Fringeworthy

‘Power House’

Power House: The Disco Energy Dance Along Show
The Source

Remaining Performances:

Saturday, July 19 @ Noon
Sunday, July 20 @ 7:30 PM
Friday, July 25 @ 10:00 PM

They say: “Power House: The Techno Dance Along Show by Shawn Northrip is a futuristic musical fable rave which casts the audience as dancers whose energy is converted to clean Discotech power. When someone stops dancing, the entire Power House is threatened, and the managers act quickly to keep the lights on."

Dan’s take: In a word, in a couple of words, this show was utter bollocks. I tried to muster patience, but my muster flustered as the – not entirely sure how to describe it – certainly not a performance, not a piece of theatre, rather an annoying murmuring of soporific humbug droned on. And eventually I simply had to slip behind the back curtain and walk out, high tailing to the bar next door to quaff some ales and try to put this particular misery out of my head.

What on earth was the point of this? A couple of tweaks might have made this slightly more bearable:

  1. A story.
  2. More energy for heavens sake (I actually was quite looking forward to a fringe show promoting itself as one casting the audience as part of the rave....sadly the audience, pumped and primed as they arrived, soon defaulted to occasional swaying, but mostly stood still in the box looking bored).
  3. Pump up the volume!  That might have added some infection.
  4. Put real drugs on the tray brought out by the waitress touting vitamins.

See it if: You need somewhere on 14th street to hide out or doss down for a snooze.

Skip it if: Anything else critical matters to you.

  • Simon Mitchell

    Come on guys! Why can't someone be allowed a negative opinion? Do we all have to profess to like what we see? I find Mr Owen's review refreshing in its honesty. And, having seen the show, I have to admit: I agree with him. I did find the A/C very conducive to a well-earned doze; the show itself did nothing to disturb my pleasant slumber.

  • http://fuckaroo.org Jerry Frank

    I liked it. I've seen about five fringe shows this year. This was one of the better ones. At least they were trying hard. It is a very rare fringe show that cannot be talked down like this. The Fringe is not a place for haters. Or maybe I guess it is, to judge from this board.

  • Laura Bloom

    come on city paper - this is ridiculous. so a play gets a negative review and you sit back and let this sad flurry of feedback from friends of the cast vilify the reviewer. i want to meet this guy!

  • http://www.myspace.com/diamonddeadrocks Dr. D.

    afraid my special karma rotted off last night somewhere behind ft. fringe, mistress natasha. and i didnt have much to begin with, iffyaknowhatimean. but its not about size, its what you do with it. so if anyone finds my special karma, please use it. assbiting is a big step for me, but im warming up to you.

  • http://www.theatermania.com/content/show.cfm/show/144710 Natasha Giocammi

    uhh..Dr. D, I think we need a bit more of your special karma back in this thread.

    I did check with that jack-ass Jasper though, and he was of the opinion that you would probably need more than a few beers to survive this show, and a few phone numbers would probably be more than you could rightfully hope to get out of it.

    Whatever. I don't see why just cos I use big words you can't bite my ass.

  • FringeLove

    Dear "Fringe & Purge",

    Just to let you know, I am friends with a cast member in "Powerhouse" and I was actually at the 10:00pm show on July 17th. This is the same show that your reviewer was "at". Check and you will see that I am correct. I am just here to clear a few things up. your reviewer came into the show, and I remember him because he introduced himself to the female cast members during the pre-show while they were handing out glow sticks and getting people to dance and told them that he and his friend were "having a contest to see who could get the most e-mail addresses and he was winning and wanted to keep it that way." After they told them to keep dancing he asked for their phone numbers; he was obviously intoxicated.

    I was astonished when I came across his review complaining about the interaction with the audience, was he just upset that the girls in the show wouldn't give him their numbers? And coming to a show drunk, reeking of beer with a friend does not sound like a dedicated reviewer to me, what about to you? I sincerely hope this isn't the policy that you give your reviewers, to come drunk to shows and hit on the actors.

