Sunday, July 26, 2020

Fringe 2020 - Virtual Fringe - Nightly Fringe 1 - Thursday, July 30

Let's start with a rundown of the freebies on the Nightly Fringe page, since their schedule of options is already posted.

Starting with Nightly Fringe, night 1, Thursday, July 30th

There's two slots

One of the common parameters of the shows on the Nightly Fringe page, with one notable exception (Friday 7/31, more on that in the next post), is that the shows are all supposed to be just half an hour (rather than the usual Fringe length of 45 to 55 minutes).  So there'll still be time between shows for you to switch online platforms if need be, restock your snacks (food's allowed after all, you're at home), take a bathroom break, etc.

The 7 to 7:30pm slot on Thursday, 7/30, is

Break The Dice: The Improvised Campaign

This the the improv comedy show previously known as Swords and Sorcery, from the improvisers known as The Bearded Company (Maria Bartholdi, MJ Marsh, Tyler Michaels King, Tyler Mills, Joe Rapp, and Allen Voigt).  They've been in the Fringe twice in recent years with this concept and I've seen them both times.  It's dungeons and dragons-style role-playing in full costume - magic, elves, knights, etc. - where the fate of the characters at key moments throughout the course of the show depends on how a 20-sided die rolls.  20 spells great fortune, 1 is really bad news - everything else is on a sliding scale in between those poles.  In past incarnations, someone was in the middle of fight, the die master rolls a good number, they are victorious, they roll a bad number the hero gets their butt handed to them.  One time a hero's special skill was flirting with the opposition to disarm them - they got a bad roll, and so executed a hilariously bad come on and had to come up with another strategy to get what they wanted.  Previous years, they took each of their five performance slots as another episode in the same campaign, each show building on the previous to its funny and spectacular conclusion.  One year I saw the very last performance, one year I saw the very first, so I got to see them both start and wind up a big ensemble story with multiple plot threads.  Great fun.  They almost broke into my pre-Fringe Top 20 list two years running.  Given some of less than spectacular shows that made the cut (hey, my educated guesses can't all be winners), I probably should have gone with the Bearded Company.  They're a very entertaining way to kick off our virtual experiment.

Here, of course, they have the added wrinkle of only a half an hour total, and they're all working via a collaborative Twitch connection in different locations.  No idea how that's gonna play out, but hey, they're improvisers, they run with weird circumstances all the time.  (Warnings: Adult language, loud noises, violence; ages 16 and up)

The 8 to 8:30pm slot on Thursday, 7/30, is

A Virtual Collaboration of Singing and Ice Skating (off-ice)

The description is: "This passionate duo from Minnesota, Heather Rae and Amy Berglund, who are both professional figure skaters, are here to entertain you in a unique way. One sings, one figure skates (on pavement) and they will leave you wondering what's next."

Checking out Heather Rae's official facebook page for her music (where the show will be streamed), it looks like Heather Rae is currently based in Nashville, and is described as "Amy Winehouse meets Brandi Carlile."  She's got some music currently posted on iTunes, so you can get a feel for the kind of songs she creates.

And if you're wondering how the whole half-songs, half-skating but not on ice thing might work, it turns out Heather Rae and Amy have done this several times before, the most recent example of which is posted in Heather Rae's Facebook timeline from June 20th of this year.  Having perused it, I'm intrigued.

So that is a very eclectic opening double feature to get things started.

Once I have a chance to peruse some of the press information the Fringe sent on Digital Hub offerings thus far, I'll see what's on tap for Thursday.

For now, on to the rest of the Nightly Fringe lineup.

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