Non-Registered Critics: Zachary Bernstein

Jul

Wigfield

...Arlo Sanders directs with gusto, and we get some strong performances (particularly Hernandez-Kolski as Fleet Hollinger and Meghan Parks, as both a local “sheriff” and a batty old woman, each get to really shine here).  We end up with a fun show filled with affection for its source material that anyone can enjoy.

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Jun

The Same Room

Pierre and Sheeks do an excellent job as the two women figuring out the puzzle while they’re also seething at each other. Director Scott Golden keeps the drama flowing at every turn (helped in no small part by Nikki Muller’s fight choreography).

...the story builds, the escape room device gets to your heart, and I left believing that with further development, “The Same Room” could make for a dynamic hour-long two-hander. In other words, an ideal Fringe show. - RECOMMENDED

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Jun

Squeeze My Cans

Full of head-scratching true tales and anxiety-releasing laughter, “Squeeze My Cans” is a tough story told with precision and grace, and by the time it’s all over, it might just get your needle floating.

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Jun

Son of a Bitch

The cast is bolstered by Lucy Gillespie’s hardball script and director Billy Ray Brewton’s fly-on-the-wall gravitas. The dialogue is sharp and builds slowly as the story progresses. Ultimately, I was hoping to see more reasons why Atwater actually is a son of a bitch—most of that rests on his responsibility for his infamous “Willie Horton” campaign ad—but this play nonetheless captures the spirit of achieving victory by shitting all over your enemies with full force. - EXCELLENT SHOW

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Jun

Raised By Wolves

...among the solo shows at Fringe this year, this world-premiere from Marla Black is an Alpha.  You will laugh, you may cry, and you will most certainly enjoy “Raised by Wolves.”

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Jun

POCKETS

Director Paul Hungerford and the Teammates have put together a funny show with an engaging script to make what might be one of the most [spit spit] solid productions at Fringe this year. Check it out.

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Jun

Transference

Kudos to writer and director Jim Blanchette who tackles and brings to life an original script. Even the minor set decoration added a cozy feel to the otherwise barren black box space.

...there’s good humor, from the self-deprecating to the historically macabre that holds your attention to the very end.

For Fringe-goers seeking new original works, “Transference” offers a palatable and thorny journey of self-discovery.

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Jun

Supportive White Parents

If you’re looking for a Fringe show full of charm and giggles packed into less than thirty minutes, give yourself the gift of “Supportive White Parents.”

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Jun

Unreal City

Between the poetic verse and the mysterious aura, Unreal City pulls off the neat trick of making a familiar neighborhood feel like a wholly different and disturbing place. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

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Jun

American Conspiracy

Schwartz's script has potential and I hope that this fringe outing is a step on its journey rather than the final destination... American Conspiracy still holds our attention thanks to Ritchey's strong direction, some good humor, and some fine performances, namely Hank Doughan as Hinckley in the calm before the storm. RECOMMENDED

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Jun

The Word

Victor Isaac has effortless charisma which charms you immediately, delivering plenty of laughs and even a couple of fun catchphrases.  Director JJ Mayes keeps the production moving at an engaging, brisk pace.  “The Word” racks up another hit for Mayes who's no slouch himself, having directed the award-winning “Definition of Man,” and “Cookie & the Monster” .

“The Word” is a must-see solo show for the Hollywood Fringe this year.  It will leave you laughing, thinking, and cheering for the Oakland Raiders. - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

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Jun

Resa Fantastiskt Mystisk

This is a terribly funny show. It skewers the artistic process, the pretension of artists, and all the supposedly-amazing classical works that contemporary audiences force themselves to watch to feel high-brow. Listening to Merrill gradually fall apart as the actors get the fine details wrong scene after scene is pure joy. The entire cast is solid across the board as they each play themselves as actors playing their parts... Don't miss it.

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Jun

Nic & Brooke's Karaoke Party!

Clocking in at just under 45 minutes, “Nic & Brooke's Karaoke Party” is not a party that lasts all night, which is a shame. It wouldn't be a bad idea to send these two to a venue where they can keeping the party going for people on break from the rest of their Fringe itinerary. As for now, if you'd like a high-quality, low-brow good time, you'll have to catch them at one of their scheduled slots at the Complex. RECOMMENDED

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Jun

Why We Become Witches

Motzenbacker directs a strong, airtight ship, even gracing the stage with the sort of quaint, provincial design work you might find in a Wes Anderson movie or a production of The Wind in the Willows, covering the stage with dried flowers and often presenting scenes over afternoon tea. Having never heard of the author Sylvia Townsend Warner before, this reviewer was certainly moved to look her up after seeing this show.

Running at about 40 minutes, Why We Become Witches is a plum choice for the high-brow fringe-goers who seek dramatic stakes without tragedy and comedy without buffoonery. I recommend this show.

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Jun

"Transition"

The message is loud and clear, and it's all right there in the play. The audience was clearly on Obama's side the whole time, but I see no reason why conservative voters couldn't also enjoy watching this odd couple for a new generation...Highly Recommended

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Jun

The New Bad Boys of Magic

The magic tricks are fun and pulled off with only a modest gusto — kudos to them for never making a big deal out of any of their own tricks — whether they're telling a story with a deck of cards, making rewarding use of a girl popping out of a box, or making an entire bottle of rum disappear (gosh, I hope that was a trick). But the magic is almost secondary to their comic repartee as adversaries. The jokes keep coming and never stop. Sometimes they're funny; other times, they're funny and clever, too...Highly Recommended

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Jun

Quantum Entanglement

Director Shane Wood does a fine job keeping the stage busy with action: the cat, the jars of light, and Zarr slowly wandering through her own quantum abyss. You don't need to be a brilliant scientific genius to enjoy the show, but I'm sure there's an easter egg or two in there if you are one. And if you're the kind of person who fills with wonder while stargazing away from the lights of the city, then this is the show for you....Highly Recommended

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Jun

Martha Washington Killed a Redcoat

Director Matt Ritchey does an able job keeping the farce moving at a farce's pace, weaving the yelps, the cover-ups, the tumbles, and stamping the show with some rewarding sight gags...Recommended

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Jun

Insuppressible: The Absolutely Unauthorized Leah Remini Story

Director Jeffrey McCrann, who also wrote the script, keeps the show moving at a brisk pace and offers plenty of theatrical visuals to make the scenes and the songs come to life...Highly Recommended

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Jun

HIGH RISE

If you want to be given an inspirational pep talk from a tycoon whose hard-earned sweat completely soaks through his business suit, this is the show for you...Recommended

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