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2018 Audience Reviews

Member Reviews

The following reviews were submitted by Fringe Member: Nathan Kelly

Company: Philip Simondet
Show: Self-Titled Debut Album
Venue: Mixed Blood Theatre

Self-Destructive Debut Album

Having seen and enjoyed 2015’s Demo Tape, I came in Cautiously Optimistic (pun intended) about the second chapter of this story. How do you make a sequel while also allowing it to exist as it’s own thing? Luckily, the show stays self-contained and focuses solely on the band making their album. The music is toe-tapping good, the performances are endearing, and the message is very hard hitting, real, and honest. While the show gives each member of the ensemble to shine, some of the character development gets muddled in the middle process. Overall, this was a great show with original music and I can’t wait to join the Cautiously Optimistics for #1 Hit Single or wherever they go next!

Company: Sidecar Theatre
Show: Summers in Prague
Venue: Rarig Center Arena

When Mara Met Vaclav

Charmingly acted and well-directed, this is a show where the laughs are a bit sporadic, but with good reason. There’s hints of great RomComDrams like Sleepless in Seattle and When Harry Met Sally, but Samantha and Avi’s performances provide a realness and humanity that you’re not likely to see in any movie. As the show goes on and the dramatic stakes get higher, you know the show can only end one of two ways, and I personally knew either ending would be satisfying, if not heartbreaking for some.

Company: Flash Grenade Productions
Show: The Flashlight Zone: 20 Science Fiction Plays in One Hour
Venue: Theatre in the Round

R U Talking R.E.M. RE: Me?

A bit of a Black Mirror lite, this show was a little uneven yet overall entertaining. The issue with reviewing a series of short plays is that you have to review them as a whole. I think some strong work from a few members of the ensemble made the sum of the show better than its weaker individual parts. Even though it is a science fiction show, don't expect that element to be seen in all of the plays. Similarly, some of the plays you may want to see more of, while others you might just want to have been ignored entirely. While the concept of having the plays done at random was fun, I would have liked to have seen some sort of through line that tied all of the shows together in some fashion, but having them done at random does speak to the ability of the ensemble to just do any of these shows at any moment.

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


I am admittedly a fan of Goof Goof's improv and came into this show knowing whatever they did, it was best not to know anything ahead of time, and I would recommend the same for anyone else who sees this show. I'll do my best to avoid spoilers for the show in its entirety, but my collected thoughts are as follows: -The pacing felt a little off in the beginning. There's a clear shift in the production and it took my brain a little bit of time to process and for the show itself to loosen up. After that, however, all was let loose and the pace was kept phenomenally brisk. -It wasn't intentional, but I definitely felt the protagonist mirrored Thanos from the indie film Avengers: Infinity War in his view of the world. I'm not saying Goof Goof is predicting what will happen in Avengers 4, but I felt their choice of telling the story in this fashion could mirror what we see next summer. -Improv at Fringe often gets a bad rap, and while Goof Goof's show is scripted, its clear that the improv background of the entire ensemble is put to good use. 4.5/5 Stars.

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