Thursday, August 03, 2017

Fringe 2017 - Day 1 - Thursday Schedule (with unexpected last minute changes)

The show I most want Mom to see first day of Fringe is

7pm - Blackout Improv, at the Phoenix

As I said before it was a toss-up between whether Blackout Improv or Odd Man Out was gonna be #1 on the Top 10 listBlackout Improv is a close, strong #2 on the list, almost a 1.5, honestly.  I really want to share Blackout Improv with Mom, and I’ve told her it may well be the show we measure everything else against this year, in terms of just being a damn good show.  So that puts us in Uptown.

Now, at 5:30pm we *could* see something at one of the other Uptown venues (HUGE, Intermedia, Jungle, BLB) and then jet over to Phoenix, but I don’t want to risk it.

Turns out the first show at the Phoenix is one I’m curious about anyway, though there’s precious little information about it on the show page (they finally posted cast and crew, it wasn’t there the first time I checked).

5:30pm - Carly Reynolds and the STEAM Team, from Agile Rabbit Theatre Company

It’s labeled as a kids show, but I like the concept:

After being passed over for a spot on her school's science team that she deserved, Carly learns from a team of historical women scientists about how to overcome the obstacles of sexism in science.

After Blackout Improv, the other two shows don’t really interest me at Phoenix, so it’s time to try a commute (it’s 8pm, rush hour/dinner hour’s over, so our chances are good - just a couple blocks over to the Lyndale stages from our starting place on Hennepin, if the parking gods are with us.)

Originally, the 8:30pm hour was originallygoing to be one of the entries on my random shout-out list - Gravitational Collapse, at Intermedia.

Then we saw the traveling artist showcase last night.

The last preview listed was one I didn’t recognize, and I’d been over ALL the titles several times when I was doing my initial research so I was baffled - until Dawn came out and introduced the act by saying they’d come in off the weight list just 48 hours ago! (Damn.)

It’s Boombox, and it’s gonna be a lot of fun.

Starring a 1979 Boombox and Chicago comedian Hannah Starr, this solo sketch show is, quite literally, a mixtape. And once she hits play, the show can’t stop. Will she be able to keep up with the noise?

So the first thing Hannah Starr does upon taking the stage, in her ratty yellow T-shirt and blue jeans, is haul this monstrosity of a boombox out center stage, and turns it on.

And she does the last thing anyone is expected of her, dressed like that.  She sings some gorgeous aria or religious song in another language, with a stunning, classically trained voice.

Then, waiting between verses, she picks her butt.

Then the music changes and she’s on to another personality, a motivational speaker who got rich quick and now wants to share her secrets of success in typically bombastic fashion.  She bounds into the audience, knowing she at some point is going to be cut off by the boombox yelling her anthem, “Crush It!” and she has to move on to the next person.  She asks questions that few people can answer quickly like - What is your dream? What are you afraid of? and my favorite, What do you think death feels like?

She not only had the entire audience chanting “Crush It!” she also provided Dawn with a catchphrase to finish out the preview night.

She’s in from out of town with zero notice, and her show looks like it’s going to be a hell of a lot of fun.  We figured, opening night, she could use an audience (though anyone else at the preview may also be figuring out how to get a ticket, too.) 

If you need more convincing, how about the bio she listed for her partner the boombox:

The Boombox is a 1979 Montgomery Ward Generation 3995a. It was given to Hannah’s Aunt, Jean Starr, when she graduated high school, and it remained a part of her life until 2015, when she gave it to Hannah to use for “a weird comedy experiment.” Jean passed away on December 20th, 2015. This show is for her.

And if you need more human-based information, here’s her bio

Hannah Starr is a Chicago-based actor and comedian. She originally developed BOOMBOX when she was in the Comedy Studies Program at Second City in Chicago. Most recently Hannah played the Emcee in No Stakes Theatre Project’s production of Cabaret and this fall will be playing Medium Alison in the midwest premiere of “Fun Home” at Victory Gardens. She’s a graduate of Columbia College Chicago, The Second City Conservatory, and has trained at the MacPhail School of Music, iO, Brave New Workshop, and HUGE Improv Theater. @heyohannahstarr

Mom and I will be at

8:30pm - Boombox, at the Bryant Lake Bowl

(Unless she’s sold out, in which case, we’ll hop over to the lady astronauts at Intermedia)

Our final slot remains unchanged, despite the fact the poor guy had airline problems and missed the touring artist showcase

10pm - Flyer Guy, at the Bryant Lake Bowl

Funny and wild stories from four years of handing out flyers in Times Square. Featuring a racist costumed Elmo, workplace rage going viral on Facebook, accidental indecent exposure to thousands, and more.

The bio for David Lawson says

For over ten years David Lawson has performed one-man shows about things such as sleeplessness and outer space (Insomnia in Space), 9/11 from a Washington, DC perspective (Floundering About), video games (No Oddjob), and more. His one-man show about porn, VCR Love, has been published by Original Works Publishing. Lawson has performed on the popular storytelling shows Mortified, Kevin Allison’s RISK! live show, and Mara Wilson’s What Are You Afraid Of?

The Providence Fringe just got him warmed up for us, and he’ll be taking his show on the road again to Scranton Fringe after he’s done here.

There’s plenty of video clips of him on his website if you want to take him for a test drive.

He’s a visiting storyteller out of New York City doing the Fringe circuit for the summer/fall, he dropped me an email about his show, he’s in the right part of town and it looks like it might be quite amusing, so what the heck.  He’ll close out our opening night of Fringe.

And here's some handy links to the full list of pre-Fringe top 10, and 11-20, the rest of the returning favorites, and all the random shout outs in these Top 10/Top 20 posts - links all gathered in a single list to take you to fuller posts and Fringe pages.  Enjoy!

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