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2018 Audience Reviews

Member Reviews

The following reviews were submitted by Fringe Member: Thorin Tatge

Show: Bits & Bobs: An Evening of Short Plays
Venue: Theatre in the Round

Well crafted variety hour!

I definitely appreciate getting a lot of shows in one--it gives me that much more to mull over. These guys get an extra half-star for that alone. If one doesn't resonate as well, I still have the emotional residue of the previous play. There's a different flavor to each piece, and the actors are good at switching to dramatically different roles. A well made variety hour.

Company: Theatre Unbound
Show: A Gertrude Stein Christmas
Venue: Augsburg Mainstage

Hard to comprehend, but feels somehow authentic.

Okay, well! I'd never read Stein until I googled her work while sitting in the theater waiting for the show to start, and got a first taste of the very unusual style she used. This show was even less comprehensible than what I found! People call Stein "a difficult read" or "hermetic"--in my ignorance, I was reminded of James Joyce. I found myself trying to come up with lines that would fit the pattern--they had to not quite fit, but be of some tangential relevance, as if each character skips ahead several lines of dialogue whenever they say something. It's not nonsense, but it feels like it. The body language and intonation definitely made it feel realistic, as if different lines would have made this a realistic Christmas gathering. I appreciate the professionalism of the actors. They definitely act as though the material is deep and touching. Someone said this story is one of changed holiday traditions--I honestly didn't glean that from watching, just that there was conflict of some sort. But a trained viewer would probably be able to figure out what the story is.

Company: Ruckus Productions
Show: Sidesplitting
Venue: Theatre in the Round

Just a bunch of fun teen and horror tropes!

It seems like a lot of reviewers either liked or didn't like this show's messages about social issues like sexism, racism, consent and peer pressure. Honestly, I didn't get the sense this show had a message at all. That's not a criticism--to me it just seemed like a horror genre spoof with a bit of teenage fun (or 'fun') thrown in. If the message was inconsistent, it's because there wasn't one--it was just a lot of jokes and character-driven drama. It was definitely energetic and entertaining to watch, but I don't feel like it had much of a lasting impact. Minus half a star for being short. The ending was unsatisfying... but then again, when you choose to watch a horror story, do you deserve a satisfying ending? Maybe not.

Company: Crone Productions
Venue: Augsburg Studio

Enhanced my understanding of history

I found this show informative and a bit exciting! The story of women's suffrage is now a bit less abstract for me, as are other touchstone moments in our history. Peabody's performance is enthusiastic, if a bit uneven. Slides and eye-catching costume changes punctuate Rankin's tale. For those who wonder how one person can change the world, seeing this show couldn't hurt.

Company: Wayward Theatre Company
Show: Far Away by Caryl Churchill
Venue: Rarig Center Arena

Powerful, but I didn't see how it fit together.

I'd read Churchill's _Cloud 9_ in college and liked it, so I expected to like this. I did like it, but it was a bit less comprehensible than I'd expected... and that was just after seeing "A Gertrude Stein Christmas." ;) Each scene is potent and powerful individually. But they only sort of connect to each other, as far as I could fathom. I felt a lot was left unresolved in this creative and deliberately painful work. What is it about? Conflict itself? As for the production... I can't identify any problems with it! A lot of work went into bringing us this weird play, and I appreciate it.

Company: Red Dice Collective
Show: Cyrano on the Moon
Venue: Ritz Theater Studio

Imaginative, but unimpressive

This was a strange show. I like afterlife stories and I like fan fiction... this is some of each. The costumes were very nice! But that's the best I can say about it. It doesn't seem to go much of anywhere and the story is a bit lacking, as it draws so heavily upon the original. Several takes on the end after the end for Cyrano and Christian and Lady Roxanne. Imaginative, but I didn't find the acting very impressive.

Company: The Young Company
Show: How to Fix It
Venue: Rarig Center Arena

A very Fringy exploration of a concept

My favorite show of the Fringe so far. I can understand why some people were unimpressed. It's very Fringe. It's artsy and weird and is really a lot of different approaches to an idea strung together. But I loved it. It's a show about apology and guilt--and that's basically it. A multifaceted analysis of the concept. It includes dance and physical comedy, heartfelt unscripted portions, unrestrained deconstruction of a famous apology, relationship drama and lots of introspection. All the performers were definitely all there, and maybe you should be too. :)

Company: Heidi Arneson
Venue: Rarig Center Xperimental

I kept falling asleep

The fact I nearly fell asleep several times made this my worst show experience so far this year. To be fair, it was a 10p.m. slot, and I'd only had five hours of sleep the night before. But Ms. Arneson dramatizes her stories with a heavy affectation I found hypnotic, and what with that and the lovely Spanish guitar music, I got drowsy fast. I followed about half the stories; the rest lost my attention and left me confused. Somewhat pleasant, but there were times when I couldn't believe there was actually going to be fifty minutes of this. I only found out after the play that she was the author of Interlocking Monsters, a book I'd been hearing about. It's probably a fine book, but watch out for that voice she's got.

Company: Goof Goof
Show: (a) Normal Theatre Play
Venue: Strike Theater

Maybe not Dada, but definitely from the heart.

Don't bother watching Cars 3 in advance! It won't help your enjoyment. These people #blindsided the audience and pulled the old switcheroo. The performance they did put on was good, and from the heart in many ways... with twists and reinterpretations liberally sprinkled but not slathered on. I was one of two big losers when I saw the play, since I was one of three people who went up on stage for a game show round and did not leave with the free Fringe credit. But I really liked the experience anyway. Is this Dada? I don't know. But it seemed to be very open about letting the actors play the story in a way that seemed meaningful for them. (And silly, yes. Definitely a bit silly.)

Company: Reliquaries
Show: And What You Find There
Venue: Ritz Theater Studio

Charming but repetitive

I like the idea of playing with famous works like Alice in Wonderland, and I respect the author's statement in the program about the significance of doing so for her. The piece is slow and peaceful, maybe too peaceful. It's very much like going back through a video game you've already beaten and talking again to all the characters. The conflict is minimal, the pacing is slow, and the messages keep being repeated. That said, there's something to be said for slow-paced imaginative explorations. The three performers all address the work very thoughtfully, and this, combined with the slow pace, makes it feel more genuine than many shows.

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