Sunday, July 24, 2011

FFA 1 - Nightmare Man - Wow, I'm Really Gay, part 2

Back during Fringe 2009, director Paul von Stoetzel was #5 on my pre-Fringe Top 10 list that year for a double feature of Fringe directing (I don't know how directors, actors or anyone else does one show, much less two or more, but there you are - some people are more energetic and efficiently scheduled than me.)

This year he's back again, and doing double duty again. He's one of three directors on the "bring your own venue" short play showcase The 612 (which we'll get a sampling of at Fringe-For-All #2), and he's the sole director on

Nightmare Man

Studio Alethea Productions

which previewed in the second half of Fringe-For-All #1

Here's their spiffy video trailer...

Here's their Fringe-For-All preview...

And another sample song...

More Than You

And here's the Twin Cities Theater Connection interview...

Fringecast 2011 - Nightmare Man

Honestly? The reason this blog post is called, Wow I'm Really Gay, part 2, is that, well, I'm glad Derek Meyer is talented, because it makes me feel less guilty about just liking to watch him onstage. Doesn't really matter what he's doing. He makes it very easy to pass an hour watching a Fringe show.

I first saw Derek in a couple of wonderfully bizarre, if sometimes slightly uneven, sci-fi Fringe shows from Electric Telescope - The Cold Dark Matter At Hand and Virginity of Astronauts - and again in a Flowershop Project production of the new play Dawn's Inferno (directed, not coincidentally, by Paul von Stoetzel.

Now normally, a production that looks like the trailer above, with a title like that, and is described thusly below...

"A new musical written and composed by Nathan M. Schilz, this World Premiere performance of Nightmare Man is directed by film and stage veteran Paul von Stoetzel.

Nightmare Man is a tale of guilt and heartache as Thomas (Derek Meyer) struggles to come to terms with his past. He meets Jade (Madelyne Riley) in a dream, who tries to help him alleviate his suffering. Featuring Martin Ruben, appearing courtesy of Actor's Equity Union, this intense musical is based on the original short story by bizarro fiction writer Jeremy C. Shipp."

...might have a tough hill to climb with me. Paul's tastes as a director tend to run a little darker than my standard choice for entertainment.

But it's Derek Meyer. And he's singing. Which is something I wasn't previously aware he had in his bag of tricks.

The Fringe-For-All preview had its issues. The volume of the backing track was a little overpowering, so Derek beginning the song at a low volume was sometimes a struggle to hear. But when he let loose on the second half, I stopped worrying. OK, the guy's got a set of pipes on him.

So he's singing about the bloody dismemberment of his late girlfriend in some horrible accident. It's Paul von Stoetzel directing - I wasn't expecting a light fluffy musical comedy. In fact, it's partly the disconnect between the concepts of "Paul" and "musical theater" that has me so intrigued.

But truly, if Derek Meyer wants to stand there, barefoot, in a T-shirt and slacks, singing for 45 minutes, I'm down with that. Sign me up.

(Wow, I'm really gay.)

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