Tuesday, July 24, 2012

KC Fringe "4Play!" review by timlovestheatre

1 Out of 4Play Ain't Bad
Rating: 3

KC Fringe Festival

The problem with a show that is made up of four short one-acts by four separate playwrights with four (mostly) separate casts is that not every bit of the performance is equal.

"As The Guiding Light Turns", by Michelle T Johnson, "A Matter of Faith", by Jose Faus, "A Perfect 89", by Ken Buch and "Breeding Stock", by Jack Phillips all showed some potential. But only the "Guiding Light" piece had a tight enough script, a properly thought out premise and a humorous twist. It was aided by a cast that delivered the lines with honesty, humor and emotion.

"A Matter of Faith" had an interesting premise but threw it away too quickly. Unfortunately some of the tension and pacing of the piece was derailed by a single poor performer. (3 out of 4 actors is not bad, but,.....)

"A Perfect 89" also had an interesting point of view. With so much of the popular media focused on how cool it is to be a geek their premise seemed to be a sure hit. Unfortunately, a floundering performance kept it from quite hitting the level it needed. I understand this role is shared so it might be different for some performances than others.

"Breeding Stock" held a great premise based on human breeding that had "loads" of potential. The script never quite reached a climax. Seriously, it was all tease and no delivery. I think it could be work shopped into a much more satisfying experience.

Technically all four shows worked well, had good interlude music and had interesting staging. The running joke that strings the pieces (loosely) together was funny. The scope of these shows were a good fit for the MET space but basic weaknesses in the scripts were too hard to ignore.

4Play is a part of the Kansas City Fringe festival. There are three chances left to see it. Wed 7/25 at 6:30 pm, Fri 7/27 at 11:00 pm and Sat 7/28 6:30 pm

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