HFF17 – see it or skip it (day 3) part 1

We were supposed to see seven shows yesterday, but ended up missing the first and the last ones due to tiredness for the former and sickness for the latter.  It was a great day to run into old friends and catch up, especially Cynthia Holloway from the Goddess Freak Ensemble, a band I used to follow in Los Angeles and Theatre Unleashed company member Mandy Muenzer.  We also spent some time reconnecting with Lesley Asistio and getting to know our new friend Sofie Khan.  After a rough start it proved to be a great day of fringing.

TITLE OF SHOWDomino is Down

VENUE:  Lounge 1 Theatre

REVIEW:  Not the best show to start our day.  Although the venue was packed with friends and fans of writer/performer Mitchell Reiter, there was a noticeable lack of energy in the space, and that was before the show started.  The show had a good premise, but it did not pan out because the pacing was too slow.  The best part of the show were the interactions between Domino and the bartender, played by Blue Bloods‘ veteran Staci RodriguesTeresa Yates also turned in a brilliant performance as Domino’s cop friend Tommi.

RECOMMENDATION:  There are still two more performances of this show on June 21 and 23, both at 8 p.m.  Hopefully those performances will be tighter and have more energy.  Unfortunately, based on our experience, we think you should just Skip it.

TITLE OF SHOWThree can Keep a Secret

VENUE:  Studio/Stage

REVIEW:  This show was the polar opposite of the previous show, with enough energy to take care of Los Angeles for decades.  Wonderfully written by Gregory Crafts and skillfully directed by Jacob Smith, Three can Keep a Secret delivered like only a Theatre Unleased production can.  This company has consistently delivered amazing Fringe performances year after year, and this year was no different.  If we could only see their two productions, it would still be worth the 2,800 mile round trip from Montana.

The five member cast was perfectly suited for the “choose your own adventure” format, and the audience had a blast being involved in the direction the show took.  Each of the actors deserves kudos for their performance, and we are proud to recognize Graydon Schlicter as Moose, Jim Martyka as Sonny, Carey Mathews as Mason, Mandy Muenzer as Denise and Heather Lynn Smith as Heidi.

RECOMMENDATION:  If you don’t already have tickets to their final performance on June 24 at 6:30 p.m., we strongly encourage you to get on the waiting list and See this show.  You won’t be sorry.

TITLE OF SHOWMexistani!  Growing up Mexican & Pakistani in America

VENUE:  Studio/Stage

REVIEW:  Behold our recommendation for Top of the Fringe!  Sofie Khan delivers one of the best performances we have ever seen at the Fringe.  She is a fireball of energy as she commanded the stage, bringing to life each and every character that has shaped her journey.  The show was everything you want in a Fringe show – great story, amazing acting and memorable characters – with just the right amount of political commentary.  We laughed until our sides hurt, while also learning about some of the hazards of being gay in today’s volatile world.  We salute Khan for speaking out and for delivering such an impressive performance.  By the end of the show, we felt like we had been best friends since childhood.  We are so fortunate we got to see this amazing closing performance.  Please come back to Fringe next year Sofie!

RECOMMENDATION:  If this hadn’t been her final performance, we would have demanded that you go See her show.  Guess you’ll have to wait until next year.