Baron Dave Romm (barondave) wrote,
Baron Dave Romm

The Fringe Festival: Day One

I went to three Fringe Festival shows this evening, the latter two with dreamshark and R. In terms of seeing good shows, I should have stuck with Plan B (get to the United Methodist Church on time, miss one show due to Rush Hour traffic and see the two late shows). In terms of efficiency of time, Plan C went well (stay home and do stuff, drive 8 miles instead of 25 mostly Rush Hour miles, park once and see three shows.)

chasmagic (no caps) is three talented women, prancing and waiving their arms, to various womanly activities in a minimal set. The dancers are influenced by the Indian form Bharata Natyam, and their dances are set to music as old as Leadbelly and as new as SpiderBait... doing the same song. I enjoyed watching them, but they never transcended the material. The show is short at 45 minutes. Three Stars (out of five)

(Humph, and I forgot to append "A Shockwave Radio Review" to the first one I did... I hope the Fringe people let the tagline get through...)

Following chasmagic, I hooked up with dreamshark and R, and also had a chance to hang around the Southern Theater foyer and see the performers for the next show. They were discussing some earlier reviews.

African Roads, American Streets has an astonishing energy. Driven by African drums, Liberian women prepare for the journey to America. Once over here, American rhythms take over, but those rhythms were derived from the African and much seems home. The dance is now driven by more urban drumming and vocal "boom box" street percussion. The dancers are extraordinary, and the drummers fantastic. The dancing by the adults is tightly choreographed, frenetic and sexy. The break-dancing by the teens is gravity-defying. The plot is mostly in the background, and the structure would be served by a bit of narration. The show is short, at 40 minutes, and the first performance featured a lengthy list of thank yous at the end which were heartfelt but took away from the luster of the dancing. I suspect they'll get better over the course of the Fringe. I'm going to round this up to four and a half stars for the many great pieces and for arranging a show comprised of nearly 40 people. You will be sorry if you miss this one.

Die, Clowns, Die is a one-man comedy about comedy by Joseph Scrimshaw. Scrimshaw is terrific, easily slipping into and out of characters and playing with the audience. He is equally adept at verbal or physical pratfalls. I'm a tough reviewer, especially when it comes to humor, I'm going to flout all comedic rules and give it five stars.
Tags: fringe festival

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