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2018 Audience Reviews

Member Reviews

The following reviews were submitted by Fringe Member: Missy Isles

Company: Berlin Productions
Show: I Never Knock
Venue: Augsburg Mainstage

No. Just no. Sorry. No

I saw this with a group of friends. We read reviews before coming, with the hopes that the reviews were wrong or the show was misjudged. They weren't and it wasn't. From start to finish, this show just not good. I feel bad for saying that, given that I am a profound believer that all art is valid in it's own way, but there was simply nothing redeeming about this show. I 100% understand the concept of this show - a tribute to a woman consumed by the tragic opinions of aging women in Hollywood. Characters can be quirky; characters can be crude; storylines can be convulded, with unexpected twists and turns. This play had all that. The problem is with the execution all around. The writer definitely had a vision, but the script lacked heart. There was simply no reason to make an emotional connection with any of the characters because they were all unlikable or written so flatly that there was no purpose in caring about their fate. The acting left much to be desired. Line delivery was shaky, with actors frequently stumbling over their lines. They mumbled often and spoke extremely quickly to the point where I could not understand what they were saying, though I was sitting in the front row. Their reactions were unrealistic, either before or after very obvious cues. For example, liquor bottles are thrown around with anger, but the recipient of said bottles anticipated the attack to an almost laughable degree. The references to sex and body parts woven throughout could have been an amusing part of the play, but there seemed to be little attempt to adjust timing or delivery to make these land comedically. It was simply not funny. I was quite hopeful when one of the actors stepped forward at the end and began by acknowledging that the show was the worst rated at the Fringe festival; however, he then opened it up for discussion, first defending the show against the poor reviews, then asking the audience directly whether the reviews were valid. After a brief and awkward silence, we left the theater, 26 minutes after it began. I think the show suffered from a lack of motivated direction. I recognize this was their last performance and am writing this review to serve as a critique for the company moving forward. Sincerely, best of luck in the future!


Company: Fearless Comedy Productions
Show: Deep in The 100 Acre Woods: A "Pooh"-dunnit?
Venue: Minnsky Theatre

Captivating, superbly executed

I loved this show! From the very beginning, I was hooked! Growing up with these characters, I was so impressed with the actors' ability to capture their personalities and mannerisms. Eeyore was melancholically graceful; Piglet and Roo were feisty; Tigger was energetic and dynamic; Kanga and Owl gave measured and level headed performances that balanced other characters well; Pooh turned the notions of the character on its ear; and Christopher Robin kept the show clipping along with a strong stage presence. The audience seemed to love Rabbit, who just shone onstage with his frantic and engaging performance. This show had a really cool conceit and paid tribute to the noir genre in an original and fun way!


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

Ok, fun

This play was a great way to start the day. While not a challenging piece to digest, it was definitely fun. Play was quickly paced and definitely had a vision. Execution left a little to be desired - a few shaky deliveries; time not allotted for laughter. Overall, it was a fun and funny show. I laughed quite a bit.


Company: The Coldharts
Show: Eddie Poe
Venue: Ritz Theater Mainstage

Golly, was it great!

I absolutely LOVED this show. The two actors did such a great job playing up the character differences and interacted with each other superbly. The music interspersed among the story and dialogue was phenomenal and gave the show a quirky element the fit the show very nicely. The actress playing multiple characters was so dynamic and captivating; and the actor playing Edgar gave such a tortured and creepy performance. And the card game scene - WOW! I would definitely recommend this show to any Fringe festival attendee!


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

An unbalanced but emotional show

I was very impressed with the show as it began. The group seemed to use the space very well. However, as the show went on, it left me with several questions - Why are they moving the set pieces so much during transitions? (it just made them feel longer) Is this a play or a concert? Are all these "characters" really needed? The show had a great deal of production value, but just didn't seem as tight as it could have been if staged and cast in a different way. The lead actors (especially the female lead) carry a lot of emotion in their performance, but others seem to be there just to set the scene and fill the space. I love shows that have a challenging theme, and this one definitely has that - and it just leads you further down the rabbit hole as it goes on. If you're in for a show that leaves you questioning, this is the show for you.


Company: Oncoming Productions
Show: Geminae
Venue: Southern Theater

Holds your attention

Very cool show. Set pieces were very effective. Story was harrowing and held your attention. Not sure how I feel about the ending, whether it fit in with the rest of the show, but it was very stylized and polished. Major props to the person playing "the void. Visually, a very appealing show. Excellent, emotional portrayals of the characters.


Company: Mysterious Old Radio Listening Society
Show: The Mysterious Old Radio Listening Society Versus the Nazis
Venue: Rarig Center Thrust

Unique

Very cool and unique. Different from most other offerings at the Fringe Festival, so if you're looking for variety, this is something you should see! Very good characters developed through just vocal performance. It was fun to see how different sound effects were made. Perhaps not the most exciting show at Fringe, but definitely a good time!


Company: Erin Sheppard Presents
Show: Book of Shadows
Venue: Theatre in the Round

Unique and captivating

This is a really fun piece - a great blend of storytelling and dance. Taj Ruler is a such a joy to watch onstage and balances her quirky humor with great heart and emotion during her readings. The choreography plays well off of the spoken well - it keeps the same theme and tone but elaborates on it in a beautiful way that can only be done through polished choreography. The troupe did a splendid job of using the venue to their advantage - there's not a bad seat in the house! Choreography was creative and was executed with great precision. A really fun and unique show!


