Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Fringe Day 10, Part 1 - August 15, 2004, 12:00pm

Plants and Animals
Der Stamen Spielers
Bryant Lake Bowl

When you're in the home stretch known as Day 10 of the Fringe, and there's still one full day of theatre ahead of you, you have to do a couple of nice things for yourself.

My carrots on either end of the stick today were two shows I enjoyed so much, I couldn't think of a better treat to myself than to let myself see them again before they vanished (as all theatre - good and bad - ultimately does). The end of my day would see me in the audience of the final performance of Patrick and James: A Love Story. But to begin my day, I once again embraced the lunacy of Scot Augustson's latest script Plants and Animals.

This was even funnier the second time around, and in new ways - since the jokes and plot were flying by so fast the first time, it was inevitable that I didn't catch all the finer details. It's great to run across scripts which unfold more riches with repeated viewing and reading. Scot's scripts fall in this category.

The performances of Jonah Von Spreecken and Megan Hill also fall into this category on the acting side of things. It's a pity they all live and work in Seattle - these are people whose work I wouldn't mind seeing year round. (There were whispers of the idea of traveling troupes of artists in the many months between official Fringes - Seattle, Minneapolis, and other cities playing host, then taking to the road themselves and having their artist friends return the favor of a place to stay and a showcase in their home city hundreds of miles away. This is an idea I'd very much like to catch on. We shall see.)

In the meantime, I wasn't in a big hurry to go rushing off to another show right away, so I offered Jonah and Megan a lift to the airport. We went to the place they were house-sitting and they packed their bags as a fellow Fringe squatter flipped through the channels of Olympic coverage in Athens, and then landed on a wild movie we all kept trying to figure out. It wasn't that it was good, it was your typical "Dangerous Minds/To Sir With Love" teacher-reaches-the-slacker-kids kind of movie. But it was stuffed with pre-star performances - sort of the opposite of The Love Boat, they did this movie to fluff up their resumes while they waited for their careers to take off, instead of hitting the big white cruise ship on the way to has-been-ville with Charo. We got a pre-"To Die For/Good Will Hunting" Casey Affleck, a pre-"Bring It On/Buffy the Vampire Slayer" Eliza Dushku, and a pre-Oscar Halle Berry, with a little Jim Belushi and Steve Zahn thrown in for good measure. In case you're reading, guys, I just hit IMDb - it's a 1996 clunker called "Race The Sun" - based on a true story (egad) written by the very post-Oscar for "Rain Man" screenwriter Barry Morrow. Ouch.

And with that, it was off to the airport, and they were off to Edmonton Fringe - they opened yesterday with shows at 5:30pm and (eek) 12 midnight. Hope they got some sleep in there somewhere.

(For more of my writing - plays, past blog entries and more - visit www.matthewaeverett.com)

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