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2019 Audience Reviews

Member Reviews

The following reviews were submitted by Fringe Member: Reid Gagle

Company: shelby company
Show: All is Bright
Venue: Mixed Blood Theatre

Two Santas and an elf walk into a bar....

Shelby Co. is an excellent out of town group. Well crafted material focusing on very real human situations and interactions. Expert delivery.


Company: The Adventures of Les Kurkendaal
Show: Adventures While Black in Great Britain
Venue: Rarig Center Thrust

SuperLes Saves the Fringe!

Fringe veteran Les Kurkendaal is, as always, engaging and funny. Always worth seeing. Here's the backstory. In the middle of our Fringe, a show drops out after two performances. What to do? Will there be as many performances as they promised on the website? Can the Fringe go on? I know what to do! Call in charming raconteur Les Kurkendaal before he flies off to parts unknown and ask him to fill in with a show with absolutely no notice. And he did, and he just happened to have a new show ready, and the Fringe was saved. Hurrah! Who knows, this might be the subject of his NEXT Fringe show....


Company: Ruckus Productions
Show: Aileen
Venue: Southern Theater

America's 2nd Female Serial Killer

The acting, writing and direction all show promise. I look forward to seeing these artists grow. Note: Aileen Wuornos was NOT America's first female serial killer. That distinction belongs to my home town's Belle Gunness. And unlike Aileen Wuornos, Belle was nobody's victim. She was one tough cookie. (Probably krumkaker since she was Norwegian-American.)


Company: Sam Kruger
Show: Fool Muun Komming! [BeBgWunderful/YEsyes/4sure.Hi5. TruLuv;Spank Spank:SOfun_Grate_Times]
Venue: Mixed Blood Theatre

Bizarro Fun

A lock for the Fringiest show this year. I particularly liked his peculiar physicality, but the nonstop verbal assault was great, too. Can we have a whole show with Hidalgo and Juan?


Company: Tom Reed
Show: Game of Toms: One-Man Game of Thrones
Venue: Rarig Center Thrust

Can't Jaime or Tyrion Lannister win?

Or do they die, too? I've read the books (as far as they go), not seen the TV show. Tom Reed as usual does a great job of distilling things down, and even has time left over for a couple of songs.


Company: That's Enough Drama
Show: A Tension To Detail: Gerard Harris
Venue: Ritz Theater Mainstage

Manic fun

Jocelyn LaBerge's review nails it. See this fun show!


Company: John Heimbuch
Show: Beowulf
Venue: Rarig Center Arena

Beowulf Lives On

The late great Charlie Bethel's superb one-man adaptation of 'Beowulf' brought back to the Fringe by his friend, John Heimbuch, himself a talented writer and actor. It's an exciting, bloodthirsty, and theatrical show. (I think teenagers would love this piece as much as adults would.) But it's not all action and gore. The end of Beowulf was quite moving, especially in the light of Charlie's own mortality.


Company: Michael Rogers
Show: Chorus
Venue: Rarig Center Thrust

Playwright's Reach Far Exceeds His Grasp

The choral singing was good, if you like that sort of thing. The actors knew their lines and had their timing down. The quality of the acting was generally competent. My main problem was the script. I think the writer was trying for Thornton Wilder's Our Town set on a choral bus tour. The style of writing was a series of mini-scenes, each quite trivial but unfortunately rarely building to anything. For instance, there was the girl who every night saw ghosts from whatever house they were in. So what? Or the two guys who always got the worst rooms. Mildly amusing once, but over and over again?


Company: Andrew Erskine Wheeler
Show: Booth's Ghost
Venue: Ritz Theater Mainstage

Give It a Shot

An impressive historical piece. Well crafted and well acted, it is a real tour de force. At the point when we saw it, nine shows into this Fringe, Booth's Ghost was my wife's favorite show, against some heavy competition.


Company: DangerVision Productions
Show: Visitation
Venue: Crane Theater

Good Grief

A collection of vignettes connected by short monologues from the funeral director. Some of the stories were funny, others touching; some were excellent, a couple were a bit rambling and unfocused. Overall, a good show, if a bit uneven.


Company: The Winding Sheet Outfit
Show: You Are Cordially Invited to the Life and Death of Edward Lear
Venue: Crane Theater

Poignant and Goofy

There once was a Winding Sheet Outfit / Which puts on great shows, don't doubt it. / They smash the Fourth Wall / With no fear at all. / Five stars for the Winding Sheet Outfit.


Company: Rough Magic Performance Company
Show: Measure4Measure
Venue: Southern Theater

#MeToo Shakespeare

This is an excellent show, as we have come to expect from Rough Magic. They excel at paring Shakespeare down to Fringe length, keeping the story clear despite the cuts, retaining the humor and emphasizing the elements in the story of particular interest to today's audiences. It is a show that is very relevant to our times.


