Rinky Dink Operations a new company with familiar faces graces the stage with another piece of historical comedy. Fringe audiences are familiar with Josh Carson and many of the other powerhouses on stage. The energy and charisma is undeniable and there is a stellar music number in the middle of the show. My real complaint with this show and other productions by the same crew - there’s too much of it. The actors (skillfully) deliver their lines a mile a minute, there is no time built in for laughter so you miss a third of the jokes in the show. I’d really like to see Rinky Dink do a Fringe show that slows down just a little and let the comedy breath. That all siad, it’s a delightfully fun way to spend an hour at Fringe.
An anthology show from Jena Young Productions it’s a collection of stories from LGBTQIAP2S+ folks while they do a bit of basic sideshow/circus stunt. The stories were personal and very good (and in the nature of anthology shows, some were stronger than others). The real strength of the show is Brian Watson-Jones as the ring-master before and between each act spinning his own clever tales and quandaries on sexuality, gender identity and more. Great moments of humor and humanity throughout, a very enjoyable show.
Show 14 Beowulf
This was fantastic. As a historian and lover of mythology this really hit the mark. It made me happy that John Heimbuch kept the words of a departed friend Charlie Bethel alive with such a fantastic performance. With nothing more than a stool and a glass of water John brought the myth to life, detailing every gnashing maw, sword blow, and raucous feast. You could imagine yourself in the great hall of Our Place or the dank, dark lair of Mother. I wish I could’ve seen a presentation like this when I was first introduced to Beowulf, it is perfection.
There are a handful of Dungeons and Dragons themed shows in the Fringe every year, and as someone who has done one in 2017, I try to see all of them. This one is very good. All the more impressive with such a young playwright and a first time producer. The interplay between the young folks in the “real world” and their in game avatars was clever and well done. There was plenty of great humor and some real human moments between characters as well. Some of the D&D mechanics were a bit off, but the story was well serviced when they made a change. My only real gripe was the character deriding D&D as “nerd stuff.” I’d really like to see that tired trope go away, it’s no longer accurate. D&D is played by Hollywood celebs and is mainstream now. Minor gripes aside, this was a very fun show that I’d recommend.
Show 16 Sketch. Fight. Win.
Disclaimer I contributed writing to one of the skits in this show, so there may be a little bias.
This was a fantastic show, especially for a first time Fringe Producer. The energy was amazingly high, all the more impressive for a 10PM Monday time slot. This is the first time I’ve seen words I’ve written performed without me being involved in any other part of the production and I have to say, I really enjoyed what they did. The show is a mix of humor and taking one's frustrations out on the annoyances in the world (mansplaining, lazy small talk) and more serious issues. The producer of the show sells the presentation as it being about catharsis and it is. It is also a lot of fun, oh and you can win prizes as well (for real someone got a blender at the show I was at!).
Tuesday I took it easy only going to the 5:30 performance of the show I’m stage managing (How to Return from the Dead), I’ll be back Wednesday night catching a couple of shows and on stage with performance #3 of Renaissance of the Dead!