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Strange at Fringe, part the first.

My first reviews of the 2012 Capital Fringe Festival.

– – –

THE INTERVIEW

Dead Cat Productions presents this short play about an elderly man receiving the hardest pop quiz in the world. Larry Levinson plays Abraham, father of the Jewish people (it doesn’t say this in the play, but do you know another Abraham?) who has oddly become a tailor in the upstairs portion of a rather derelict Washington DC building. Jeff Mocha enters as a drunk Irish insurance professor, James T. Shannon, and delivers the test, of which very few of the questions are true/false or multiple choice. In fact none of the questions are about the Israelites, almost having to off his son Itzhak Perlman, or the fine art of sewing. How is that fair, the old man hasn’t studied for anything else? Shannon instead berates the incomprehensible old man (Father Israel lies that he’s from some crazy fictitious land called Russia, what nonsense!) about insurance (whatever that is!) until both their hearts explode.

Jeff Mochacocoa and Larry Levinson are truly attempting to end lives with their performances. I whispered to the patron sitting next to me at one point, “Snap my neck, quickly”. She simply smiled and gave me a thumbs up gesture. Don’t despair readers, all was not lost, I stole her wallet.

Director Wayne Nicolosi (director) was the director and he directed the play as the director.

There were flashing lights also, but they caused me to have a momentary epileptic episode so I can’t recall whether they were effective in the production or not.

– – –

THE CONFINES OF FLATTERY

Truly nothing says fringe theatre in 2012 like Moliere.

Triptych Productions presents three short plays about how women are just crazy about and always need men. The first play by Moliere is about two women and how they’re fooled by all the men in their lives causing them to cry like women do. The second play is about a crying woman talking to another woman who she knows is having an affair with her husband, and how the other woman fools her, causing her to momentarily stop crying (jokes on her, silly woman). And the third play is about two women not crying but swearing a lot to show how much like men they are, and shows them doing their own fooling to one another, so that when set up against the other plays suggests quite nicely that women are only successful when they stop crying, behave like men, and adopt similar fooling techniques.

All of the plays are set in the tailor shop from the previous play THE INTERVIEW, they’ve just removed the furniture and moved in a couch and called it France, but I could see it was the shop (I’m observant).

While, of course, I loathed everything about this production, I must concede these plays do fit Fringe, because on poverty level budgets for costumes and in a theatre space where the ceiling is falling apart and the walls are poorly painted exposed brick, it’s just so easy to see yourself among the elegance and ornateness of wealthy 17th century Paris society. At first I was skeptical but then the period coat matched with the DSW bought shoes really sold it for me.

There are at least 74 performers in this piece, 16 directors, a choreographer and a taxidermist, to name them all would only hurt my feelings.

– – –

Check back daily throughout the Fringe Festival for more 94% honest reviews.

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About xanderstrange

orphan and arts critic

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