Kurt Gardner is a cultural critic and digital marketing professional. He reviews film, theater, and music for Blogcritics and ArtsBeatLA.

Voices from the Fringe: Ross Gosla, Writer/Performer of ‘Desert Warrior’

In Desert Warrior, Fringe newbie Ross Gosla tells a deeply personal story about his involvement in the controversial short film Innocence of Muslims and how it fueled the fires that helped to sabotage Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. I thought that Gosla’s intriguing tale required further elaboration, so he was kind enough to participate in...

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"Transition"

This fictionalization of the post-election meeting between Barack Obama and Donald Trump provides laughs and grimaces in equal measure.

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Definition of Man

Challenging, insightful, and artistically striking, Definition of Man is an impressive achievement that combines language with movement to create a refreshingly original work.

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Apathy Killed the Cat

The performers all fulfill their roles well, especially Stall and Woodley, whose edgy relationship is essential to the piece. Lisman’s direction is effective, particularly during the surreal fantasy sequences.

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Slashed! The Musical

Brimming with groan-inducing, era-appropriate gags and well performed by an appealing cast, Slashed! may well make you want to dig out your old VHS player and pop in your original release of Friday the 13th.

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Uncle Henry: Dead, Burned & Remembered

McCracken and Gibson work together like a well-oiled machine, taking cues from each other with lightning speed. Morphing into a gallery of different characters as directed by audience prompts, they mine comic gold from awkward situations.

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Zombie Clown Trump: An Apocalyptic Musical

Zombie Clown Trump is a well-intentioned satire of the Trump presidency, but it’s a hit-or-miss collection of gags and song spoofs that are too random to form a cohesive whole. However well-deserved this righteous anger may be, there are too many targets and too many underdeveloped plot points here to make for a satisfying satire.

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Airplane Live!

The Zucker Brothers’ classic is reimagined for the stage in 'Airplane Live!', an entertaining production that preserves the spirit of the film while making some modifications to bring it into the 21st century.

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The New Bad Boys of Magic

Cleverly weaving prestidigitation into a comedic storyline, The New Bad Boys of Magic is certainly one of the first shows that can describe itself as a “relationship comedy with magic.” It’s a great concept, and Donohue and Siegel have both the comic and magical chops to pull it off.

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