What a Fringe experience we have had. We saw six shows on Saturday and plan to see three more today, bringing our total to 37 shows in 9 days. Quite a run. Saturday was one of the most diverse days of Fringe we have ever experienced, and we are happy to share our reviews with you.
But before that, here are our nominees for the first Larry Cornwall Award for Musical Excellence, which will be handed out today at the Fringe Awards show at 6 p.m. at the Montalban Theatre:
Under the Jello Mold
The Girl who Jumped off the Hollywood Sign
Lights Camera Lyla: The Second Act
Magic 8 Ball (My Life with Asperger’s)
TITLE OF SHOW: Middleschoolandia
VENUE: Sacred Fools Main Stage
REVIEW: An interesting musical, written by a 12 year old girl and her mother, based on her journal about the trauma caused by attending middle school. The entire cast, with the exception of the Dad, Teacher and Advisor, were children, and they taught the adults how to do a show. It was cute, like Alanis Morissette on steroids, full of angst and satire, but not quite as tight as it could be. Some of the songs were too basic, but the overall gist was that the three years of middle school were a rite of passage that every child must endure. As Dad says in closing, “There are scarier things in life than Middleschoolandia, like Trumperica!” It was a worthy effort and several of the kids were outstanding, both in the vocal deliveries and their characterizations. Hats off to Carson Goring, who wrote the show and portrayed Ashley, Mia Ruhman, Cheyenne Rimando, Lilly Mae Stewart, Veronica McFarlane, Jacob Accardo, Kai Johnson, Jacob Smith and Lily Hightower who portrayed the children; Carlos Chavez, Amsara Holly, and Nikki Lewis, who portrayed the Wild Teens, and to Steven Bray for his portrayal of Dad.
RECOMMENDATION: It was an interesting show that has the potential to become something even better.
TITLE OF SHOW: Chemo Barbie: My Lady Bits’ Journey Through Breast Cancer
VENUE: Asylum @ Studio C
REVIEW: If there were an award for the most tender, emotional and inspirational show at Fringe, then Chemo Barbie would win hands down. I have personally never cried so much during a Fringe show as I did at this show, which tugged at my heart and connected with my past experiences with friends and family. As a cancer survivor myself, this show hit me like a ton of bricks, giving me new found courage to live even stronger than before. Heather Keller is a powerful actress with the emotional strength to make her journey relatable to her audience as well as inspire them to live. The show was wonderfully directed by Jessica Lynn Johnson, who squeezed out an amazing story of triumph and hope from the tragedy that could have been Keller’s life. Believe me when I tell you that seeing Chemo Barbie is a life-changing experience I will cherish forever.
RECOMMENDATION: This show is a MUST SEE and truly worthy of an extension. Don’t miss your opportunity to be inspired.
TITLE OF SHOW: An Evening with John Wilkes Booth
VENUE: The Flight Theatre at the Complex
REVIEW: History has always told us about the assassination of Abraham Lincoln from the victim’s side. This show explored it from the view of the assassin, actor John Wilkes Booth, exploring his reasons and frame of mind in creating and carrying out his conspiracy to kill Lincoln, General Grant and Secretary of State Seward. It was an insightful journey through the mind of a killer, and Stephen Spiegel was excellent in bringing the audience along. The show was wonderfully written and directed by Lloyd J. Schwartz. Although it did drag at times, the overall pacing was good and the acting was well done, resulting in an interesting show.
RECOMMENDATION: This show is worthy of your attention, and we recommend that you See it if it returns for an extension.