UNHINGED (Matter Movement Group): 2018 Fringe review

unhingedGather yourself for an illuminating walk along a dim, roughly hewn path into untamed territory where sounds and other sensory elements gather in corners to conspire. Your brutally handsome, knowledgeable Tour Guide (Scott Johnson) will tell you all he wants you to know as he takes you beyond the plastic fantastic curtain, into a realm of rearranged reality. Once past the portal, you must make a choice between three themed rooms. If you cannot decide where you will go, perhaps distracted by murky nuances and noises around you, your guide may help you. Or not. As you’re helped along to the ‘Cellblock’ room, you catch a cheating look into the neighboring room, a glance at a static filled screen and a screaming captive incredibly bent into a cage, black clad figures whirling supplely about. There was more, another room, maybe a burlesque bathroom, but then the cellblock inhabitant (Teddy Fatscher) insisted on sharing pages of his newspaper. Tales of political incorrection loom up through dismal light as he skipped rope, jumping and stepping like a dancing hellion through the dross of imprinted pages on the brain.

Further along an eerie plastic lined corridor lies an inner sanctuary where unholy elements converge with veritable fluidity, sensational sound, music (Helena Grace) and lighting (Alyssandra Docherty) meld with fantastical dance and monumental feats of physicality to create a scintillating spectacle of moving statement. Barrels of fun await! Armed with dark absurdism, laced with plutonian overtones and awash with torrents of talent, featuring political puppet dummies, jarring, musically enhanced juxtaposition, wet dreamy dance acts of daring—some of which take guts to the extreme—performers intrude on patterned chaos and impede upon ideation.  An alarmingly lovely experience to behold…

All of the tensile, amazingly versatile performers in this palatial production, Kelly Trevlyn, Mikhail King, Elise Mele, Sarah Warren, Nikolai McKenzie, Olivia Wood, Noel Sarachilli, Katherine Corbett, Greg Anmuth, are also credited as devisors. Artistic director Teddy Fatscher and associate director Frank Leone, also performers, succeed in taking vision, drive, drama and dance to a new level.

Buy a drink at the door and become UNHINGED at the Fringe!!

[Matter Movement Group, Piazza at Schmidt’s Commons (back), 1050 Hancock Street] September 4-24, 2018; fringearts.com/event/unhinged

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About the author

Lisa Panzer

Lisa Panzer has worked for many years in theater not only as an actor, but as a director, dramaturg, technical director, lighting designer, stage crew, and roustabout. A few of her favorite past theatrical roles include: Liz Imbrie in Philadelphia Story, Maria in Lend Me a Tenor, Mrs. Tarpey in Spreading the News, Mollie Ralston in Mousetrap, Trinculo in The Tempest, Bernice Roth in Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 and Felicia Dantine in I Hate Hamlet. In addition to theatrical endeavors, Mz. Panzer has also worked as a background performer in television’s Cold Case, Invincible, The Happening, several television commercials, and has played various roles in independent films including Project 21 productions and other commercial acting venues. (See http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3355274/ for additonal information).