Monday, August 29, 2016

Count Time


This one was hard. According to The Fringe website, Count Time "tells the story of Patricia Prewitt’s journey through decades of incarceration for a murder she did not commit. Accused and wrongfully convicted of murdering her husband, Patty has served thirty years of a fifty year sentence with no hope of parole until 2036. Ms. Townsend interviewed Patty Prewitt and all the other living people portrayed in this searing and moving testimony to the enduring spirit of human survival. We hope to convince Governor Nixon to commute her sentence and set her free."

The one act play traces the story of Prewitt's life, from hard childhood to tumultuous marriage to horribly unjust conviction to decades in prison, arising from small-town Missouri egos and politics. It was a gut punch but, in the end, I am glad I experienced it. Actress Elizabeth Ann Townsend's performance was extraordinary.           





Sunday, August 28, 2016

Origins of Love


Quotations from Shakespeare about the formation, joys and unraveling of love. Cabaret song, from tender to passionate, about the intensity of the experiences we go through. Chicago-based trio Terrie Carolan, Khnemu Menu-Ra and Antonio Rodriguez expressed these feelings in an hour of gorgeous music.

Carolan's voice kept a perfect balance between sweetness and power. Menu-Ra's tenor carried intensity from pianissimo to forte. Rodriguez had a high, sweet tenor tone that reminded me some of Art Garfunkel. Beautiful singers, beautiful art. One of my favorites from the Fringe Festival.        




Saturday, August 27, 2016

Microtheater



So many pictures, so little time.  One of the productions I shot at the St. Louis Fringe last night was a series of five brief acts, all 20 minutes or less, performed in a tiny space, in rotation throughout the evening. 

The first and third photos are from a play with choreography about a woman who became a dancer, despite much pain in her life. (The first one makes me think of Canio in I Paggliacci.) The second picture is from a play about a very intelligent and morbidly obese woman called The Imaginary Boyfriend. I have no idea what the fourth one is about. This young man was bouncing and tumbling around the small room with The Who's Cobwebs And Strange playing very loudly. The last one is from a dance piece done nearly in the dark, lit only by strips of LEDs and flashlights.

Final shows this afternoon and tonight. Still time  to get over there and see some great work. Closing party at KDHX on Washington at 9 PM.






Friday, August 26, 2016

Lou The Flamingo


The St. Louis Fringe has a new mascot this year, Lou the Flamingo. I'm not going to try to figure out the significance. The bird is not native to our area. Citygarden already uses the flamingo as a sort of a mascot. But, hey, it's cute and funny and gets your attention. And it's not nearly as dorky as Fredbird

Back shooting the last two days of the festival starting tonight. Lots still to see. Locals, check out the schedule and buy tickets here.           

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Rap-Off


So one of the variations on the Fringe's Midsummer Night's Dream parody was what you might call a rap-off. Cast members wearing oversized baseball caps, including the traditional New York Yankees' hat (although the one in the third picture says Pickleman's Cafe - just a little extra joke), assume the identity of a character in the play, hurling rhymed insults at one another. Demetrius calls out Lysander's momma. Oberon and Titania diss each other over Pucks tricks. And so on. Pretty clever.

It's been a really bad week at work and I had a couple of thousand pictures from last weekend. Tough doing sorting, editing and getting posts written. I'll plod ahead as I can. More to come this Friday and Saturday.   




Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Consent


One of the sections of Or What You Will was a skit called Consent. A way too peppy teacher is talking to what appear to be a high school sex ed class. The students are bored into a stupor. It's all that no means no and yes means yes stuff. Can a man go onto the, um, next step without specific consent from the woman, a spoken yes? No, teacher. And so on.

But eventually the subject of Puck comes up, although not by name. Is it okay for someone to take a juice from a magic flower and sprinkle it on the eyes of a sleeping person, making them love the first person they see when they awake? No, teacher. Has the sleeping person given consent to fall in love with that first person? No, teacher. At which point the actor playing the sprinkler states in a stuttering monotone I am sorry I did the wrong thing. I will go away now. The actress playing the sprinklee says in the same kind of voice I do not wish to marry you. Goodbye. Cut. 

As Puck himself said, what fools these mortals be.  




Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Or What You Will, Part Deux, Part 1


Ok, so I think this is the deal. Start with Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. (You know it, right? Or not.) Apply William S. Burroughs' (a proud son of St. Louis) cut-up technique, using scissors to slice pages of text into chunks and re-arrange them randomly. Turn the drama into a contest, scene versus scene, with the audience voting for their favorites.  Attempt to perform this with a group of young actors on acid and speed. You may end up with Or What You Will, Part Deux.

I don't have time this morning to provide more details but this deserves another post. We're going to the baseball game tonight so I'm not sure when I'll get it uploaded.           

Or What You Will Par Deux 7

Or What You Will Par Deux 5

Or What You Will Par Deux 9