Monday, August 16, 2004

Fringe Snapshot, Day 10

And so it all closes down. I decided to bookend my day with shows I was really fond of and it made the last day of Fringeing go down much easier.A brief overview. More complete reviews to follow...

Plants and Animals - 5 stars - Even more fun the second time around, as I caught details of the rapid-fire comedy that I'd missed on the first viewing. All my praise of this show from before still holds. A great way to start my final day and remind me what Fringe is about.

And to reinforce that feeling, I gave Jonah and Megan, the cast of the show, a lift to the airport for their flight to the Edmonton Fringe. Sort of amazing to watch a show get packed away in a duffle and a couple of carry-on bags. They start Monday, two shows, 5:30pm and Midnight. Break a leg!

Goats - 4 stars - More than a story of a young man's discovering new things about both himself and his heritage as he herds goats on a mountain in Israel. It's a window into a complicated, ages-old (and still continuing) struggle in the Middle East - a struggle those of us outside of it will never fully understand. Here the political is extremely personal and vice versa, and it's often impossible to separate the two (and perhaps that's the point, they shouldn't be separate). There is a lot of humor here, as well as human feeling. A winning performance of complex material. Very glad I was able to catch it before it folded up shop.

Osama Kincaid, Painter of Terrorism - 4-1/2 stars - Where to begin? This is the most fun I've had at a spoken word event this Fringe. Tom has a delightfully twisted way of looking at the world and doesn't apologize for thoughts which might be messy, politically incorrect, or unpopular. He puts his opinions out there, and they are numerous, in a dizzying cascade of words and images that collide with one another and produce frequent audible gasps and peals of laughter from the audience (the subtext frequently being, "I can't believe he just said that, but damn it's hilarious.") And somebody needs to say these things. Thankfully, there's someone like Tom who can make it a fine and funny entertainment, at the same time your brain is fully engaged. His performances are a must-see appointment for me from now on.

Pipes - 5 stars - Oh how I wish I'd gone to see this when I'd originally planned to, for then I could be seeing it again, now, on closing night. Skewed Visions uses Intermedia Arts - all of it - in ways that I can't quickly summarize, but which were as amazing as they were entertaining. From up in the rafters to down under the risers to a walk around the building to a dive through the open loading dock door, this show was everywhere. It also used light and darkness, sound and silence, in ways that were exhilarating. It was great to see a piece like this which stretches and resets the boundaries of what a performance space can be, at the same time it blurs (and often eliminates) the line between performer and aundience member. I'm glad this group creates work like this year-round.

Patrick and James: A Love Story - 4-1/2 stars - Again, all my praise of this show still holds from the first time I saw it. It was great to return and round out my marathon of Fringe-going with this romantic, hopeful, amusing new play, performed with such heart.

Now I'm going to try and elaborate on all of that.

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