Friday, July 27, 2012

KC Fringe "Scarborough Fair" review by kellyluck

An affectionate musical tribute
Rating: 4

Scarborough Fair
KC Fringe Festival

Now you've got your Folkmen, your Spinal Tap, your Flight of the Conchords, even your Tenacious D. The parodic musical combo is a long and hallowed tradition, and comparisons are inevitable. But even that being said, it is good to see that the duo on stage at the Lyric Opera rehearsal space are doing an excellent job of carving out a space all their own.

Scarborough and Fair (no artist names given) area rambling duo of lifelong friends and musical-and-nothing-else-
honestly partners. Scarborough is the guitarist, Fair accompanying. They take us through a sort of Cook's tour of the works of Simon and Garfunkel, acoustic renditions interspersed with banter and audience interactions. Over the course of the show, the history of the duo is revealed, much to their chagrin and the delight of the audience.

Musically, the duo is very tight. They do an excellent job of performing the songs, generally sticking to the major hits. Their voices work together well, and there are some excellent harmonies going on. The show, typical of Fringe productions, is very lightweight, but the two performers ably demonstrated that a guitar and a handful of props are more than enough to keep an audience entertained when in suitably capable hands.

>From a critical standpoint, there is very little to complain about. About the only thing that really stands out to me is that the characters are rather similar to each other. When earlier in this review I planned to describe them and their differences, I found it surprisingly difficult: there is no "straight man" here: they are both flighty, folky, just a little off kilter from being around each other for most of their lives (not counting the two-hundred-something times they've broken up). I can see the reasoning behind this--I have seen what happens when you get two people around each other to the exclusion of everyone else for too long a time--but a little more distinction of personalities might well have been in order.

But this is a minor quibble. The fact remains that this is a thoroughly entertaining and well-done performance. Fans of Simon & Garfunkel will of course derive particular enjoyment from it, and anyone who enjoys a bit of comedy with their music--or vice versa--will find their time well spent. Scarborough Fair is a highly enjoyable production, and one which I can recommend quite gladly.

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