Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Fringe 2016 - Top 10 List - 6-10

6 - Oh Snap! My Alien Children Are Trying To Kill Me - Zm3 Productions

A hysterical touching look at a fatherhood. Through soul stirring spoken word and beautifully crafted monologues this master storyteller (Zel Miller III, the Zm3 of Zm3 Productions) recounts what it means to be a father raising kids of color in America.  What it means to be a parent of a 16 year old handsome son on the autistic spectrum who longs to be a photographer, and an 8 year old "diva.”
"Any male can be a father but it takes a man to be a daddy."
This high energy emotional ride of fatherhood performed by award winning national hip-hop theater artist gives us a look behind the curtain of what it takes to raise children of color in these turbulent times and highlights the joy of fatherhood. Miller has a unique take on fatherhood, he has been a youth advocate for over 25 years and he has worked as a facilitator for nine years at domestic violence shelters.

The man’s been a collaborator with local Pillsbury House Theater.  Other titles include: "hands up hoodies down,“ "My child, My child, my Alien child,” "The Evidence of Silence Broken,” ”oh sh$'s a girl,” "B-boy Bluez,” and "Ballet eats the bullet" so - sign me up.  Mom and I are seeing his opening show Saturday night.

7 - Write Me A Song - Loud Folk Records

One of several Fringe acts on my list that are squandering the real estate of their page on the Fringe website.  Now, I’ll grant you, this description might almost be enough to get me in the door:

Ever wanted to write a song but didn't know how? Sometimes all you need is a catalyst. Join me and a group of strangers for a fast-paced night of creation. I choose a topic and we'll write a song on the spot.

But then, since there’s zero information on the Fringe page, and the musician’s name - Jeromy Darling - is just unique enough to make a web search super easy, well, what do you know - here’s the guy - (click the side menu and choose My Life for some pretty amazing photos ruminations on his family and music career - and here’s the music - - exactly the kind of folky, acoustic stuff I’m grooving on these days.  Make it easy for us to find you and love you, dude.  Mom and I are hitting his opening performance Saturday afternoon.

8 - Trump’s America (It’s Hell) - F.E.A.R. Productions

Worst title on my top 10 list.  Mostly because it lost me on the word Trump.  Follow that with America.  Follow that with hell.  And I’ve pretty much tuned out.  But then I read the show description:

250 years after a complete global collapse, the unlikely combination of a tender young caregiver and his warrior companion go on a search through hell to find the man he loves before it's too late.

So, wait?  Trump’s not even in it, he’s long dead.  And there’s gay content.  The image is cool.  The young caregiver searching for the man he loves is played by my friend (and recent director) Denzel Belin.  The warrior companion is female.  If you didn’t tell me the title, I would totally go see this play.  So I’m going to ignore the title and totally going to see this play.  (Titles are hard, folks.)

9 - Four Duets and One More - DA Dance

5 different stories: Can a change of hats change your life? Can you find a way to meet halfway? Can you overcome your own false image? Can 2 men actually be equals? Can 2 lovers overcome their past and connect?

I saw Denise Armstead’s (DA Dance) last Fringe show The Three Bonnies because it involved the music of Bonnie Raitt, cowboys, horses, and my friend Cade Holmseth.  Since I enjoyed that one so much, and Denise, Cade and company are back again, that moves this dance show up toward the top of my list.  The title could be punchier but here’s the info on the dances:

The Dances of Four Duets and One More.

World premiere, “Do You Like My Hat?” Underlying tones of whim and mystery with a beatnic sense of humor. Imagine a seductive fantasy of your life wearing hats and parading around in the Illusion.

Next saunter on over wearing your favorite Cowboy hat to observe, ”Half Halt.” Yield and stop all the Confusion. A notable glimpse into a private scene of two lovers trying to communicate their wants.

"Feel My Monkey (WTF)"  A woman  identifying her false sense of self. An uncomfortable, lush, dry feel with a humorous edge of a struggling woman altered ego.

"Hey Hey Hey,” a friendly playful  duet of male comradeship.

Gerry Girouard's "Left Holding . . . Survivor's Guilt" A modern dance take on tango, delving into the private world of two mourning lovers struggling to balance the surges of grief, blame, anger and passion. Dedicated to all those involved in the Pulse massacre in Orlando Florida.

So, you know, that about covers it.

10 - The Gun Show - IDIC Theatreworks

I could go either way on this one, given the subject matter.  But since the single actor noted below is Aaron Konigsmark, and the playwright is female, I’m on board for this one.

The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy telling stories about guns. Guns are either fun or terrifying; tools or weapons; safe or deadly; necessary or useless. Can we please just talk about guns?  The Gun Show uses a single actor, a box of props, and five heartwarming, funny, and tragic true stories about guns in playwright E.M. Lewis's life to encourage us to acknowledge each other's positions and share our own feelings about the presence of guns in all of our lives.  Without choosing sides, The Gun Show urges us to have a conversation - instead of an argument - about how the subject of guns has become one of the most divisive and complicated issues in America today.

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