2018 Audience Reviews
The following reviews were submitted by Fringe Member: Brandon Taitt
Company: Say It Loud Productions
Show: Revolt of the Beavers
Venue: Mixed Blood Theatre
Fun farce with a message
I didn't quite know what to expect going in (I wasn't familiar with the original piece) but I had a lot of fun and laughs. Yes the message leans on heavy-handed but that's ok, it's farce. It's heightened, upbeat, and the performers really carry the show with high energy and enthusiasm (although it does start to feel a little flat because of it at times). Aside from a few dialogue flubs I enjoyed their performances. And any show that has voter registration forms outside gets a thumbs-up from me.
Company: Hero Props
Show: Gunfighting: An American Story
Venue: Mixed Blood Theatre
Stories and history delivered with passion
There's some reviews calling this a "lecture" - and honestly, so what? Never mind the presentation (delivered using a PowerPoint and with Sean reading). This is an incredibly compelling story of an accomplished theater professional (who has worked with everyone from Robin Williams to Sam Shepard) driven to hit the stage for first time in decades as he sees his country in crisis. Sean weaves in personal stories of growing up with guns, demonstrations of theatrical gunplay and the very real consequences of what some would dismiss as only "toy" guns, and the history of guns in America. This is a show for skeptics and proponents of gun control, told with passion, humor, and heart.
Company: Albino Squirrel Productions
Show: Doug Sees God: A Funnie Thing Happened on the Way to Adulthood
Venue: Rarig Center Thrust
More than nostalgia
It's tempting, and fair, to come into this expecting some easy riffs on 90's nostalgia for those of us who grew up with the Nickelodeon universe of characters. Thankfully that isn't the case with "Doug Sees God". Of course there are cheeky references to the Nick cartoons but they're deployed well and I had a lot of fun with them, which goes to show the playwright wanted to express restraint while telling a real story about the struggles of modern young adults in an economy that's constantly working against them. This is also assisted by the great casting of characters from Doug himself to Chucky from "Rugrats" and (I think my personal favorite) Steve from "Blues Clues".
Company: Navel Gaze Productions
Show: Fringe Orphans 4: Back in the Habit
Venue: Theatre in the Round
As others have said, Fringe Orphans is a distillation of Fringe itself: some good, some ok, and one or two duds - and that's ok! I always try to make it to Fringe Orphans because, even when there is a segment I don't enjoy, I know it'll pass quickly onto something new. I very much enjoyed "The Sad Unicorn", "Gay Dating 101" and Kirsten Stephen's dance, and I warmed up to the interstitial Backstage Ballyhoo as the show went on.
Company: Oncoming Productions
Venue: Southern Theater
Incredible, thrilling sci-fi theatre
I'm always on the lookout for sci-fi theatre, and especially space-based stories. They're very hard to do well but the cast and crew of "Geminae" knocked it out of the stratosphere. This production hit on all cylinders for me. The Southern is the perfect venue for the show's foreboding atmosphere, the cast are all-around fantastic, the physicality and presentation of the zero-G scenes is done very well (there is where a lot of other "space shows" falter when they try), and the sound design was simply incredible. I know I'm using a lot of superlatives here but some minor plot quibbles aside I can't recommend it enough. This should be on your Fringe schedule.
Company: Mosaic Productions
Show: Hidden in This Picture
Venue: Rarig Center Arena
Incredibly solid, Sorkin done well
I've seen Aaron Sorkin's one-acts done well, and done not-so-well, and thankfully this was the definitely the former. Sometimes people think "Sorkin=fast" when, in fact, the actors have to perform with the conviction of their words and a good sense of timing. All of that was on display here, especially by leads Shawna Bradt and Justin DeLong. I was also a fan of the gender-swapping of two of the characters (when originally it's all men). Great choice.
Company: Paper Soul
Venue: Ritz Theater Mainstage
What I’ve always enjoyed about Motz as a writer and performer is his ability to draw us into the minds of characters who are so often sad, off-putting, and all too recognizable. He’s done it again with SOFT. He’s crafted a compelling tale on the frustrating, futile nature of online dating and turns it into a peek into something much darker, a mentality that’s had real-world consequences. I hesitate to say much more, as the journey becomes darker and your sympathies are twisted and turned back on you. The horror isn’t so much in the blood, it’s the journey into the minds of sad, lonely, and hate-filled men.