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2018 Audience Reviews

Member Reviews

The following reviews were submitted by Fringe Member: Liz Capouch

Company: Sheep Theater
Show: Kaboom
Venue: Rarig Center Thrust

Not my brand of humor

Overall, the show was tightly run and the actors did exactly what they were supposed to do, but ultimately, I didn't really find "Kaboom"'s brand of humor to be that funny. The incompetence of Mr. President and his associates rang true to current affairs, and I'm perhaps looking for more escapism in my comedy these days. The veep's subplots with the bunker and the daughter didn't really land for me either, unfortunately. It's clear from other reviews that others' mileage has varied from my experience, so I'd say it's worth a go - maybe this will be exactly what you're looking for.


Company: On the Verge Theatre
Show: Boobilicious
Venue: Augsburg Studio

Missing a personal touch

There were definitely some light-hearted moments in this show, and it got a couple of laughs out of me. However, I had hoped for so much more from the production. The Name Game helped break the ice, which I appreciated, and I figured the stakes would go up from there, considering the subject matter, but it turned out that the sketches never really got more daring than that. I had hoped for more personal narrative or stories instead of abstractions about breasts in a generic sense. The best comedy and theater (to me) has some element of risk, but I didn't feel like the show reached that level of depth. Perhaps with some further development, it could be fleshed out (no pun intended) into something better.


Company: Hit the Lights! Theater Co.
Show: WHALES
Venue: Ritz Theater Mainstage

Immersive (No pun intended)!

I missed HTL last year, and an underwhelming evening at my other shows left me wanting a palate cleanser. "WHALES." did not disappoint. Intense energy and music, coupled with the most gorgeous shadow puppets I've ever seen, create an immersive atmosphere. I hadn't been expecting the more "adult" aspects of the show, but I didn't mind them, and they seemed appropriate, considering the subject matter and the overall feel of the production. I will definitely be seeing more HTL in the future (and Horsetale on Sunday!)


Company: Tom Reed
Show: Gunplay!
Venue: Mixed Blood Theatre

Witty satire!

"Gunplay!" is one part satire, one part rom com, and one part high school musical, and Reed blends these genres seamlessly into a show that skewers the gun lobby while maintaining his signature humor. It's nice to see him depart from his one-man show mold to create an ensemble piece that showcases a stellar cast. This is a very polished production, and did not cease to entertain - check it out!


Company: Gabriel Mata/Movements
Show: DREAMING
Venue: Southern Theater

20 Kicks!

"Dreaming" was one of my most anticipated shows of this year's Fringe, and I was not disappointed. The show is solidly grounded in Gabriel's powerful brand of dance, which combines modern choreography with classic strength and technique. That alone would be enough, but the storytelling theme of dreams/nightmares and the desire for rest adds an extra layer of meaning. I enjoyed the narrative, which I think makes more sense if you saw his show last year and know the context of him being a DACA recipient. It toyed with horror and wit alike, finally reaching a resolution that was both jarring and fitting, like I'd woken suddenly from a dream myself.


Company: Colleen Somerville Productions
Show: Not Fair, My Lady!
Venue: Mixed Blood Theatre

10/10, would watch again!

I loved, loved, loved this show. The commentary on women in (musical) theater is on point, and utterly relatable for any of us who have auditioned, taken the role of "Woman #4," or looked at a Broadway season and said, "SERIOUSLY?! Shit." I was thrilled to see women of color and older women represented, and I felt utterly a part of a sisterhood when I left, like I wanted to have a slumber party with these women and share "war stories." I would have easily been down to watch another hour of them do their stuff.


Company: Weggel-Reed Productions
Show: Couple Fight: The Musical!
Venue: Rarig Center Thrust

A Musical Melee

As in previous years, I thoroughly enjoyed the ridiculousness of the fights, and the addition of music was an interesting twist. Its success was middling, however, in my opinion, and didn't necessarily add to the production. I did like John and Lacey's rap battle, and was excited to see some ethnic diversity with the addition of Madhu and Divya's fight/dance. Props to Anna for trying something new with the Couple Fight series!


