Lets face it, I am not a theater person. I’m a hobbyist juggler and unicycler, with healthy appreciation for fine arts in general, and a more than passing fancy for circus themes.
That having been said, here are some reviews of the fringe shows I’ve seen so far. I was going to rate them all, but I realized I would have probably rated everything a 4, so I just left them all off.
No Name Jugglers Live
This is my brother and a good friend, so I can’t really say anything unbiased, but I do think they are both really excellent jugglers and quite passable performers. If you want to see some good juggling, they’re it this year in the fringe.
This is my show, and I won’t apologize for it (anymore). The thing is, in retrospect, I don’t think I should have apologized in the first place. I think we did a great job with the performers at hand, and there is DEFINITELY nowhere else you’re going to see unicycling like this in a theater setting. I have great performers, and am just lucky that anyone showed up at all.
Adventures in Mating
Absolutely fucking hilarious. The opening monologue alone was worth the price of admission. It felt borderline sketch comedy at times, and the gimmick (choose-your-own adventure) felt a little forced (the waiter made a couple of the choices for us), but it was a great show none-the-less.
GaME (Give a Man Enough)
This was definitely interesting enough for me to recommend it. I guess it was military themed physical comedy, with some touching moments of humanity all told without any discernable dialogue. I’m sure they didn’t want to use the word “mime” in the show description, so they used “clowning” instead, but neither word really describes this adequately. I would have liked to see more rope-play, but ultimately, this was a great show.
The Scrimshaw Show
If you’ve never seen the Scrimshaw’s show before, shame on you. This is sketch comedy at its finest, with a bit of improve at the end for good measure. I particularly liked the musical edge that Pablo gave everything. He’s a good match for the Scrimshaws.
I’m Sorry and I’m Sorry
Brilliant!!! Any show that compares itself to Cirque du Soleil is on dangerous ground, as far as I’m concerned, but in this case, they took a couple of Cirque-esque clown characters, and created a really great story for them to unravel for us on stage. Was it comedy, or was it tragedy? I really enjoyed this show and might even try to see it again if I get a chance.
Quite good: witty and complex, this show was a roller coaster ride of anarchist and punk dogma combined with a fun story and interesting punk-caricature characters. I hadn’t expected to suspend quite that much disbelief, but I didn’t really have any trouble shrugging and going along with the gangs of mercenary bike couriers taking down the bike-lock company’s corporate puppet government. And the soundtrack rocked!
Quarter Life Crisis
Ultimately, this was an emotional drama about a couple in a long-term relationship who don’t quite have it all figured out yet. But the show was punctuated by moments of surrealist comedic brilliance that would never have worked with a less dynamic cast. Well worth your time, highly recommended. There were parts that were easily as funny as anything in Adventures in Mating. (It’s an inevitable comparison, with similar sets, premise, and cast of characters.)
I posted a few of these on the fringe site, but these are the “unrefined” versions. (I guess you’re not supposed to compare one fringe show to another, or your review gets categorically thrown out.)
We have our second Unicycle Showcase show tonight at 8:30. Just thinking about it gives me stupid butterflies.