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2019 Audience Reviews

Member Reviews

The following reviews were submitted by Fringe Member: Anissa Lubbers

Company: Six Elements Theatre Company
Show: The Continuing Adventures of John Blade, Superspy
Venue: Ritz Theater Mainstage

Very impressive fights

This was such a fun show that embraced the full camp of spy movies right away. The "credit montage" was so much fun to watch and the cast (esp. John Brave) really seemed to enjoy it. I was seriously impressed with the variety and speed of the fights. The guns were even the most realist I've seen in most productions. There were a few slower moments (the Harry Potter discussion which I wish had been referred to later on as a reason to justify so much time spent on it) but over all I found this a lot of fun and I felt the actors did too. Certainly a fun "lets see this one" choice.

Company: Clevername Theatre
Show: ATLAS ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ : An Objective Musical
Venue: Ritz Theater Mainstage

Maybe read the book first

Confession, I didn't know the source material at all, and I think in order to appreciate this one, you kinda had to. It was certainly a talented cast and they really could sing, no question, but you get thrown into things right away with out much preamble, so I spent the rest of the time trying to catch up. It was nice to have the band on stage and unlike other shows this year, the performers managed to project over them, so kudos to that. I know the minimalist aspect of Fringe complicates sets and costumes but these seemed to be a bit more slapped together than most so made the show seem a bit more amateur than they deserved (though the expansion tube was a fun choice, as well as the scooters). Definitely ambitious source material to take on, and I know many appreciated it more than I, so that's certainly a factor for this one.

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

The perfect replacement

Given the drama of the previous act (I was there), I'm so glad how perfectly Les' show was able to swoop in and reset the festival balance. The audience was there to love and support one of their own, and his comedic and heartfelt stories were perfectly delivered and made you feel like you were just meeting up with a friend to catch up. I wish I had seen his past shows and I will definitely look forward to any new/future ones.

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

Devoted to a tee

In college I took a class on cults and I was always fascinated on how easily such silly concepts could find such loyal followers. I really enjoyed the 4 core members of the cult and thought the show did a nice job introducing the new characters at just the moment before the plot would begin to drag, rebooting the script each time. The ritual was impressive to watch and somehow managed to not get old even with the repeated attempts. Also finally the powerpoint was so entertaining!

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

Excited to see more

I had never played D&D though I'm quite familiar with how it works, and watching this show made me want to try. It was so much fun, and I loved how the staged aspect really brought it to a new level. Massive shout out to the talented keyboard player, as his underscoring was amazing, and I would frequently almost stop seeing the performers as I got lost in the music (though the cool staging and commitments of the cast certainly made me notice them). I'm so excited to hear that this will be an ongoing local event and I can't wait to see more!

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

Nostalgia and female empowerment

As a big fan of the shows Hercules and Xena, I was so excited to see Nissa tackle this idea, and she did not disappoint. This was a wonderful love letter to the tv show, and also a well produced conversation about females in cosplay and how important it is that men respect women and also that women don't tear each other down. The costumes were perfection and the cast was really spot on as well. I would say my only critique was the combat moments could have used more polish, just due to the nature of the original show. Still a lot of fun and I'm glad to see so many people getting the message.

Company: Haute Dish Productions
Show: Chisago: The Musical
Venue: Rarig Center Thrust

A fun mash up

I was really excited for this as I love Chicago and while they had some really fun ideas sadly this fell a bit flat. I was sitting on the side and the staging was focused on front section only. Also the sound was impossible as the tracks overwhelmed the vocals, especially in the lower register. I struggled to catch the lyrics which were so clever. I was very impressed by the choreography and it was definitely the strongest part of the show.

Company: Weggel Productions
Show: Cat Confidential: The Secret Lives of the Mothers of Lions
Venue: Theatre in the Round

Went home to snuggle my cat

Such an ode to the joy of having a cat. I identified with each person as it was clear how much their cats meant to them. The little sketches were nicely interspersed but I felt the added movement between vignettes didn't add much. I also wished they hadn't held folders or binders for the monologues. But such a fun night and Penny the cat was gorgeous!!!

Company: Amie Durenberger
Show: Can I Borrow Your Poop?
Venue: Strike Theater

The call is coming from inside...

Didn't fully know what to expect from this show. I figured some laughs, some information learned; didn't realize how deeply this would resonate. You see a few weeks ago I went to the doctor for intestinal issues, and learned I had kidney stones, but here's the thing, they didn't cause my symptoms. I had a diagnosis, but not an answer. Listening to Annie tell her story through song, sketch, prop, and emotion, I wished I could help. I wished I had the answer she needed, and that is something a fringe show is lucky to get, a full connection with the audience.

Company: Literally Entertainment
Show: The Scranton Strangler: An Office Musical
Venue: Rarig Center Thrust

Definitely for fans

I'll be honest, I've only seen a handful of episodes, though I mostly know the characters/major story points, so I definitely didn't get all the references they made. That said, this was an enjoyable show, with fun music, though I wished the cast (especially Michael) were mic'd as it was sometimes hard to hear vocals above the music. I was very impressed with their eye for detail and it was certainly cast with people who fit those iconic roles (Stanley in particular was a standout). So if you are a fan, it's definitely worth it, and if not, you'll still have fun.

Company: Full Circle Theater Company
Show: Glass & Lady M.

