Friday, July 25, 2014
Favorite Fringe Meta Preview - Night 1
Marie-Jeanne Valet Who Defeated La Bete du Geyaudan - Like Jeff Larson, I won’t even pretend to be able to pronounce the title of this show. Whenever I talk to Mom about it, I try and then give up and refer to it as “the French one with the wolf in it.” Not that the company is French, it’s our own local Sandbox Theatre. Not that the show is spoken entirely in French, just fake French accents with the occasional phrase or “Bonjour!” No, this is Sandbox, so they like to tweak us and pretend they’re a pretentious theater company when in actuality they just want to tell a good story, and part of that for them is dressing the story up as something else that it isn’t.
When I say Meta Preview, I mean a preview of a show that’s aware that it’s a piece of theater telling a story to an audience it acknowledges is there, using tricks that it isn’t trying to hide, blatantly engaging the audience’s imagination to play along. (I suppose I could also mean a preview of a Fringe show that is fully aware it is a preview of a Fringe show and not at all trying to just be an out of context excerpt of the show itself - and we had plenty of those, but now thinking about that, my head hurts.)
Basically they just set up the premise of the show, a poor French town out of the past (frilly shirts and peasant dresses) suffering from a rash of wolf attacks - a banging tambourine to signal the oncoming wolf, and a flourish of a big red piece of cloth to indicate blood spurting out of the body, my favorite being the actor who laid down and covered her face while the other actors lamented “The third one was missing her head.” Not sure what the point of the story is, you rarely know with Sandbox until you’re in the middle of it, but it certainly looks like fun. Mom agreed and slotted it into our opening weekend schedule.