Sunday, July 25, 2004

Fringe 2004 Early Buzz - Top 10 - The Judas Cradle
If You Held A Gun To My Head (5 of 10)
...or If I Could Only See Ten Fringe Shows...
...what would they be, and why?

The Judas Cradle
Aspect I Studios
Interact Center for Visual and Performing Arts

Sometimes just the idea for a show is so wild and inventive and creepy, it makes me do a doubletake. It's something I haven't seen before, that nonetheless compells me. That's a sure sign I should see it. The Judas Cradle had that effect on me.

Back when I got early info on the preliminary slate of Fringe shows, the title caught my eye. Then I read this simple description...

" about three dangerous criminals stranded on another planet who are left in charge of the genetic material of an entire future colony."

When I inquired after the show with its creator Damian Sheridan, I was further intrigued...

"I do a lot of spoken word around town and I have one piece called 'Traveller' about how people 'cheat' at time travel by having themselves cryogenically frozen and buried in the foundations of buildings as human time capsules. One of the throw-away lines from this piece refers to private companies sending out colonies of frozen fetuses watched over by skeleton crews of dangerous criminals who society could find no place for and so banished into the space program to bring 'civilization and Starbucks' to the farthest corners of the galaxy. One day while I was performing this aloud, I realized there was a show in there somewhere. That show is The Judas Cradle."

Now, I'm not a rabid sci-fi fan. Just an occasional visitor to other futures and planets - some Bradbury here, some Star Trek of various generations there - but I know what I like. The human and moral questions pulsating just below the surface of really good science fiction is the stuff of great entertainment for me. Even though it's asking the big questions, it's still a rollicking good adventure story.

And so, I'm off to visit The Judas Cradle. Join me.

For a look a the rest of my evolving New Top Ten (If You Held A Gun To My Head and I could only see ten fringe shows, what would they be and why), click below:

Death Penalty Puppetry
The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind
Philosophy: The Music of Ben Folds

Plus, 3 Sure Things (shows from artists on my top ten last year that are back again this year)

Plants and Animals
In Defense of Sin (My Friends' Best Stories)
Whoppers, from Kevin Kling

(For more of my writing - plays, past blog entries and more - visit

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