2018 Audience Reviews
The following reviews were submitted by Fringe Member: Alexander Gerchak
Venue: Southern Theater
What the Fringe is Supposed to Be
Finally, after seeing numerous pieces of varying levels of self importance and professional polish, I got the sort of show the Fringe is built for. I assumed walking in that I was in for a relatively predictable parody of the TV series WESTWORLD with some murderous robots, and I am very glad to be only about 5% right. A truly metatheatrical rollercoaster that lives in the absurd and veers often toward the DaDa, Midwestworld is a show that could not give less of a damn about your expectations or this review I'm writing. It was clear that this was a late addition, I doubt anyone would accuse this show of being smooth or cohesive. It was however bold, irreverent, and the kind of experimental Fringe work that Fringe Festivals were always intended to serve. There are also some absolutely unforgivable puns, the nature of which you must see for yourself.
Show: Saint Ex
Venue: Rarig Center Arena
Frenetic & Fluid
Although ostensibly a piece centered around Saint-Exupéry, famed aviator and author of The Little Prince, it is in fact the story of two relationships. The first between Antoine and his wife Consuelo, defined by distance and yearning. The second between an artist and his art. I note this as it is these relationships that inform dancer Nathan Gebhard's movements and energy on the stage. The choreography varies from the wild to the serene, yet generally manages to maintain its momentum and weight throughout. Some of the greatest joys of the work are in its quiet moments, watching Gebhard take in his surroundings between movements. Also of note are the simple and ingenious stagings, creating strong visuals such as a bed of roses with the flick of an ankle. This work is one that is progress, and would benefit from time working on the order of phrases and solidifying the narrative elements throughout. It is however a meditative piece that I thoroughly enjoyed, and was well worth the hour spent going on this journey with Exupéry.
Company: Blinking Eye Theatre
Show: Swipe Right
Venue: Augsburg Mainstage
Insightful and with heart
With dating in the modern world being a popular topic of discussion and exploration, I wasn't expecting to be caught off guard by this production. I was however, in particular with the heart and strong human element that ran through the course of the show. Rather than hammer home familiar critiques of tinder and the like with blunt parable, Swipe Right emphasises strong characterization and storytelling to give an insightful take. The cast gives relatable performances with material that is equal parts sweet and awkward. Please do give this show a watch, I'm sure you will enjoy it.
Company: Sheep Theater
Venue: Rarig Center Thrust
A funny and original entry from Sheep
Kaboom has what you would expect from any Sheep Theater show: frenetically paced humor that is impeccably timed and expertly performed by their ensemble cast. This show does differ as it is more of an original narrative, past shows being either adaptations of literature or historical events. As a result there is less structure for the cast to play off of, the humor less sharp without pre-existing material to parody. It's regardless a welcome development as this group grows creatively, and will hopefully result in more original plots.
Company: Theatre Corrobora
Venue: Augsburg Mainstage
Asks important questions with middling answers
Theatre Corrobora has made a solid reputation of staging thoughtful work with character driven narratives. In this piece it was not surprising at all to see them tackle the nature of love and relationships, though I had hoped for more in the relationships portrayed themselves and the plot underlying. Oftentimes the way the relationships were portrayed felt either romanticized or abstracted for the sake of portraying a certain archetype. Additionally, the script tended to serve the needs of the themes of the play at the expense of the story. The performances on stage ranged from good to exceptional, including one actor who did an admirable job as a last minute addition. Clever use of set pieces conveyed a strong sense of place. Overall this is worth seeing, and I would love to see a longer version where we can see these relationships thrive and morph.
Company: Ruckus Productions
Venue: Theatre in the Round
Stupid and Hilarious
This is the kind of show one really wants to go see at the Fringe. Its not a thinker, or the standard pretentious production that insists upon tackling serious issues while missing the mark. This is a parody of bad 80's slasher flicks, with braindead teenagers getting chased and murdered by a demonic clown and I loved every bit of it.