Thursday, July 19, 2007

Picks From the Fringe

Friend of DCeiver Jeff Jetton asked me in an email what shows I thought were worth seeing at this year's Capital Fringe Festival. I've not gotten in too deep in the Fringe yet, but right off the bat, I have some sure fire recommendations.

1. First question you have to ask yourself: "What's Rorschach doing?" Birds by Jen Maisel.

2. Next question you should ask yourself: "What's Shirley Serotsky directing?" Answer: Cautionary Tales for Adults and the Many Adventures of Trixie Tickles. This play features Casie Platt, who I got to work with in 365 Days/365 Plays earlier this year, and she is a fucking delight. I'm contemplating getting tickets to the midnight show on 7/28, because it's my birthday, and why not treat myself.

3. Solas Nua is doing The Drunkard, and the fact that Nelson Pressley hated it for going overboard with the melodramatic style it was written in can only mean that Solas is performing this play PRECISELY RIGHT. No surprise, it's directed by Jess Burgess, who is ace. As I've recently said elsewhere, melodrama is the single most successful genre of literature in the history of the world, and The Drunkard's 19th century roots places it squarely in the most successful period the American theater ever had. Expect big, ridiculous gestures and characterizations, and relish them, because the plays have gotten so small there isn't always a lot of room for anything that aspires to be larger than life.

4. Aerialists. Oh, shit, yes. You just do not see this kind of thing every day, so take a chance on something new and see Air Heart.

5. Something I've already booked my tickets for is Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind, from Chicago's brilliant Neo-Futurists. It's a show I've always wanted to see, and it's just awesome that I don't have to go to Illinois to do so. Too Much Light is also known as "30 Plays in 60 Minutes," which is literally what the Neos will be attempting. And the audience determines what plays get performed. Highly recommended.

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