Welcome! Back in 2017 I wrote a blog covering my experience as an artist in the Fringe, and included reviews of the shows I watched. My schedule and time commitment at the 2018 Fringe limited me to just a retrospective of Fringe, but I’m back with a diary this year!
One thing, I won’t be reviewing shows on the Fringe website.I’m not a fan of the Fringe review system, specifically the star ratings. Giving an objective numeric rating to a subjective art form feels wrong to me. I can write and describe why a show works for me or didn’t but the rating is the worst. Also Fringe goers tend to treat anything below a 4 star rating as not worth seeing halfway through the run, which is ridiculous. A true 5 star rating system should have a bell curve and the majority of the shows should be 3 star shows - but if you give a show 3 stars you are going to cost that producer/creative team ticket sales and I can’t do that in good conscious. That is a discussion for another entry, onto the diary/reviews.
Opening a show is always nerve wracking for me. I have a super talented and fun cast, the script is goofy with jokes I enjoy, tons of work has gone into it. I should’t be nervous, but I always am. The 5:30PM opening slot is a little rough for attendance, but that’s just part of Fringe - our job is to put on a great show and we did. everyone who puts on a show should be proud. It’s a ton of hard word, be sure to give yourselves a hand for making it happen!
This show was fairly unique for me as it marked just the second time I’ve directed something that was neither written by me or a story concept I’ve come up with. It was a blast bringing someone else’s creative idea to life and I thank Aiden (producer) for the opportunity to play in his story/concept.
Another year another official Fearless show in the Fringe! The second year of Fearless mashing up a well known pop culture property with a different genre/setting. This time we are treated to a steam punk-esque romp of Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. The story is very familiar but with new historic figures and packed with plenty of jokes. The leads were really fantastic, and it’s wonderful to see such talent from young actors - I hope to see them in many a Fringe for years to come. The rest of the ensemble was also very fun and had me laughing for most of the show. I’m proud to be a Fearless member and of this show the creative team has put on.
I went into this show knowing the writer and most of the cast very well. They are Fringe mainstays and you always expect them to do something fun. I was not expecting this show to be so emotionally and dramatically serious. While there are some funny moments, this is decidedly not a comedy. The cast really did fantastic work with the material and they really displayed their ability to convincingly depict some very serious and human moments. My only real issue is there were several deep and personal issues/topics brought up in the show and they mostly only got a few minutes to deal with them. I don’t think any of these serious topics were treated as a second thought, but in a one hour show you can only do so much. I felt this was the intro or pilot episode of a series of stories exploring each topic and character in the show more. In the end I felt a little let down by that - but also kudos for making me care about the characters so much that I wanted to know more.
In an evening of shows that pull from or mash up pop culture items, this was a great way to cap things off. This a fun show. The plot is essentially a truncated version of a fantastic video game The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, one of the most beloved games in the Zelda franchise. I will say many of the jokes and moments in the show will be better appreciated if you are familiar with the game and story. The cast was high energy and their physicality fantastic, making it easy viewing. The props and costumes were also very well done and added to the playful aesthetic of the show. I especially loved Phil Schramm as Tingle, Phil has a goofy presence that I just truly enjoy in every show I’ve seen him in. This show is fun, but I think folks who really know Ocarina of Time will get the most out of it.
Thank you all for reading, and please go out and support these shows! Fringe takes a tons of hard work and even if you don’t love a show you see, be sure to thank the folks who worked on it, trust me it means a ton.