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Show reviews by m. freiert

Waiting for Biffy
Yes by m. freiert
Rating: 5 kitties
You should see this. Great mime artistry, performed by three very talented and well trained performers. Every theatre goer should understand the height of physical acting that goes well beyond a whitefaced goon stuck in a box. Campy, poignant, creative, dramatic, humorous, this is an easy 5 kitties.

My Mother Told Me
Yes. by m. freiert
Rating: 5 kitties
A delightful story told with interludes of handsomely choreographed dance pieces. Phillip presents a well turned and robust story in the vein of an epic poem with apt breaks for some lovely dance pieces that reflect well the text recited. Handsome musical selections tied the story to the movement seamlessly. The principal dancers far out shown the third, who was a weak link to the point of being distracting, but not to the point where I'd say you don't want to see this. I went in with high expectations from the talent involved and was not disappointed. Go see this.

The Damn Audition
oh yes. by m. freiert
Rating: 5 kitties
A slightly deranged director auditions a child star, minnesot-Ahn community theatre star, and a failed? LA actor for the lead in his next sitcom in la-la land. A strong cast brilliantly delivers believably bizarre characters that trade well turned barbs of wit and humanity, while slowly delving into each characters motivations and the life choices that have brought them each to that audition. It started to feel a little long for a moment, and I found the conclusions of plot points generally predictable if not exactly so, but the laughter and handsomely delivered solid lines and direction easily distracted from minor shortcomings. Go see this, and laugh. A lot. Both at the absurdity, and humanity.

See You Next Tuesday
Oh Yes. by m. freiert
Rating: 5 kitties
A man gets dumped, and tries to heal in his brother's basement while reliving the relationship. Great acting, script, direction, lighting... All around wonderful.... Except that I really really dislike several of the characters as horrible human beings. This show is so good that you will end up hating it, for characters in it. It's one of the best pieces of dramatic theatre that I've ever seen at the Fringe. This is a must see, but probably not the last thing you want to see in the evening.

Thinkingaview / CorresponDance
Yes. by m. freiert
Rating: 5 kitties
Modern dance with wonderful live music. I'm generally not a big fan of modern dance. I really enjoyed this. Both pieces were handsomely delivered by a quite skilled group of dancers. The first half I found to be a delightful capture of the emotions of the music without beating me about the head with lyrical motions and trite formulas. Choreography and music wound together for beautiful movement, and vignettes. The second half is a bit less visually compelling, but beautiful in a more lusty and light hearted fashion. "Biological exuberance" may best describe the handsomely sweet and sexy and silly bits that left a few rows of the audience kissing in their seats. Great costuming, strong lighting, very solid live music by veteran talent, all around a lovely evening of dance.

Story Time Time Bomb
Oh Yes. by m. freiert
Rating: 5 kitties
A pair of author illustrators utilize a pair of actors and the audience as a focus group to write their next childrens book. Well written scripted dialogue presented in a delightfully fresh manner combines with brilliant improve and great children (and the rest of the audience) interaction to make a delightful show. Definitely a must see. (Full disclosure, I know a few of the cast, but well enough that I wouldn't lie to them about their performance. This far exceeded my expectations from some great entertainers.)

Missing: the fantastical and true story of my father's disappearance and what I found when I looked for him
Oh yes. by m. freiert
Rating: 5 kitties
A woman presents various family members as she retells her search into her father (a con man). A well crafted script, strongly differentiated characters, brilliant use of props, compelling meaningful exchanges between characters, and strong development across the piece. The piece ranges from laughter to serious reflection with well linked and transitioned vignettes. This is a must see.

The Princeton Seventh
Oh yes. by m. freiert
Rating: 5 kitties
Two scenes at a hotel bar as authors? chat while waiting for some poet's memorial. A well crafted script handsomely portrayed by very skilled actors each presenting (in a manner) two characters. Further description may be a spoiler, suffice it to say that the entire show comes together beautifully in a manner you probably wouldn't expect, and there aren't any significant weak spots to diminish it. Go see this one.

An Evening with Alan Jr. and Chastity Gambler
Oh yes. by m. freiert
Rating: 5 kitties
A country music duo splits up on stage. Delightful music, great singing, great ad libs, clever (but simple) props. I laughed hard enough to have tears in my eyes, and lucked out in timing. Half a second later in swallowing my beer and I would have provided a shower for those in front of me on a number of occasions. This is adorable, absurd, trashy romance that you definitely want to see.

