THE LID (Pat Finnerty & BRAT): 2015 Fringe Review 8

The Lid fringe review

THE LID ensemble: Jess Conda, Pat Finnerty, and Ali Wadsworth. (Photo credit: Thom Lessner)

You can always expect the fringiest of the Fringe from BRAT Productions, and you get it with Pat Finnerty’s scrappy, raw, original rock-n-roll cabaret piece THE LID. Starring as the “Leed Character,” singer/writer/musician Finnerty laments “I don’t know what it means” (and out of character, as himself, quipped at the opening-night performance, “Thanks for coming to rehearsal!”). As promised in the program notes, this is art “that doesn’t take itself too seriously.” There’s an eight-piece rock band, two knock-‘em-dead backup singers (Jess Conda and Ali Wadsworth), faux British accents, flying money, a feigned blow job, a ubiquitous toad, exasperated references to high tech and social media, and the eponymous Lid (Brian Langan, in a fabulous glitzy glittery silvery costume designed by Kevin Jordan).

Fans of BRAT and Scanton-native Finnerty packed the venue, so if you too are a fan of true-fringe alternative performances, be sure to get there way early, or you’ll have a long wait in the slow check-in line, be relegated to a seat behind one of the enormous view-blocking columns, and miss all of the on-stage action and video projections, or spend at least two-and-a-half hours standing. But the bar is open before, throughout, and after the show, so at least you’ll have a welcome place to stand (though a young audience member seated next to me complained that he paid $4 for an over-priced can of PBR). [Underground Arts, 1200 Callowhill St.] September 4-6, 2015;


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About the author

Debra Miller

Debra holds a PhD in Art History from the University of Delaware and teaches at Rowan University, Glassboro, NJ. She is a judge for the Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theatre, Philadelphia Arts and Culture Correspondent for Central Voice, and has served as a Commonwealth Speaker for the Pennsylvania Humanities Council and President of the Board of Directors of Da Vinci Art Alliance. Her publications include articles, books, and catalogues on Renaissance, Baroque, American, Pre-Columbian, and Contemporary Art, and feature articles on the Philadelphia theater scene.