FALLEN STARS AT THE CHARITY SALE
The Complex (Flight Theatres)
Los Angeles, CA
Opens: June 2, 2017
Closes: June 24, 2017
Fallen Stars at the Charity Sale peeks into the inanimate lives of old items languishing at a charity sale. These objects reminisce about their glory days yet desperately hope to gain a new life with new owners—the audience.
This is a staged adaptation of a live action role playing (larp) event written by and translated from the original Norwegian by Martin Nielsen and Magnar Grønvik Müller.
Audience members are invited to the stage to “purchase,” with fake money we provide, objects at a charity sale, affecting our talented, improv ensemble.
Each performance differs, as object-characters purchased will not return—YOU get to keep the object you bought.
We welcome your donation of an object to be a character in the next show! If you bring an object**, you can take $5 off the ticket price using discount code ITEM, and we will attempt to turn the item you donated into a character in a subsequent show (based on number of objects we receive). You must be able to carry the object up the stairs by yourself.
**One per person object only. Nothing organic, hazardous, illegal, or inappropriate for anyone under 18 allowed.
"Intriguing and unique premise drew me to the show, but also made me skeptical about how this could possibly be engaging for an entire hour-long performance. The show is largely improvised, especially once the sale opens for business and the audience is allowed to engage and purchase things. Now I could see how this kind of structure could be a disaster under the wrong circumstances like a poor cast or trollish audience members. I'm sure some performances turned out better than others for this very reason; but this was not the case the evening I went. For the show I attended, the actors were in sync with one another and in perfect form and the pacing was spot on, ending at just the right moment. For what could easily be a frivolous improvisational exercise taking a cue from Toy Story became something profound about materialism, the impermanence of life, and, ultimately, death. I walked away wanting to see more and sincerely hope I get a chance to."
"Overall this is a charming idea which highlights themes of materialism without being dogmatic. Kudos to the ensemble who must make up new stories for each show."
"Definitely one of the most innovative premises at this year’s Fringe, this “interactive play” is a combination of scripted monologues, improvisation and audience participation. The premise, I feel, is both a strength and a weakness."
"These characters may have been created moments before the show, or even created during the course of the show, but from start to finish they feel real and lived-in, as if they’ve been around for generations...Unfortunately, it is clear that Fallen Stars at the Charity Sale, like many ambitious projects, still has quite a few kinks to work out in terms of mechanics."
"I know that it is Vanek’s life mission to get Nordic style larp up and running in Los Angeles. I think it’s a noble mission. Without some serious structural changes this theatrical adaptation isn’t going to be the magic trick that gets people excited about the prospect."
"This was the most charming piece of interactive theater that I have participated in in a long time! The items… they’re more than just items. And even when you’re just watching it’s more than just watching. And you really do get to keep something if you buy it. I got to see a story that’s never the same twice! It’s kinda magical really. And now I have a monkey. And he’s pretty rad. And I can see how the impact of this monkey can be hard to convey as a review, but the actor that portrayed the monkey made it impossible to not want to be that monkey’s new companion. But you won’t get the same story I did. The items… characters… thoughtful and compelling. I’m sure consistently. At first I was bummed because I initially wound up with one dollar, which was not enough to buy anything. However… different people were given different amounts, so some interaction with audience members was needed too. Maybe, just maybe have some tiny thing for someone to buy with one dollar… but then again maybe not. Encouraging pooling and interaction instead of blowing cash on small things did eventually work out. My friend got me the monkey, and I was so grateful. So totally ignore this as a bad thing after all. :)"
"What seemed like a novelty and gimmick quickly developed into a thoughtful piece on our purpose and “value” before we are all called to the dumpster (or karmic recycling) in the end. And funny at moments, too! Excellent work by some skilled improv actors working within a unique formula. Great concept for long-form improv with potential for audience involvement. I wanted to know more objects - need more actors. I will be back because each show promises to be creative and unique."
"...you interact with the person running the sale, and then you change the show by removing someone from it. This is oddly affecting, as you can get to know an object/character, and then they’re just silenced. If you happen to see the show with folks who don’t realize the ways they could wreck it – half your cast will be gone within the first 10 minutes, and you’ll never know anything about those objects/characters. This can be frustrating as a show, but there’s also something very real about it: as in, “death” is sudden, permanent and inconvenient. Of course this one is Nordic."