Company: Navel Gaze Productions
Show: Fringe Orphans 4: Back in the Habit
Venue: Theatre in the Round

A little bit of everything

I love the premise of Fringe Orphans, and have enjoyed seeing their cabaret of pieces too short to be their own Fringe shows over the years. My favorites this time around were "The Sad Unicorn" and "I Feel Like Something's Missing," but not all the pieces landed for me. Jena Young and Brynn Berryhill's clowning interludes were cute, but suffered a bit from a 5:30 weekday audience's reserved nature. Worth checking out, but don't expect to like everything.


Company: Mollywood Productions
Show: Saree-ously Speaking? Uff-Da!
Venue: Rarig Center Thrust

Interesting Idea, Shakily-Executed

East meets Midwest - an interesting premise for a show, and certainly any show that promotes intercultural dialogue is valuable. Unfortunately, it seemed as though the group could have used some more rehearsals to tighten their presentation. The women playing Sweetie and (to a lesser extent) Radhika needed to project and enunciate more to overcome their accents in the expansive theater. I lost a number of lines whenever their heads were pointed away from me. The script itself was a bit heavy-handed, though there were some fine moments (the coffee ceremony had nice tenderness). Perhaps if the scene changes/transitions had been a bit tighter, the closing dance number would not have needed to have been cut short. Overall, an interesting idea, but needs work.


Company: Comedy Suitcase
Show: Slapdash Panic: Comedy Suitcase ended up in the Fringe Festival with 3 weeks notice and no show!
Venue: Strike Theater

Comedy Suitcase Doesn't Disappoint

Even with no show, no time, and three weeks worth of unadulterated panic, this was one of the most entertaining performances I have seen at this year's Fringe. As others have said, be sure to get there when the house opens, because there's plenty to watch before the "show" begins. Peppered liberally with some jokes that might only land for Fringe insiders/veterans (and they really are funny), this hour-ish riff has fun for all ages, with Comedy Suitcase's signature physical comedy and wordplay. Any material (or, as it turns out, no material) is gold in the hands of Levi and Josh.


Company: Kelly Haramis
Show: Hard-Core CORN
Venue: Strike Theater

Not My Cup of Tea

I will preface this by saying that solo shows are TOUGH. It takes a certain level of comfort and charisma to captivate an audience by yourself for 40-60 minutes, and I've seen a scant few who have "it." Props to Kelly for her effort, but for me, the various bits were uneven and didn't entirely land. I did enjoy the Dylan shoutout segment, and learned about a ton of places corn is hiding in products. I'm always game for some corn puns, but puns do not a complete show make.


Company: The Band Group
Show: TITUS: Sweet Water, Silent Walks
Venue: Rarig Center Thrust

Compelling Dance

From the moment you step into the theater, it is clear that something dramatic is in store. It has been nigh on 15 years since I read Titus Andronicus, so the salient plot points were somewhat lost to memory (reading a quick synopsis of the play would be valuable preparation), but I found they returned to me as I watched the production. It took me a little while to really get into the story again, but once I did, I found the movement and presentation very engaging. Jackie O'Neil was riveting as Lavinia, and the ensemble was completely dedicated to their performance. It's certainly worth seeing, but know it's definitely a serious (and Fringe-y) show.


Company: Backyard to Broadway Productions
Show: Right, Wrong or Bomb! A Dating Musical
Venue: Mixed Blood Theatre

Sure, why not?

This is a cast of talented performers who put on a tight show. I went on a whim, having failed at reading my own Fringe schedule, ending up on West Bank instead of NE. The big drawback is that the script material itself feels overdone - sure, most of us have experienced the perils of dating and can relate, but this seems like a story we've heard many times before. That being said, there is certainly entertainment to be found among the many "fish in the sea" that Jill encounters, and I'd say it's worth seeing. Just don't expect anything groundbreaking.


