Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Fringe 2004 Early Buzz - Top 10 - Metamorphoses
If You Held A Gun To My Head (3 of 10)
...or If I Could Only See Ten Fringe Shows...
...what would they be, and why?

The Mayasphere Project
Bryant Lake Bowl

No, not Kafka's cockroach saga, that's The Metamorphosis.

And while, yes, it's the same source material, it's not the Mary Zimmerman extravaganza that had New York buzzing a few years back.

Instead, and delightfully so, this looks to be one of the best one person show imports from out of town this year.

Much along the lines of last year's One Man Hamlet (also in the same space), this production allows one actor with a lot of chops and bare minimum of props to delve into yet another classic text.

The mythological tale Ovid told may be over 2000 years old, but much of it will be recognizable for a variety of reasons, among them that a great many writers we revere today, Shakespeare among them, were influenced by these tales.

Reimagined and performed by Todd Conner, this takes storytelling back to the basics, breathing life into tales that are far from musty, despite their age.

I love that high wire act of a single person going out on stage and performing multiple roles all on their own with no backup. It's one of the adrenalin rushes you get in theater and nowhere else.

If you won't take my word for it, how about some reviews from Entertainment Today Los Angeles, or L.A. Weekly, or perhaps just testimonials from audience members who've already seen it.

Learn more about Todd and his production at

For a look a the rest of my evolving New Top Ten (If You Held A Gun To My Head and I could only see ten fringe shows, what would they be and why), click below:

Death Penalty Puppetry
The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind

Plus, 3 Sure Things (shows from artists on my top ten last year that are back again this year)

Plants and Animals
In Defense of Sin (My Friends' Best Stories)
Whoppers, from Kevin Kling

(For more of my writing - plays, past blog entries and more - visit

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