Friday, July 31, 2009

Fringe 2009 - OOTS - The Vegas Project (#1)

"I don't gamble."
"Because... I know... I won't win money?"

Maythinee Washington

The Vegas Project (#1)

Sin City native, Maythinee Washington, thinks Las Vegas is the most American city in the U.S. Her new show contrasts the bizarre and the surprisingly conventional to examine this unique metropolis.

She. was. fantastic.

This is an example of how the showcases really can work in a performer's favor.

Because I came into this rooting for her in the general, vague "out-of-towner" sense, but not really thinking I'd go to her show. From the little bit of info available, it didn't strike me.

But she nailed this preview. Big time.

She was basically just up on that stage, fielding questions from the audience about her subject - Las Vegas - where she was born, where she still lives and works.

The worst solo shows ignore the sage wisdom, "Just because it happened to you, doesn't mean it's interesting."

The best solo shows know how to cull from a person's specific experiences and create something specific, yet universal.

I get the sense this is one of the good solo shows out there this year.

The first couple of questions, I thought, "She must have set some of these up ahead of time with friendly audience members."

But the longer the question and answer style preview went on, the more convinced I became that she really was just winging it, depending on the questions she got. Some questions were dumb, some were clever, some were great. Her answers to all of them were, as I noted above, fantastic.

What's the best night of the year to be in Las Vegas? Do you recommend hookers in Vegas proper or the outlying areas? What happens to all the stuff that stays in Vegas? What's the best way to get a room comped? What's the weirdest thing you've ever seen in Vegas? Do you gamble? (answer above)

She has a very winning personality, a great sense of comic timing, and she thinks on her feet in a way that would completely elude me.

I still don't know much about the show. I'm assuming it's scripted but who knows? After seeing Maythinee Washington, I honestly don't think it matters.

This young woman knows how to put on a show, no matter what way she chooses to do it.

I now have her on my short list of shows I really want to find a way to see this year. From nowhere to on my radar in less than five minutes.

*That's* a great preview.

Her website -

Her show page

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