So timely

Two short stories about female empowerment and society's suppression, acted out beautifully by a talented cast of 4 diverse women. I especially loved the first play Glass as it was visually so compelling with the actresses barely walking, so each step they took was a major moment/choice. The playwright Lindsey Bushnell created a powerful piece about women being suppressed and yearning for freedom (though fearing the unknown of it as well), that really spoke to me, even though it was in a more absurdist style than I typically watch. Really compelling and the companion piece Lady M had some powerful moments as well. This is in a tiny venue outside of the Fringe center radius, but worth the drive.

Company: Smartmouth Comedy Co
Show: Director's Cut: Survivor
Venue: Rarig Center Arena

Wish I could see them all!

I don't recall the last time I laughed so hard. I'd always wanted to see a Director's Cut show and now I plan to see more! Really impressed with the cast's ability to perform a scripted piece while a sadistic director urges them to go off the rails. The Survivor story was a perfect fit and the addition of a Bachelorette wannabe was absolute genius! Kudos to the entire cast and to Bailey for her script!

Company: Ruckus Productions
Show: Aileen
Venue: Southern Theater

It went there

The visuals of this piece were amazing! I loved the use of movement and the stark table/chairs set. Autumn was so committed to the character and really propelled the show forward, with wonderful switches between confidence, indifference, hope and fear. Her movements were compelling to watch. The attacks were visually alarming and definitively felt real, maybe too real in that I feared the actors weren't fully in control of the movements. My one qualm was that the attorney was so soft spoken, especially as she faced upstage so much, so that the space swallowed her voice compared to the rest. Shout out to the strong ensemble players as well. Definitely in impressive piece.

Company: CSOC Company, LLC
Show: Blood Guilt
Venue: Ritz Theater Studio

A powerful must see

This was easily one of my favorite shows this year. The chemistry/connection between the two actors was perfect and I loved how it started out so goofy and innocent but gave hints of what you could expect. The simple setting lent itself perfectly to the script, but I felt like the scene changes went on too long (I know that the needs to change costume caused that, but maybe transition music for those longer times would have helped). A really powerful piece that I've been recommending to my fellow fringe goers. Such a wonderful show.

Company: the semi-permanent tattoos
Show: Apartment, Darling
Venue: Ritz Theater Studio

A charming tale

I really liked the connection between the two actors and felt the show did a great job of passing the days/months in a believable way. Unfortunately the volume was often a bit too quiet and when they used the front part of the space they were too in the shadows. Still very much enjoyed this love letter to first time striking out on your own.

Company: Shrieking Harpies
Show: The Shrieking Harpies
Venue: Strike Theater

I wanted to sing along!

This show brought me so much joy! I couldn't believe how much fun I had watching an almost hour long improvised musical! I would love to have this an ongoing monthly show, as I loved the variety of characters they came up with. Left the theatre humming Pink Lemonade, and wanting to sing the whole way home!

Company: no way theatre
Show: Plaid Tales
Venue: Rarig Center Thrust

Amazing chemistry

I didn't know much about this show going in, but I really was impressed with the cast's ability to connect with each other. The relationships really made this piece something special. I felt like I was watching a movie that had to end too soon. My main critique was that the ending felt like oof time up, wrap it up! So maybe make this one a full length play and show us what happened in those 10 years between!

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

A worthy sequel!

This script was amazing and covered a variety of important topics without feeling preachy. The cast was perfection and embodied these iconic characters in nuanced and rich ways. It had been awhile since I saw the movie, but the play did a nice job of explaining things so you didn't get lost if you didn't know the source material. All the cast was wonderful but special shout outs to Angela (who played the erratic Allison to perfection), Dawn (who brought me to tears during the gut punch ending) and Matt (who played the too cool Bender in such an effortless way). Oh and the dance party was everything I could have wanted it to be!

Company: Somerville Productions
Show: SIZE
Venue: Theatre in the Round

Important and fun

I loved the diversity of the cast and the performances, from songs to sketches to just talking about personal experiences. I also appreciated that different genders and ages were represented. Such a powerful piece that made you feel good as well as mad at society, and wanting to stop at Taco Bell on the way home :)

Company: Elite Entertainment
Show: Looking Glass- A Shattered Cirque Wonderland

Looking to go again!

I wasn't sure what to expect for this show. I was absolutely blown away by the talent and variety of acts, that managed to tie neatly together into the Wonderland story. The cast was insanely talented and each one showcased their individual skills (from pole to hoop to fire breathing to dance to rope) in a way that I literally gasped in amazement. Nick as the Cat absolutely blew my mind with his effortless rope climbing and was worth the price of admission alone, and I've never seen a flaming sword combat on stage. Seriously this show is a must see!!

Company: TheatreX
Show: Escape THIS
Venue: Ritz Theater Mainstage

Fun but the cast deserved more

I've never done an Escape Room, but have wanted to, and this show didn't change that. A talented ensemble with a fun premise made for an enjoyable show. However the script as others have, said was not as strong as they deserved. I was a bit annoyed by several of the puzzles either being too obvious or being a type of lock that couldn't really exist (letter combo lock where you would need to spell out over 8 characters?). A bit of an anticlimactic ending as well, but the cast seemed to really get into the adventure of it and there were some really fun moments. I didn't feel trapped in my seat.

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