WHY: As much as this one woman show was filled with humor, it was filled with heart and old truths. The topics explored elevated the humor in ways the heart did not expect. The issues of colorism, racial stereotypes, broken homes, verbal abuse, and the fighting that occurs within a race… Mélia refused to shy away from them and used Tupac and music as thread that connected the joy and the pain. Her smile reminded me throughout the piece that we can manifest our own realities; that the past does not have to hijack the future and the present is an opportunity to dig deep and make amends. The layers that live within this Hip Hopsical will require you to check what you’re laughing at, demand that you examine yourself, and also remind us that what we often seek is not what is best for us and may very well kill us. Catch this show – you’ll walk away with a smile and catch yourself thinking about the piece days later.
WHY: Because it is wonderful to enjoy and laugh and remember what it’s like to love and be loved by furry friends! And the puppets are absolutely wonderful—I fell in love with all of them. What a lovely way to spend a Sunday afternoon. One of my favorite parts (other than the singing and the puppets) was watching a child watch the musical with complete engagement and wonder. If you have children, be sure to take them to see this delightful and fun musical that teaches us the true meaning of home. You just might giggle and sing on the way out of the theater.
WHY: Fun and endearing! The playwright/actress/singer/songwriter, Katherine Bourne Taylor, delights and entertains with her solo performance of Little Orphan Annie all grown up. Katherine sings and reflects and eulogizes about her long lost father, all the while looking for a new best friend and engaging the audience with a sly smile—to the delight of the audience. There was a lot of laughter and clapping, which was contagious. But don’t be fooled—there are provocative issues woven throughout the clever performance.
WHERE: studio/stage (Main Space) 520 N. Western Ave + Livestream
WHY: Becca takes an unheralded topic in asexuality and dissects her journey in an amazingly fun and poignant manner. Growing up in a world where men are supposed to be sexual beasts or considered inferior, she guides us through the story of her previous identity Robert, discovering how he fits in to such a limited social paradigm. WIth twists and turns galore, she navigates her tale in an incredibly humorous fashion with songs that showcase her immense songwriting talents (no surprise coming from the co-writer/composer of 2016 Top of the Fringe Winner “My Big Fat Blonde Musical”). When she reaches her point of no return, the raw vulnerability and ultimate perseverance is truly inspirational. This show is one of the most entertaining as well as important shows I’ve ever seen. Do yourself a favor and go see this show while you still can!!!!
I am a huge fan of The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. I remember being introduced to it by my father through the copy he had on his bookshelf. I’ve reread the epic book many times because it has … well, everything, and when I say everything, I mean it literally. There’s greed, revenge, love, hate, family issues, mistaken identities, embezzlement, history, politics and pirates! It’s over 1000+ pages of pure drama. So when I met Kelly d’Angelo at an early Fringe Workshop who said she had been working on her adaptation for a Count of Monte Cristo musical for 10 years, I was pretty impressed. And curious—just how was she going to pull that off?
On the way to the world premiere this past Friday, my dad and I played a game: What scene would get turned into a song?
“Can you imagine Edmond singing?,” I asked. “Like, ‘REVENGE!’ ”
“Maybe there will be a duet? Something … ‘You killed my father!’ ,” my dad said.
There really was no way to guess the right answer, but my father and I were delighted with what we saw. The cast and crew performed over 10 scenes full of music. It’s two days later, and I still find myself humming certain lyrics in songs. We were also pleased at how much humor Kelly, her crew and cast pulled out of the plot. Funny jokes. Funny moments, and even funny songs, like the duet between pretty Valentine de Villefort and her fiancé who she does not want to marry.
You put diamonds and stars in our eyes, Kelly! Congrats to the cast and crew. I hope you have a successful run through the 2015 Fringe!
One exciting theme I saw through my 45+ interviews for the Fringe was the question of form. How, where and why do we create our art? I selected this video interviews from artists who push their own boundaries and deserve a larger audience.
An absurb opera about cat memes? I initially was snobby about this and so didn’t try to see it. Boy, am I sorry. Not only is Ellen a fascinating mind with whom I want to grab a beer, but tons of people recommend it.