Friday, July 26, 2019

Fringe 2019 Top 20 - #15 - Ancient Future Division: Battle for the Existence Yeti – Fifth Wheel Productions – Southern

Description - ANCIENT FUTURE DIVISION! GO! Follow the adventures of three trainee Time Rangers trying to escape paradoxes to defeat the cold-blooded Time Lizard and save existence!

Some further description -

Ancient Future Division was formed to fulfill a show obligation after another improv group fell through. From this inauspicious start, AFD seized the opportunity and their audiences. Combining madcap sci-fi elements with high energy and a sense of play on stage, AFD exudes fun throughout all of space-time whenever they take the stage.   In their new scripted show, AFD is excited to play in a bigger cardboard box to explore their imaginative ideas in ways that wouldn’t have been practical in improv; more characters, more puppets, more lizards.

This is another example of a Fringe preview doing a show some good.  There’s a whole bunch of different groups of improv comedy artists producing Fringe offerings this year, both scripted and unscripted.  This means a lot of potentially great material to choose from, since most improvisers know their stuff, and have been honing their craft for a little while (or a long while) in front of audiences already. 

You could make the argument that improv is the ultimate live performance because it’s not just a little different here and there each show - every performance is completely different from beginning to end, never the same twice, created and vanished in the same performance.  The ephemeral nature of improv might be why some improv artists also play around with scripted performance, as they’re doing here. 

But a lot of the time, because of the improv comedy roots, the script that results is often super-inventive, with twists and turns you might not expect, but still always emanating from the characters they’ve created.  (Think a Ferrari McSpeedy scripted Fringe show from years past.). So, solid, very funny, often weird storytelling.  And the artists doing the work have figured out a way to work together over time in their improv work that a random set of people brought together for a short rehearsal period don’t always have the luck to discover in their process.

That was the feel I got from this weird little time-traveling sci fi trio in their preview, which made me think it might be a fun change of pace for my schedule, and a way to start working improv into the mix.

Didn’t have a clue who they were before I saw them in previews, but what I saw piqued my curiosity, so what the hell.  They’re on the list.

First show - Friday, August 2, 2019, 7pm - Southern Theater

For a quick list of links to my other postings, check out my Top 10 and Top 11-20 new Fringe artists to check out for Fringe 2019.  There's also Returning Favorites, and Fringe Shows I Just Can't Watch Right Now, but You Probably Should.  If you want to keep me company, during my first Fringe without Mom, I'll be posting my schedule here.  Also, here's some links if you want to hit all the Fringe 2019 blog posts, or see the full Fringe Archive from years past (just keep scrolling down, or hit the different years in the archive listing for the full blog on the right side of the screen and zero in on July and August)

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