    Now, he said and you reported that he left after 40 minutes of a 1 hour and 10 minute show. This is laughable. The video played at the beginning of the show, of which he talked loudly through while making wisecracks at with his friend and proceeded to yell at the actors telling them to "turn up the music" even when the show started. I can speak for myself and the rest of the audience when I say we were more than glad when he and his friend left after 15 minutes of being there. Thats right, 15 minutes, not 40 minutes, 15 minutes. So yes, he was correct in saying there was no story, at least there was no story in the play that he saw, the 15 minute version.

    I have no problem with a negative review, in fact, they help me to weed out the bad and good shows and which to attend, however this review made me never want to read the city paper again for theatre reviews. I wonder what is being done to clean up the mess this reviewer has created. I am assuming nothing considering that you praise him in your article citing that "he has traveled the world and works for a big honkin’ international-development organization" as reasons why his outrageously disrespectful behavior was somehow acceptable; at least to the standards of the City Paper.

    That is all I have to say, and I am not expecting a response, because I know that for everything that I have said there aren't any responses that can cover up your short comings City Paper.

    Sincerely,
    FringeLove

  • http://www.myspace.com/diamonddeadrocks Dr. D.

    you sound cool, natasha, but we cant break jasper's heart. plus, you use big words and correct grammar. it would never work out.

    dont know anything about g&s, just a little s&m. but power to those mikado folks for doin their thang.

  • Harry Windsor

    Is this ping back a peculiarity of the Fringe? I've never heard in the mainstream of a critic getting so hounded for a negative review. I saw Power House and I didn't like it. I think frank reviews are to be applauded. It's everyone's right to make their own minds up, but this production hostility on the back of one review is ridiculous. I am sure the show has benefitted from all this publicity. Its been a great Fringe festival and as with any festival, there will be good, there will be bad....

  • http://www.theatermania.com/content/show.cfm/show/144802 Natasha Giocammi

    Thank you, Dr. D, for bringing some karma back into this.

    And thank you for bringing Gilbert and Sullivan to the Fringe. I loved your show. In a festival that brings us rants about the milf invasion of Vermont, choreographic representation of napalming in Vietnam, and on-stage hand-jobs by porn starlets, maybe the Mikado is the true counter-culture ?

    You can bite my ass any time, Dr. D - or should I say, Pooh-Bah, first lord of the treasury, lord chief justice, commander-in chief, lord high admiral, master of the buckhounds, groom of the back stairs, archbishop of Titipu, and lord mayor ?

  • http://www.myspace.com/diamonddeadrocks Dr. D.

    dudes, this thread is getting heavy. jasper and natasha have some shit to work out.

    i give SN major props for pushing the envelope and breaking the monotony around here. he writes shit that people love, and instead of churning out the same thing over and over, he takes a risk and throws a curve. it's called fringe festival, not wannabe-like-every-other-cookie-cutter-theatre-in-town festival. wish others would follow suit. you hipshotters and hipbloggers don't have to like everything, and we respect that, but don't try to pretend there are rules. and beware of taking snarky potshots at the artists because karma will bite you in the ass. trust me, i know. i just bit someone's ass. and she loved it.

    how many super ozone friendlyetc.etc. rave shows have you attended, anyway? don't miss your chance, dudes, it may never happen again. especially with such constructive criticism going around.

    by the way, i know one freak-ass rock show that sold out warehouse mainstage without any mention on F&P. guess yall don't always have your fingers on the pulse, do ya?

    keep rocking (and raving)

  • Jasper Adison

    Natasha, how about you put the die back in digest, you peach tart ?

    Who's your dada ?

  • Natasha Giocammi

    Having dated Mr. Adison, I was unsurprised to see that yet again, he is in dire need of putting the jest back into digest. While he may hold powerful views, I would be surprised if he could muster enough energy to light a bulb.

    In the admirable spirit of honesty that Mr. Owen demonstrates, I must admit that I have not actually seen Powerhouse. Neither have I seen Manifesto! which is also playing at the Source, but I have it on very good trust that the theatre’s A/C is indeed refreshing.