Company: Custer & Schmidt
Show: Our Best Life
Venue: Rarig Center Thrust

Solo show? WHY NOT?!

Firstly, HUGE props to Shanan for tackling a two-woman show solo with a week's notice! (And congrats to Emily on landing the dream job!) I find Shanan's brand of humor right up my alley - observant (and entertainingly exploitative?) of people's idiosyncrasies, and utterly relatable. I'm sure this sketch-type show (with a side of slapdash desperation) will not be everyone's cup of tea (or glass of prop wine), but for me, it was a great way to start Fringe.


Company: Literally Entertainment
Show: The Great Canadian Maple Syrup Heist or, Ocean's 'Eh'T?: A Musical
Venue: Mixed Blood Theatre

Energy to spare!

What an entertaining performance! A witty script, paired with actors who are oozing energy is a duo that seldom fails. Don't go expecting anything deep - this is Canada jokes and musical schlock at its finest. Reservations recommended - the performance I was at had a snafu at the box office and ended up accidentally overselling the show.


Company: minnerican productions
Show: Broken English, Mother Tongue
Venue: Mixed Blood Theatre

Emotional and Poignant

What a totally beautiful (and furthermore, important) show. I sadly missed it in 2016, but even if you didn't, Morillo has updated the work for this year's Fringe in the wake of Hurricane Maria. My interest was piqued by the preview, and I wasn't disappointed. Morillo painted a poignant picture of his family history, intertwined with the history of his native Puerto Rico. I learned some new things, but most of all, was moved by his emotional storytelling, and especially by his closing section. Don't miss this one.


Company: Rooftop Theatre Company
Show: The Complete Works of William Shatner (abridged)
Venue: Mixed Blood Theatre

*rolls across stage*

Admittedly, I am probably not the target audience for this show, not having seen Star Trek or much of the rest of The Shat's body of work. I can appreciate a good parody, though, and I recognized enough of the cultural references that I was still very entertained. Stiteler and Wick have a fun script that will amuse geek and non-geek alike.


Company: Bollywood Dance Scene
Show: BollyProv: NOT a Dance Drama!
Venue: Ritz Theater Mainstage

Interesting Storytelling, Uneven Improv

I saw this in its second performance. The biggest strength of the production was Darshan's storytelling, which was wry and heartfelt. The accompanying acting and dance were a nice creative embellishment. The improv, however, for me, felt stilted and uneven. The overall feeling was that Madhu was doing much of the heavy lifting in the scenes, and had some entertaining bits, but it's hard to carry off a lopsided scene well. Perhaps it was the particular performance that I saw, or the nature of improv itself, but I would have enjoyed more of the first half of the show, or a second storyteller for the second half.


Company: So Shall I
Show: Estate of Affairs
Venue: Ritz Theater Studio

What fun!

A solid script that is masterfully acted. This is a great little 20's-era farce with plenty of laughs. I recommend it as a palate-cleanser from something serious!


Company: Clevername Theatre
Show: THE NEWS: A Musical
Venue: Ritz Theater Mainstage

Not Quite Enough

I thought the music was modern and rhythmically intricate (and well-performed). However, the presentation of the plot seemed like it was one part serious commentary, one part silly absurdity, and one part LET'S SING ABOUT IT! For me, it didn't commit enough to any of those genres to really succeed as a cohesive piece. The design elements were interesting and minimalistic, and I enjoyed the live band (although they could have toned the volume down a bit for better balance). Over all, not a clear hit or miss for me.


Company: Grand Island Theatre
Show: Hamlet, but Hamlet's a Chicken
Venue: Minnsky Theatre

YAS.

One of the best damn shows I've ever seen at Fringe. "To be our not to be" was an absurdist work of art. A+, would watch again. Reservations recommended.


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