Today’s Fringenda: Why Not Aphids or Sea Monkeys? Edition
Good morning. Today is day 11 of 16 of the eighth Capital Fringe Festival, not counting Mondays, even though there was, technically one Fringe show yesterday, which was Romeo and Juliet. The course of true scheduling love never did run smooth! Even with Mondays mostly off, it's been a long, hot haul.
The untiring and indefatigable Fringe & Purge Action News and Commentary Squad, our ranks bolstered by some prodigious new talent this year, has been doggedly judgmental, reviewing more than 80 of the festival's roughly 125 shows so far.
What are some we've really liked, or been really baffled by? And that you can take in this very evening?
I'm so glad you asked that two-part question.
A Guide to Dancing Naked (Gearbox, 7:45 p.m.)—"Even the most lead-footed among us could feel like Justin Timberlake" watching Brynn Tucker's buoyant solo show, effused Rachel Kurzius. Hey, Rachel, I can hear you. I'm standing right here. Anyway, Tucker's show encourages us all to make peace with our bodies. Oh, and despite the title, there's no nudity in it.
Detective Pembley and the Case of the Rich, Dead Lady (Redrum, 8 p.m.)—This Zucker Bros.-style farce about a down-on-his-luck gumshoe may not be for you—if there's something terribly wrong with you, reports Brett Abelman. Or if you don't like puns, which, I mean, come on.
Sesquicentennial—The Civil War Remembered (An Evening with General Ulysses S. Grant) (Caos on F, 8:30 p.m.)—The Fringe slate always seems to include at least a couple of solo shows from history buffs. "Counry Joe" Rosier's all-ages, hour-long "living history play" is actually two: On some evenings he plays Confederate General Robert E. Lee circa 1870, while on others—including tonight—he channels the spirit of Union General Ulysses S. Grant circa 1883. Dan Singer's review seems to indicate this is all exactly as dorky and educational as it sounds, which means that even if you're not a Civil War buff, you may find something endearing about it.
MOTHS (The Bedroom at Fort Fringe, 9:45 p.m.)—"Capital Fringe categorizes this show as 'Comedy – Romance,' but I'd classify it under 'Mindfuck – Existential Despair,' writes Camila Domonoske. And that's the about the least stomach-churning sentence in her review, which makes this thing sound like three or four different David Cronenberg movies playing simultaneously while insects swarm around your head. Was that a recommendation? I don't know. Her notice certainly made me want to see it.
Godiva Dates & One-Night Stands (Caos on F, 10:15 p.m.)—Dan Singer loved this more than he loved that Civil War thing, observing that slam poet Regie Cabico's solo outing has "an aching universality, relatable even to those who have never been to a gay sauna or had sex in a public restroom." Which must be why I liked it, too, even though some of Cabico's similes don't make a lick more sense than when someone says of John Blade, Super Spy, that "he makes love like an eagle falling from the sky." Speaking of which...
The Continuing Adventures of John Blade, Super Spy (Warehouse, 10:45)—Yes, okay, admittedly, this fury-fisted James Bond parody speaks directly to my interests—which means I'm inclined to be harder on it, if they get the mixture wrong, not more forgiving. But this debut production from the stage combat-focused Live Action Theatre gets it very, very right. As I said in my review, Kyle Encinas's hilarious text is what makes this much more than a compilation of increasingly jaw-dropping stage fights. Though it is also that. Check back later today for a For Your
Eyes Ears Only edition of the Fringe & PurgeCast with John Blade's playwright and director, plus several members of the cast.
That's it, you're dismissed. Happy Fringing!