Fringe reviews

Reviews of theater and performing arts events in the 2013 Philly Fringe Festival. Phindie is providing more critical coverage of the festival than any other publication in Philadelphia.

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MIRRORING SKY — A Soundscape (InVersion Theatre): Fringe Review 58

Starting in bustling Rittenhouse Square, MIRRORING SKY guides participants along familiar city streets, ending at the Schuylkill River Park

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ALTERNATIVE THEATRE FESTIVAL (iNtuitions Experimental Theatre): Fringe Review 57

Playwrights are do not come fully formed. Directors have to start somewhere. And the Philly Fringe Festival is traditionally a great place for artists to take their first artistic steps.

John Bellomo and Renato Arcuri perform in Ombelico’s FLIM FLAM PHANTOM SHAM (Photo credit: Courtesy of Ombelico Mask Ensemble)

FLIM FLAM PHANTOM SHAM (Ombelico Mask Ensemble): Fringe Review 56

Ombelico’s latest al fresco offering, FLIM FLAM PHANTOM SHAM, is a delightful synthesis of traditional Commedia dell’Arte with current Philadelphia references, delivered in Italian and English—or Philly’s local version thereof!—which kept me in stitches throughout the entire all-ages show.

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THE WAITSTAFF SH*TS THE BED (The Waitstaff): Fringe Review 55

After years of milking their hit show The Real Housewives of South Philly until it jumped the shark, The Waitstaff return to the Fringe with another set of funnybone-tickling sketch comedy

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NECESSARY EFFORTS (The Naked Stark): Fringe Review 54

What is necessary? In NECESSARY EFFORTS, the mixed-bill production by The Naked Stark, the answer offered is the work of making.

Aaron Cromie stars in THE BODY LAUTREC (Photo credit: Mary Tuomanen)

THE BODY LAUTREC (Aaron Cromie and Mary Tuomanen): Fringe Review 53

THE BODY LAUTREC is not everyone’s cup of tea: a shockingly hard-core depiction of the depravities and debaucheries of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and his art.

Chris Davis plays Vronsky in ANNA K (Photo credit: Courtesy of the Artist)

Anna K (Chris Davis): Fringe Review 40.2

It would be fun to call ANNA K an irreverent romp through Tolstoy’s 1870s novel, Anna Karenina, but in fact playwright Chris Davis reverences the material in his own way. For all its comedy, and there’s plenty in his South Philly-style version, the play scans the storyline and retains underlying issues.

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UNDERGROUND EPISODES (Run Boy Run Productions): Fringe Review 52

UNDERGROUND EPISODES carries us from Olney to past City Hall and then back again in poems, half-spoken and half-recited, sometimes direct and sometimes inscrutable.

Philadelphia Opera Collective, BY YOU THAT MADE ME FRANKENSTEIN (Photo credit: Harish Pathak)

BY YOU THAT MADE ME, FRANKENSTEIN (Philadelphia Opera Collective): Fringe Review 51

The compelling two-act opus captures the historic characters, events, and mood with passion and clarity.

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NELLIE/NELLIE (Antigravity Theatre Project): Fringe Review 50

NELLIE/NELLIE combines these whimsy and imagaination with the true story of American journalist Nellie Bly and her 10 days in a mental institution.

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BALLETX AT THE BRIDGETTE MAYER GALLERY (BalletX): Fringe Review 49

BALLETX’s intimate performance featured a company dancer and performers from Murmuration, a dynamic and experimental ensemble.

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THE ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY, FORGET-ABOUT-IT, LAST NIGHT AT VON DAHM’S SPORTS BAR, WING HUT, AND KARAOKE PALACE (Actors International Theatre): Fringe Review 48

Some Fringe shows display great production values and artistic quality. VON DAHM’s isn’t one of those, but it’s still a joy.

Promotional image for NIGHTMARES IN NEVERLAND, featuring Jenna Kuerzi (Photo credit: Brey Ann Barrett)

NIGHTMARES IN NEVERLAND (Bri Shaw/Brian Clores/Brey Barrett/Haygen Walker): Fringe Review 47

Two original one-hour plays inspired by the life and popular children’s book of Scottish author J.M. Barrie

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KIM COLES: OH, BUT WAIT . . . THERE’S MORE! (Kim Coles / Dir. Scotch Ellis Loring): Fringe Review 46

The actor, best known for work on “Living Single,” opens it all up with a solo show that is hilarious, hopeful, and surprisingly heartfelt.

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BEN TO THE FUTURE (Salamé Studios): Fringe Review 45

The creative young minds of Salamé Studios have put together a show that anyone willing to try something untrodden will enjoy

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MAD BLOOD AND OTHER BEAUTIES (A Plague On Both Your Houses): Fringe Review 44

This is no mere retelling of Romeo and Juliet. What we get is a conjuring, a blood-letting, a full-throated cry of rage.

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BENT (Truth Be Told Productions): Fringe Review 43

Truth Be Told Productions BENT isn’t innovative, but it is a quality production of a culturally significant play.

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THE FOUR SEASONS RESTAURANT (Societas Raffaello Sanzio): Fringe Review 36.2

Romeo Castellucci has poured his personal inspirations and philosophy into this remarkable abstract production, but ultimately viewers must determine its meaning for themselves. To this viewer, the piece is a resounding “NO.”

(Photo credit: Courtesy of KILL SHAKESPEARE)

KILL SHAKESPEARE: LIVE GRAPHIC NOVEL (Revolution Shakespeare and Hear Again Radio Project): Fringe Review 42

Revolution Shakespeare (dedicated to new approaches to the playwright) and Hear Again Radio Project (specializing in the recreation of vintage radio programs) have teamed up for an entertaining presentation of the popular graphic novel series KILL SHAKESPEARE.

New Paradise Laboratories The Adults Fringe

THE ADULTS (New Paradise Laboratories): Fringe Review 20.2

Whit MacLaughlin is going off the deep end with this one. Are you willing to jump in with him? New Paradise Laboratories’ handsomely crafted, meticulously acted, and totally weird production, is not easily accessible. Nothing much can be taken literally here, and the production doesn’t reward searching for specific meanings as it creates its own tilted world with its own skewed logic.