    Lars Fugger, an honorary consultant in immunology and Fellow of the oral college media broadcast, exploring aspects of Christianity and culture, would blame it on young July, pain, pastoral systematic theology and the interface between them. Too many cocks! It’s the same old mathematical, physical anatomy, out in Washington DC, its Kennedy genetics, its geochemistry.

    What is Dada ?

  • Jasper Adison

    I’m afraid I must concur with Mr. Owen. Not only was this show utter bollocks, but it put both the bollocks and the dire in diabolical. Come to think of it, it also put both the dire and the rear in diarrhea.

    We can forgive them the lack of an engaging plot or some form of character development, but you might think that the Disco Energy Dance Along Show would at least offer some energy and dancing. Think again. And if the people responsible for this effort had thought about it, they would have realized that it’s not possible to pump up the volume to disco energy level while the cast are mumbling their feeble lines. Or attempting to sing, god help us.

    I went to this effort looking forward to an opportunity to let rip on the dance floor, and left sorely disappointed. The one memorable line, from the mildly amusing video introduction, is peculiarly appropriate: “Dance, motherfucker”.

    See it if: you are dying of heat exhaustion on 14th street, and need some A/C.

    Skip it if: scratch that. You’d be better dying of heat exhaustion.

  • Jasper Adison

    I’m afraid I must concur with Mr. Owen. Not only was this show utter bollocks, but it put both the bollocks and the dire in diabolical. Come to think of it, it also put both the dire and the rear in diarrhea.

    We can forgive them the lack of an engaging plot or some form of character development, but you might think that the Disco Energy Dance Along Show would at least offer some energy and dancing. Think again. And if the people responsible for this effort had thought about it, they would have realized that it’s not possible to pump up the volume to disco energy level while the cast are mumbling their feeble lines. Or attempting to sing, god help us.

    I went to this effort looking forward to an opportunity to let rip on the dance floor, and left sorely disappointed. The one memorable line, from the mildly amusing video introduction, is peculiarly appropriate: “Dance, motherfucker”.

    See it if: you are dying of heat exhaustion on 14th street, and need some A/C.

    Skip it if: scratch that. You’d be better off dying of heat exhaustion.

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  • nofat

    Brett, that review was WAY more helpful. Thanks!

  • Brett Abelman

    My two cents, added with an admission of bias because I have friends in the show: I enjoyed it. It's not for everyone which is okay. The plot is very simple and only takes about half the time; it reminds me of the kind of lyrics that you often hear in techno - a very familiar story (in the case of techno lyrics, a love story, in the case of Power House, a sci-fi standard plot) that gets its oomph and fun from the neon setting and music.

    When they say a "dance-along" show, they do mean it. That's why the story is so small; to give time for dancing. An attendee's enjoyment will depend on their willingness to dance, or at least watch others dance (there are 4 actor-dancers on raised platforms the whole time to watch even if the crowd itself is stagnant). Personally I think this neat idea suffers from the fact that a would-be-dancing audience will naturally be hesitant to get into it, lest they miss the next part of the story beginning. Not to mention People are Self-Conscious.

    All in all I think this qualifies as something not totally in the realm of pure theatre (besides the obvious relation to dance and rave); maybe it has some DNA from performance art, or a social experiment, or a happening, or a live performance of The Who's Tommy. Or something.

    I would understand completely if someone were bored to walking out. And also if they had a rockin' good time.

    So that's my two cents spent.

    -Always a believer in the comment section.

  • josiethapussycat

    Wow. You sound like an informed type of guy. It's good that you were so willing to call something "bollocks" when it is obvious that all you wanted to do the whole time was go get drunk. Maybe you should be a beer critic, not a theatre critic. And leaving in the middle of the show? Like my friend "nofat" already pointed out...CLASSY. Bottom line, you sounded like an ass and I'm going to see the show anyways.

  • Fringe Enthusiast

    "Put real drugs on the tray..." Great review.

    Come on City Paper! You could do better. ANYONE could do better.

  • nofat

    Haven't seen this, but leaving in the middle of the show and then posting a review about it is pretty tacky.

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