
The songs are wonderful. My favorite was the one about "boobies". Carole (and the two women to her left) were giggling hysterically all through. That was followed by a serious number about taking responsibility for fathering a child with a one-time prom date. The performers earnestly (and fearlessly) sing and banter about physical changes and hormonal desires, though I don't think the show rises to an R rating.
The picture on the Fringe site isn't representative; there are no women having their bras cut off, even figuratively, in the show.
I had a great time, and I suspect that those of you who aren't (or weren't) a teenage boy will also enjoy Balls Out!
Three shows in the same comparatively comfortable venue. I was willing to pack it up, but Carole was still rarin' to go for our 18th Fringe, and Todd would stick with us for his 25th. Well, fine! I didn't know anything about the next show except that we hadn't seen it, so:
Sum of Sand
Loam on the Range
I'm not entirely sure what was going on here. Several character sets and plots overlapped and intertwined, with the common theme having to do with sand. Creation myths, battlefields, and farm land were backdrops.
The acting was unsteady and the narrative confusing. Some elements worked, including a good song, so the show gets two kitties.
I'm just as happy to have seen Sum of Sand because I don't consider it a real Fringe until I've seen something I don't like. This show is the lowest I've given out so far, and will do for these purposes.
So far, every day has seen a change from my Preliminary Schedule. As shows get added by recommendation and sticking to one venue gets harder, we're taking this one day at a time. Today (Tues) is hump day: Day six of an eleven day event. At the moment, we have four shows slotted: Two at the BLB, two at the nearby Intermedia Arts. While all look like strong contenders, including Dancing With Death, the one I really want to see is the last one: Something's Gone Wrong in the Dreamhouse, the political song-and-poetry show from Northern Ireland.
Continued in Day 6: An Ascending Hump Day