My Final Fringe Report 2012

by Sheila Path McMahon

Well, I’m done talking about fringe festival, at least for the time being.  It was fun while it lasted, but I ran out of steam for the past couple days of it…  Now I’m going to be thinking about what Jay and I might be doing for next year…  I think we’ll put our names in the hat for a show.  I have one idea I think is funny, and he has a couple… of course we are in completely different directions in our thoughts – we might have to do two shows.  🙂

I wanted to try to wrap up my reports, though, and so I guess I’m not quite done yet.  Since I last wrote, I went to see a few more plays – I got to see Sneak Thief, As the Stomach Turns, The Music Box, The Donner Party Kidz, The Urban Hermit  and Not Dead Yet: The Return of Mr. Elk and Mr. Seal.  

Sneak Thief  was very funny.  I thought the story was clear, simple enough, but engaging.  The actors were very funny – each of them had good timing, and there were some things that had me laughing out loud in (slight) anticipation.  When the one guy sang an Eminem song, I was losing it.  I also liked that this story showed a character grow just a bit, and that’s not something I expect from a slapstick sort of comedy.  Kudos!

As the Stomach Turns was not my cup of tea.  I guess I got it in my head that it was going to be somewhat based on the Carol Burnett Show, an that just threw my expectations up really high.  There were some funny burnett-style moments, but mostly I found the show confusing and dissatisfying.  I did like a lot of the dancing, although a lot of it wasn’t really justified by the storyline.  Oh well, that’s fringe for ya.

The Music Box was okay.  The story was a little overly sweet for me, and I was a little bored.  I thought the actors did a nice job, I just thought there needed to be some more heated conflicts between the two main men.

I was surprised by The Donner Party Kidz – I wasn’t going to see it, but I ended up over by the Playwright’s Center, and I wanted to see the show after, (Zen and the Art of Ushering or What I Learned While Putting People in Chairs, which I missed because I waited to the last second to go in & tix were sold out 😦 )  Anyway, for a show about the Donner party, it was pretty funny.  Some of the singing got a little bit tedious because they kept singing parodies of twinkle twinkle little star, and that gets a little old, but the story was solid and the kids had a lot of good energy.

Not Dead Yet: The Return of Mr. Elk and Mr. Seal  was fun – not a lot to say, they sang songs and bantered with each other.  They are cute and they work well together.  The show gave me warm fuzzies.

Finally, I want to talk about Urban Hermit.  I saw a preview for this a few weeks ago, and I felt very drawn to it.   I was not wrong.  I thoroughly enjoyed the show.  Rachel Nelson lays it on the line.  And she plays instruments.  So great.  I loved how she handled addiction – it was there, she showed us how it affected her, but it was more of an illustration of the walls she was putting up- if that makes sense – she illustrated how alcohol and weed were ways of putting up a wall between herself and other people, and then she showed us how she learned to live with the walls down.  And this play, and the film project that she is working on next, well, it’s hard to see that there ever were any walls, because there aren’t now.  She is so sincere, so immediate – I left the show feeling that I want to be fearless like her.  I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.

So, that’s the last of my fringe reports for this year.  Thanks for tuning in 🙂 – Sheila