Fringe Day 1, Part 3 - Friday, August 6, 2004, 7pm
The Judas Cradle
Aspect I Studios
Interact Center for Visual and Performing Arts
Mom says, "It's sort of like 'Star Trek: The Previous Generation'"
If you like your science fiction cheesy, and Mom and I do, this is the show for you.
Extremely low-tech, but that's not the point.
They break the fourth wall up front to give you your programs, as if you were members of a board of directors gathered for a meeting and the program is the prospectus. So don't be unsettled if someone you never met before hands you a program and says, "Nice to see you again." Well, actually, be unsettled, I think that's part of the point.
The set-up - criminals shipped to distant planets with a cargo of frozen embryos to watch over and grow into a new colony so an uber-corporation can have new markets for its products in the far corners of the galaxy - is delightfully perverse.
Mom enjoyed the acting. I enjoyed the hilarious touches like putting "Hello My Name Is..." nametags with first names written in big letters on the embryo storage containers.
The three criminal embryo farmers, squaring off in a futuristic version of "No Exit" for dominance on a no-win, one-way mission, watched over by an omnipotent, but still easily bamboozled, ship's computer, are a very watchable trio.
The author is working on expanding this into a full length piece, and it does have a work-in-progress feel about it, but not in a bad way. Yes, a little exposition or repetition could be cut here and there, but overall, it's a fun little story, told with tremendous enthusiasm, in a funky little blackbox space. Couldn't be Fringier if it tried.
If you like your sci-fi with a big slice of cheese, this show should be on your schedule.
(For more of my writing - plays, past blog entries and more - visit www.matthewaeverett.com)