It has begun my friends. That's right, it's Fringe season and a great time for producers to get out there and catch the new writers, directors, and actors who will be making a splash in the years to come.
I have a show in the festival again this year and we have already sold out our first performance. You can see more about that here.
And as always I have been to a bunch of Fringe shows thus far and will be seeing many more before the festival is over. Here is a bit about what I have seen so far:
Willy Nilly was the first show I saw and that comes from my good friends over at The Brick. They are known for doing very wild and far out stuff and this show fits right in. If you are looking for something really crazy or if you're just looking for something that pokes fun at this hit, this is the one to check out. With crazy music, a twist on a dream ballet you have to see to believe, and plenty of double entendre, this is a show that truly lives on the Fringe. The most poignant moment coming in Willy's monologue at the end, this is certainly a Trip.
Next, it was off to see The Books, now one might think that I was going to see story about a library perhaps or maybe a tale of an accountant, but no folks this is Fringe. The piece was about a Dominatrix who is doing sessions with a super in the basement of his building where he collects books. I found this show really fascinating and thought that the writer has some very clever dialogue between these two characters. The acting and direction is also very strong and the domination scenes are filled with so much passion as well as pathos that I was really drawn into this dark sordid world. With some very shocking moments including spitting and stomping in places I won't mention, this show rides a great line of tension and eroticism. Definitely worth a look.
Next up was Time's Scream and Hurry, a series of three monologues that explored again a very dark side of humanity. The most shocking of which was a tale from another Dominatrix (theme Fringe?) who does something for one of her clients that made the Dom from The Books seem like a Disney fairy princess. The other two monologues deal with issues of rape, mental retardation, and violence. Each piece is strong, but the two last monologues are probably the strongest in terms of overall effect. The acting is also very solid in all three with one or two being a tad more experienced than others. If you're looking for intense, this is one to check out.
On to Look after You- a very taut psychological drama dealing with the issues of memory loss a photographer suffers from a brain aneurism. This is some very strong writing that reminds us of how much it sucks when you have a "friend" who is "just trying to help". The piece is short, quick, and engaging and I found myself really curious as to what would happen next. Playwright Louise Flory has crafted a very clever narrative that touches on hot button topics like fear of commitment, not following doctor's orders, and independence vrs. Loneliness. She also performs in the piece which is usually not my cup of tea, but I was pleasantly surprised with how well she seperated herself as an actor and a playwright. All too often I see playwrights overdoing it. She maintains a very nice balance and deserves to be commended for that.
Last, it was another seat in the psychiatrist chair with The Aperture. You don't get much more controversial than dealing with a woman who has an 18 year old boy "pose" as a soldier in Uganda, while still in this country, but this is the premise. Craig George's stellar direction utilizes projection, strobe lights, and a nod to the silent movie drama, to weave an very intense narrative. Certainly worth checking out!
Ok that's all for now. Back with more as my Fringe-ing continues!