Company: Mermaid Productions
Show: Xena and Gabrielle Smash the Patriarchy
Venue: Theatre in the Round

Xena Phobic?

If you, like me, have always been a bit leery of Xena the TV show, give Fringe Xena a chance. It's a fun silly show that makes a lot of good points. If occasionally it gets a little heavy handed in making those points, well, subtlety has never been a strength of swords-and-sandals shows. Fun show!


Company: Sheep Theater
Show: A Cult Classic
Venue: Southern Theater

Armageddon Now

A funny show about a doomsday cult.


Company: Partizan Theater
Show: Backstory
Venue: Rarig Center Thrust

Vertigo, Spun Around

Excellent acting, well written, strong direction. The story is from Hitchcock's Vertigo, but from a completely different point of view. I think the show is completely consistent with Vertigo, but it's been a long time since I last saw the movie. It is possible that your enjoyment of the show might be diminished if you don't know Vertigo. (We'll have to see what other reviewers have to say about that.) While not among my top Hitchcock films, I'm in the minority -- more than a few film historians put it in the top 10 American films ever. So maybe this show can whet your appetite to see the classic movie. Note that the play is short - 40 minutes - so that might make post-show travel or meals easier to schedule. __________ 5* = Excellent! Must See! 4* = Very Good. 3* = Good. 2* = OK, if you have an open slot. 1* = Not Good. 0* = Bad and Offensive.


Company: Snikt! Bamf! Thwip!
Show: The Lunch Bunch
Venue: Theatre in the Round

Breakfast Club Meets Big Chill

If you haven't seen the movie, don't worry. The movie's characters are archetypes more than they are characters: the Jock, the Princess, the Brain, the Juvenile Delinquent and so on. Forced to spend some together in detention, they open up to each and grow and blossom in not very credible ways. Flash forward 25 years, they meet again and this show is born. Their growth over a quarter of a century mostly make sense, especially that of the Juvenile Delinquent. Often they end up as more interesting characters than their teenage selves had been (especially the Jock). If you remember The Breakfast Club movie and, for some reason, have a lot of affection for it, the odds are good that you will really like this show. If you didn't see, don't remember it or wish that you didn't, this show is still well worth seeing. __________ 5* = Excellent! Must See! 4* = Very Good. 3* = Good. 2* = OK, if you have an open slot. 1* = Not Good. 0* = Bad and Offensive.


Company: Crepuscular Bunny
Show: in.doors
Venue: Rarig Center Xperimental

Physical improv and interesting riffing with sound

There were some interesting elements here. They did some fun things with sound, where one person makes a seemingly random musical sound, and the others build on it and vary it into something interesting and more complex. (Do more of this, please.) There was also some interesting physical improv, like one woman being a whole flock of birds. Unfortunately the story they make up and act out was really pretty tedious and wore thin very quickly. I think this group holds promise, but is not quite there yet. But if you have a slot in your schedule open or are particular interested in improve sound riffing or physical improv, consider seeing this show.


Company: Benjamin Domask
Show: HODGE PODGE
Venue: Barker Center for Dance

Balls and Feathers

This guy is really talented, and more importantly, really connects with the audience. Although it's in the Family Fringe, go to this one even if you don't have a critter in tow. Good juggling and balancing tricks, funny clowning. A nice juggling / music / audience participation gag. And he really got the kids in the audience going. This is one you should catch. __________ 5* = Excellent! Must See! 4* = Very Good. 3* = Good. 2* = OK, if you have an open slot. 1* = Not Good. 0* = Bad and Offensive.


Company: Broken Box Mime Theater
Show: Destination: Everywhere
Venue: Barker Center for Dance

Time for Mime

These are talented, engaging mimes. They did a variety of things to keep the show bopping along and most of the pieces worked well. The kids in the audience were on the whole engaged. To ease things for the kids, one of the performers was an emcee, so it wasn't entirely non-vocal. I look forward to seeing their other show in the Fringe, a grownup's show called 'Quiet Riot.'


Company: Off-Leash Area
Show: Paws 'n Effect
Venue: Barker Center for Dance

Definitely a Kids' Show

This is a kids' show, and the kids in the audience were fully engaged. So far, so good. There was a nice interaction between A/V projections and the cast. And there was a live dog. While he didn't play Hamlet like the live chicken in a previous Fringe's show, he was fun and kept the kids entertained.But there's just no reason for an adult to come to this unless you're bringing a little kid. The story was so minimal and unengaging that it put me to sleep repeatedly.


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