QUAKE: A Closet Love Story
Oh yes. by m. freiert
Rating: 5 kitties
A couple splitting up their possessions in a split become trapped together for days in a storage closet. I generally avoid actor/director/writer pieces, but this was outstanding. Using a tiny fraction of the stage would constrain many actors or directors, but this production does not feel shoehorned, but appropriately constrained. Songs and earthquake trivia are use to break up scenes and provide deeper insight into the mindset of the couple in a cohesive script that feels very natural. Laughter, drama, great original writing, you want to catch this show.

FW: RE: Mom Update
yes. by m. freiert
Rating: 4 kitties
Three adult children at different distances from their mother deal with her descent into dementia. This is a great script that manages to laugh well at the seriousness and absurdity involved in cognitive decay. A very solid cast, staging and direction make this one not to miss. I can't quite put my finger on why, but it's not quite a 5 kitty for me despite it's across the board quality.

Cosmo the Musical or How to Ruin Your Life by Having Unrealistic Expectations
Yes. by m. freiert
Rating: 4 kitties
A pair of female flatmates have trouble finding a boy using the advice of Cosmo. A cute concept with very solid writing, directing and great acting, but the music was a little less developed than the rest of the show. Repeated audio technical glitches further marred the consistently strong performances across the cast. I did laugh so hard I cried at points, but I didn't leave the theatre humming a tune from the show. You want to see this (probably later in the run so they can get the microphones sorted)

Mike & Matt
Maybe. by m. freiert
Rating: 3 kitties
Brothers Mike and Matt each present a monologue about a moment in life that offers a significant insight into their personas. The second piece is more compelling, however lacks the spontaneity of the first, which does a beautiful job of lampooning the author's parents, to the point of dragging on a bit. Good, and I laughed quite a lot, however there are more impressive works at the festival.

living traces - burning breath
maybe by m. freiert
Rating: 3 kitties
a series of dance and shared spoken word pieces based around aladdin's peripheral characters as a means to look at him. a strong script and concept, but parts of the implementation left things to be desired. several pieces had one volume throughout, with the performers seemingly only yelling, however the 4th piece showed a lot more depth in it's performance. were all of them that solid and nuanced it'd be an easy 5 kitties. with a few minor bloops (as expected at the fringe) complex lyrical timing was impeccable, but again the subtleties were entirely nuked by yelling. if you've a free slot, check it out, it's impressive, but not a must see.

War of the Posers
Probably not. by m. freiert
Rating: 3 kitties
Several passive aggressive Brittish uppercrust bicker about an inaugural town festival (or fete. Great acting, direction, and costuming. The script however is a well written foray into any meeting of volunteers that includes at least 2 dominant passive aggressive personalities. Cute premise, however I would rather see a bit of plot and less predictability. Unless you don't get enough catty meetings in your life, don't use up the slot. (but again, great acting, staging, etc, the script just tanked it for me)

The First Five Minutes Are Slow
Probably not. by m. freiert
Rating: 3 kitties
A lovely stitched series of vignettes revolving tangentially around maybe a daydream at work. Three great actors do some outstanding bits, have a few great characters amongst them, and have some good moments, but this seems to be a rehash of some of their earlier pieces, strung together without a really solid thread. There's some outstanding use of RGB LED practical lights, which is inspired, however I found myself laughing rarely, and bored far more than i expected from this cast. The first five minutes are the strong point, and then it all slows down until the next gag wanders through, confused as to why the one before it didn't show up. A director outside of the ensemble may have crafted this into something brilliant, however that didn't happen.

ROBO-homa! A Territory Tale with a Technological Twist
No. by m. freiert
Rating: 2 kitties
A lone human survivor is stumbled upon by a robot search party from an enclave of robots who are striving to recreate humanity through all they know of it, gleaned from a partial script of Oklahoma. This is a brilliant concept that just never gets off the ground. Instead of using satire coverage for the original score, adequate original music alludes to Oklahoma, but doesn't compare. The cast does what they can with this, but the script started to drag early on. Several good actors and singers unfortunately do not complete the possibly larger than necessary cast. The recorded accompaniment stays at one volume irrelevant of if it's a solo or group number, alternately drowning them out or being appropriate. If this consisted of the score with new lyrics truncated down to a few verses of key songs to hit on the clever story line, it would be well worth production. As it is, don't bother.

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