Monday, July 08, 2013

Fringe thoughts

I'm wrapping up my tenure as first-time Hollywood Fringe producer, and I'm also acutely aware of how I've neglected poor FWL in service of The Miss Julie Dream Project. So I thought I'd write up a little something about my experiences at #hff13.

I saw somewhere in the neighborhood of 16 or 17 shows, not counting mine. Some shows were intense and messy, ambitious and indignant. Their success or failure were secondary to how brash, nutty or edgy they purported to be. And no, I didn't see the Brazilian sex show so I'm not talking about that one; no offense but I don't think I need that in my cranium. Some of these shows I quite admired. Some of them had captivating moments in the midst of less captivating situations.

Some made me feel like I was the only person in the world without a sense of humor. Seriously, one hot shit Fringe show had the guy next to me making my chair shake with laughter, while I didn't crack a smile once.

Some shows were like rough little gems. Not even diamonds, exactly...jagged and maybe kind of bad but still marvelous and sweet and interesting. You saw the art and the love and the passion on the stage, even if not much else in the way of sets, costumes, or even story were there.

Two shows had a kind of stunning polish or power to them and I recommend them in their extensions, which are happening this month. They're both in the Asylum Lab and they're White Hot and Ceremony. I know no one in White Hot and I paid for my ticket. I supported Ceremony's crowdfunding campaign and consider Michael Kass a friend, but I can't imagine seeing that show under different circumstances and not being impressed by both Kass's performance and my friend Diana Wyenn's direction. White Hot, by Tommy Smith, is a nasty mess of a play; I mean that in the best possible way. I found the writing exciting and the production stellar.

As for my show, I'm quite proud and fond of it and it exceeded my expectations. I can't believe what Fell Swoop came up with and I loved getting the chance to figure it out and cast it and rehearse it with a smart director and six fine actors and watch it and share it with others six times over. I'll have more posts in the next few days recapping some of the online responses to it and adding more pictures and things. But for now I'll leave it at that.

I think I have more to say about the Fringe in general, but I've got to mull that over a bit and think how to flesh that out. More later.

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