Audience: Jennifer Chun
Heather. Full Stop. She was amazing.
She grabbed me immediately with her exceptional skill at characterization. Frankly, being born in a different social background and having the absolute opposite problem (how NOT to get pregnant) I thought I wouldn't be able to relate. However, her wry humor and boundless energy pulled along in her journey. I would actually love to see this concept expanded to include women from many backgrounds and fertility issues. It's an exceptional idea.
With it’s percussive chant-like poetry, Start Swimming is a call for revolution. This piece haunted me into the next day and when I tried to describe it to my mother on the phone, I choked up. The director and all the actors are very young and talented individuals. They bring the sting of their tenuous role in today’s society to the audience with unapologetic fierceness. My youngest daughter is the age of some of these actors, and my heart hurt to hear what they feel and experience on a day to day basis. The lack of hope is heartbreaking, but important to hear.
Speaking of hearing, The sound was uncomfortably loud. I had to cover my ears for most of the show. I don’t think plays ever need to be auditorily assaulting to make a point.
It is not your usual Fringe show, nor is it for everyone, but if you can stomach a hard look at what the young people in our culture are facing today, then absolutely see this beautiful effecting play.
I absolutely adored this delightful musical! It was a delicious treat at the end of a hard day for me. I laughed so hard my seat shook. I have to admit, sometimes it came a little close to home as I have a daughter at Berkeley (just like the protagonist) who recently had to announce to her father (an Asian parent) that she was changing her major from Computer Science to English (much like the protagonist who changes hers from Microbiology to Theater Arts and East Asian Studies.) The parental ‘disappointment’ that ensues creates the brilliant comedy of this engaging little piece.
Joy is so compelling to watch as she moves through her own Dorothy in Oz experience and the ensemble as a whole is balanced and energetic.
I loved that the ‘special effects’ include actors pantomiming the props and adding their own sound effects to movements – a hysterical directorial choice enhancing the comedic charm of the piece.
The only drawback of the evening was that sometimes couldn’t hear the lines. But this was due to audience laughter. Which is a good thing.
We saw the late night performance of Princess Magic’s Trash Time Revue, and it was the perfect ending for a day of fine Fringe shows. With raucous, unapologetic, and bizarre humor, this show put the exclamation point on our Fringing experience.
Occasionally, I couldn’t hear, and with lines that funny, I didn’t want to miss anything because Misty Lee is a hoot. Princess Magic is a well crafted character, and for me personally, watching her was a bit odd. Is it wrong to mention that she really reminds me of my grandmother?
And the whole concept of a child’s birthday party with details down to the balloons, party hats, and gift bags was wonderful and inclusive.
From the moment we were welcomed on board the ‘ship,’ we knew we were in for a wild voyage! ShipWracked is dripping with burlesque talent, all delivered with splashes of impeccable comedic timing.
All the performers were stunning. There was not a weak performance in the bunch. And the storyline encompassing the various characters and their burlesque dances was very clever. I was entirely entertained, finding myself whooping and laughing, and exclaiming “oh Jeeeesus!” repeatedly.
Transference revisits ideas from On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, but adds a very dark twist! With clever black humor it explores how our past existences color and shape our present lives.
Ester Mira and Lisa K. Wyatt deftly portray two women in a therapist’s office delving into the subject of their past lives together. Both women played off of one another with balance and believability, and I loved that they were sometimes men, sometimes women, sometimes related, but always passionate about one another in their many incarnations.
This definitely is not something I say about most Fringe shows, seeing as how fast paced the festival is in general, but I almost wanted more time to see specifically how each past life effected the two women and their interactions with one another – a Netflix series would do the trick beautifully.
Playwright, Jim Blanchette, skillfully wrote a script that women of any age or look could easily play. It’s a breath of fresh air.
To Richard begins with a soft lullaby, but within the first few minutes of the play the crescendo builds to a scream of pain. I found myself laughing and tearing up in the same gasp.
The repartee between the two actors on stage was a skillful push and pull. Their relationship provided many comedic fits and starts that ultimately led us to a sweet unexpected finish. The audience was right there with them every step of the way and felt their resolution with a collective sigh of satisfaction.
The amazing part of this whole experience was realizing that Jessica Durdock Moreno wrote, directed, and starred in this beautiful little piece. And she did it all with aplomb and grace.
This is a Fringe show not to be missed. Get your tickets now.
The Last Croissant was a His Girl Friday meets Midsummer Night’s Dream meets Charley’s Aunt Mash Up. Fast paced dialogue and bizarre but endearing atmosphere makes for a wild ride through the wild.
The evening was a brightly colored collage of ideas and themes, but the two major stand outs for me were the heart felt performance of Luke Medina as a middle aged woman in crisis, and the performance of the Teabag by Kat DeVoe-Peterson who stole her scene with her adorable charm. Medina was grounded and a pleasure to watch. After the first moment of laughter when we are asked to believe that a young man with a beard and chest hair will be playing Imogen, we become completely enwrapped in his performance. And watching Medina and DeVoe-Peterson cuddle was one of the high points for me! Brandon Blum as the Bear also deserves a shout out bringing a calm sense of Zen to the cacophony of the other characters’ plights.
Interestingly, because the evening was a such a brightly colored collage of ideas, I sometimes became lost in the cleverness of the dialogue and plot, wishing for a simpler, more direct presentation of the main relationship between Imogen and her husband, Frederick. The script seemed like it was having so much fun, it almost lost it’s way a couple times. But, again, the key word is fun, and The Last Croissant was certainly that.
Shotgun dialogue with a healthy splash of physical comedy made this little gem a delight to watch. The ensemble of players balanced and played off one another with ease. And the physical demands on the actors are awe inspiring as they toss one another about – sometimes in Matrix fashion. A completely enjoyable piece.
Unfortunately, I guessed the end twist within a few minutes. I wish I hadn’t because then it could have unfolded in front of me.
Definitely put this one on your schedule of 'must sees.'
Run. Do not Walk. Or stop by the pub. Just go!! You will be laughing and then, of course, crying as John Fico deftly takes your soul in his competent hands and skillfully leads you through his portrayal of four distinct characters and their struggles through love and Alzheimers.
Confession: I was not scheduled to see this show. I was supposed to meet friends for another one across the street, and just picked this one out of the Fringe guide at random, so I had no idea what I was walking into. And to add to that, I had just experienced the huge stress of driving for an hour and a half only to be late, and the disappointment of not getting to see my friends. So, when I was blessed with this wonderful piece and pulled into Monica Bauer’s world, I was beyond grateful.
My recommendation is Chessssss, go see this one!! Under the smooth directorial hand of Joe Camareno, this cast nails the over the top Telenovela motif. I laughed. Full confession: I laughed till I snorted. Go. Laugh until you snort. And then, we can all wait for the next installment with baited breathe!