Audience: Michael Fuller

Jun

If We Run

To write that If We Run is standard for the genre of the well-made play inherited from the 19th century that stocked Broadway from the 30s through the 50s-into the late 60s and summer stock, is not to bury it but to praise it. If We Run exemplifies the genre because the everyday behavior in everyday settings with everyday characters speaking everyday language expand our appreciation of our everyday lives and ennoble them through conflicts we have experienced that have given them value. In Matt Morrillo’s superbly crafted play, characters are revealed, conflicts intensified, and action moves irrevocably forward to what we hope will be the inevitable ending. Katie Oliver and Dingani Beza unabashedly play out their intimacy that director Emily Lappi’s marvelous direction allows us to witness. The final effect of a play is what the audience takes with it, and what we took with us into the lobby while waiting for the actors was that they and the play had confirmed our own joys and sorrows of having been there and done that. If We Run is 5* on every level and merits a Pick Of the Fringe.

sweet

Jun

Why did the chicken cross the road?

To say that Why Did the Chicken Cross The Road? is a Becket comedy is not an oxymoron but a paradox. In his hilariously comedic rendition of our existential dilemma of why and why not, because, because why, that’s why, and why not, Matthew Hennigar made us in the audience whoop and holler at his conundrums punching epiphanies in our deranged minds. The superb ensemble cast expanded our appreciation of the obviously simple answer, to get to the other side! Fine. Now what? Can’t leave us there, though the ensemble seemed satisfied (which is why they were so great because we knew they weren’t). What’s the next problem to write about ? Now that the chicken is on the other side, is other? What is the side that it just left to cross here? Looking forward to that one! In the meantime, stay on the right side of the road and make this a Pick Of The Fringe!

sweet

Jun

Tell Me About Your Daddy

Ty Picket’s masterful writing and performances in his Tell Me About Your Daddy render a truth to be told of the gay world that many straight people may believe is foreign to them. The characters of Twink, The Slut, Jock, The Fuck Boy, Feminine, The Drag Queen, Daddy The Predator, and the modern Freud who analyzes their “systemic stereotypes which run rampant in the LGBT community” are all cleanly created before our very eyes; with a turn of the head, a step or two stage right or left, a sudden change in body behavior, the pain and rage of isolation and despair born of desire are individually and distinctly portrayed; yet, in the apex of pain is laughter, in the pit of despair, the determination to be. Ty does what the writer and actor are supposed to do in the living theater: present us the truth of our common humanity that unstitches the convenient labels we sew into our consciousness to differentiate us from others so that we can remain safe from them. Tell Me About Your Daddy tells us there is no other. If there is a sure Pick of the Fringe, this is it.

sweet

Jun

Raised By Wolves

Two for the price of one are worth two for the price of four. Raised by Wolves, written and produced by Marla Black, and Pho Girl, written and directed by Steve Chambers, produced and performed by Brigette Ngo-Trinh, are the same coming-into-being story distinctly and uniquely told. Neither Raised By Wolves nor Pho Girl fall into the self-indulgent trap of many solo shows wherein the actor forgets that her job is not to confess her life but to tell her story; the former is masturbation, the latter, performance. In Raised By Wolves, Marla Black regales us with her life lesson learned from wolves that the rite of passage from Omega wolf to Alpha female is arduous bur necessary. In Pho Girl, food is the vehicle for self-discovery; the flavors of the many cultures comprising Brigette Pho-Trinh's’ DNA become the single flavor of her life, and in her courage to taste it, so do we taste our own. Marla wags our tails; Brigette feeds us (literally). We cannot ask for more except to make sure that Raised By Wolves and Pho Girl each become a Pick Of The Fringe!

sweet

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