Dylan Shelton and Annie Kalahurka play newly minted born-again Christians whom God has sent on a mission: to convert the audience with "Soul Juice." This involves saving our souls with 'Saturday Night Live'-style sketches, including songs, jokes, puppetry and even a clown show.
This 'Cyrano,' by Jo Roets, is a highly condensed version of Edmond Rostand's three-hour romantic comedy. It's sleeker and sharper but lacks some of the poetry and dimensionality of the original. What remains is a post-modern machine for shaking out the story and meaning of Cyrano and Roxanne.
During most of the swift, sweet hour that 'Blue Collar Diaries' fills, playwright-performer Michelle Myers Berg beckons to us to step inside her memory and look around. She invites us to study and regard verbal snapshots of a dozen or so people who loomed large in the poor but secure childhood she lived in a downscale neighborhood in St. Paul, Minn.
The utterly raw nature of a Fringe production can be its greatest and most exciting asset. And that can be its biggest and sometimes insurmountable challenge. In the case of 'Just Say Know,' it's a little bit of both.
Is poetry just for English majors? 'Nevermore' says no, that playgoers can tune into iambic verse just fine. Although writer/director Amy Pettinella plays the feminine role in this two-character piece, she gives the best lines to her co-actor, Russell McGee. No surprise: He's playing Edgar Allan Poe, no stranger to good lines.
This gleeful hour of stage calamities conceived by Minneapolis-based partners Ryan Lear and Rachel Petrie could become the breakout hit of the 2010 Cincy Fringe. Cleverly constructed, sharply written and hilariously performed, it's a simultaneous celebration and lampoon of all that is sacred and silly in the histrionic realm.
Based on a series of improvised rehearsals, the folks at Fake Bacon Productions have patched together a show that might be a little too loose to be taken seriously, while being too funny at times to dismiss entirely. It's a bit like every '70s disaster flick ('Earthquake,' 'Poseidon Adventure,' 'Towering Inferno') meets 'The Naked Gun.'
CCM grad Casey Scott Leach offers a 45-minute set that combines a scripted stream of consciousness and rap. He rages, role-plays, reflects, observes, judges, moves offstage with an ax to chop at a log and flirts. He falls to the floor repeatedly, from which he sometimes awakes as if from a dream. Also onstage is Ben Leach, who drums and plays the banjo to accompany the poet's journey.
Fringe veteran Andrew Hungerford's show, featuring him and Know Theatre regular Liz Vosmeier, is an engaging piece of storytelling, artfully delivered by two excellent actors. This piece of theater will stick with you because it's so human — not about "things" but about real people.
Playwright Roger Collins takes a hard though hardly realistic look at Iraq war vets who come home to homelessness, social invisibility and civic neglect. At times it's realistically grounded, but more often it's fanciful and elliptical, sometimes even angularly poetic. Too little of that remains in focus or receives the kind of attention to detail it requires for effective presentation and deserves for its occasional insight.