Company: Loom Lab
Show: The Middle Keeps Moving
Venue: Southern Theater

I loved it!!

I loved absolutely everything this piece. I loved the bright look of the props and costumes; though simplistic, they helped establish a really cool aesthetic. The writers/choreographers seemed to have a really clear vision for what they wanted to present and pulled it off to a thought-provoking and beautiful degree. While there was no concrete story to cling to, I had great fun trying to process and derive meaning from what I saw onstage. Cool symbolism, beautiful staging. Great show!


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

Unbalanced, but dancing what phenominal

The dancing was absolutely wonderful. Very emotional. Loved that. The dialogue, however, seemed very unrehearsed in comparison, to the point where it really distracted from the work as a whole. Certain portions of the presentation were a bit repetitive or seemed long-winded at times (mostly during dialogue). Great athleticism and heart. Overall, an okay fringe show


Company: The Winding Sheet Outfit
Show: Blood Nocturne
Venue: Southern Theater

Very polished show. Definitely had a clear vision

Good staging - very nice stage pictures throughout. Music was a bit repetitive melodically at times, but the style fit the time period very well. The main character was well developed, but I found myself longing for more backstory about the other characters onstage. I understand that there was little historical data about some of them, but taking artistic liberties is what Fringe is all about. I was not a fan at the breaks in the fourth wall - it really stopped the flow of the show in a very distracting way. Very smooth transitions, and the cast seemed to form a very cohesive unit. Dialogue was very well written.


Company: Michael Rogers
Show: Now We See It
Venue: Ritz Theater Mainstage

Beautifully staged show

Visually, this show is awesome. It is packed with moments that impressed me so much! Their scene transitions and use of props to establish different effects left me absolutely breathless as times. Very interesting premise with emotional performances from the two leads. There were a couple times during the show where dialogue seemed a little unclear and a little wordy when I craved more action. Overall, this is a very polished show, with a cast that really gives the impression that they care greatly about what they are putting on the stage. I enjoyed it a great deal and would definitely recommend it to others.


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

Great ensemble performance!

This is like its own mini Fringe festival in one. With 20 short plays, everyone can find at least one that they can connect with. I especially enjoyed "Junk," featuring a much loved Superman doll, and "Games," featuring an interesting take on virtual reality. The ensemble did a really nice job of balancing their performances with one another, and things seemed to move very smoothly from one scene to the next. The cast gave big moments time to breathe, even if it meant taking a moment of silence before jumping into the next scene. If a had a few criticisms it would be that a couple of the scenes presented ideas or plots that were a little unclear to us. I attended the show as part of a group of 5 people, and we tried to unpack each scene after the show was over. There were a few that we just had to blow right past because we couldn't understand a clear message or purpose for their inclusion in a group of otherwise awesome set of characters and settings. Theatre in the round can be a difficult venue type to accommodate certain types of shows, and the definitely favored one side of the room over the other, so a lot of facial expressions and actions were missed, so maybe the show missed some opportunities to incorporate some movement. The acting, however, was absolutely superb. Excellent emotion, with a good understanding of the characters - wonderful, since we only have a couple minutes to make a connection with them before they're swapped for someone new. Great balance, excellent pacing, wonderful themes and emotion. This would be an excellent show for someone new to Fringe or for someone with a busy schedule who can only see a few shows this year. Very glad I saw this!!


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

Different. Exciting. Dynamic.

We saw HTL's show last year at Fringe and absolutely LOVED it. This year was also pretty good. The show is paced very well, and definitely did not feel like an hour-long show. I was bummed when it was over because I wanted more! The amount of thought and care they put into their show idea and production is evident. The effects they use with projection were nothing short of magical. However, I would not recommend this show for young ones, as there was quite a bit of swearing. The show had a very gritty feel to it, which definitely fit the theme of the show, and I really appreciated their stance on whaling and its effects. I saw it on their opening night, and there were issues with sound levels, which made some of their dialogue and vocals a bit difficult to hear at times. A couple flubs here and there. The musicians were extremely talented - both instrumentally and vocally! Overall, this will, I'm sure be, one of the more memorable shows at this year's Fringe show - great visuals, excellent music, good pacing, snappy dialogue. A good show all around!


Company: The Bearded Company
Show: Swords & Sorcery: The Improvised Fantasy Campaign
Venue: Theatre in the Round

You'll definitely want to check this one out

This show was absolutely hilarious! This was the first show that we saw for this year's Fringe, and man, oh man, was it the best way to kick it off! These guys are absolutely hilarious! It is obvious that they are having a blast creating their show on the spot, and it is obvious that they work really well together as a veteran team of improvisers. I laughed and clapped too many times to count. The story they created was original and compelling. They did a really nice job of utilizing the Gamemaster in fun and creative ways. They did a really nice job of pacing the show. Only downside to this show is that it stays true to a D&D campaign - the story didn't end with the show. But, there is a simple solution - just go see the next performance for the next installment in the adventure. Really, a well acted, flat-out funny show. Would definitely recommend to any fringe attendee (especially my fellow nerds out there!)


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