Saturday, July 28, 2012

KC Fringe "Lies, Phalluses and Fairytales" review by Detailer

Lies and Misconceptions
Rating: 2

Lies, Phalluses, and Fairytales
KC Fringe Festival

I completely disagree with a previous reviewer, and I celebrate that.  This is what art, and especially the Fringe, can provide—varying experiences to suit varying tastes.

This shows feels like an acting class to me.  The very short scenes seem like acting exercises rather than a performance piece.

I do not see the connection between most of the titles and the pieces that follow each, including the title for the entire show.  One in particular struck me as out of sync:  the title sounds humorous to me, but the piece is very serious.  I don’t see the point of that contradiction.

The sound level is annoying to me rather than exciting; I get very tired of the shouting between pieces.  I would rather see an improv exercise to cover the preparation for the next piece.  Embrace the idea of an acting class and try out everything associated with that.

I also have a strong reaction against the gimmick for the audience to yell out numbers which supposedly determines what scene is done next.  It takes up time which they could spend giving us more scenes.  Since they are going to do all the numbers, anyway, the gimmick just feels manipulative rather than inclusive.  Perhaps if the titles were also listed, or the program had numbers beside them, and by that we had some sense of what we thought we were choosing, I might tolerate it a little better.  But I’d still rather get more scenes in the hope of finding more things to enjoy.  I applaud their adding a piece, but I think it would have been more effective to send us out with that one at the end.

Too many of the scenes have a point that is too obvious and overdone, without a new insight or unusual twist.  Been there, done that feeling.

In general, it just seems like they try too hard.  They try too hard to be funny or silly or shocking or profound; but especially they try too hard to make me feel like they are spontaneous and they try too hard to make me be spontaneous with them.

That said, I do appreciate their skills.  I like their interpretive dancing.  Those scenes are the highlights for me.  The one place I like the varying sound levels is in Listen.  Same has punch line I enjoy.  I don’t know the proper title for that one, but it’s the word they repeat.  There are good connections in Quick Like a Bandaid, with a meaningful ending.  I like the clever dialogue and unique ideas in the one about God.  Sex and Candy has a funny surprise ending.  My Worst Nightmare is especially funny after seeing Sexing Hitler.

But as with any review, those are just my two cents.  Others have different tastes and will enjoy different things.  Obvious point, but maybe needs saying again.

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