Well Hollywood Fringe 2016 has come to a close and with it comes the last of the Round Ups…
BIN LADEN: THE ONE MAN SHOW
Sam Redway is a 5’6” endearing presence, Bin Laden was a 6’4” fanatic of Athari Islam who denounced fornication outside marriage, gambling, the use of intoxicants, homosexuality and thought Western democracies were dominated by Jews.
Redway’s portrayal of Osama Bin Laden is undoubtedly well researched yet, decidedly, unhistorical, and his one man show proved to be one of the most interesting, and most disturbing of the entire Fringe for me. It is an examination, not of an individual but an exploration, of a spirit—of a desire—of a drive.
Bin Laden was an adherent of Qutbism, the most violent form of jihad and you see little of that in Redway’s performance; you have on one level a presentation of the warping of idealism into a justification for violence. But there is something else that Redway and director Tyrrell Jones achieve here, and that is the recognition that within us all is the longing to make things better; the wish to change the world.
Man is capable of the most ruthless acts. Man can excuse the slaughtering of others on the flimsy fabric of “principles,” or in a perversion of “faith.”
But, that need to make the world better,—regardless of how men abuse it—that impulse is a human one. In demonstrating that to the audience, Redway and Jones manage, albeit briefly, to make even Bin Laden simpatico.
The call: GOLD
Learn More at http://www.knaivetheatre.com/#!current-projects/blt53
He is a troubador who sings his songs with intoxicating thunder and startling tenderness.
Learn More at www.jacklukeman.com
THE TOXIC AVENGER MUSICAL
Janet Miller knows all the ingredients that go into making a toe-tapping crowd pleaser. She and her Good People Theatre Company showed that with Marry Me A Little at Fringe 2015, and she demonstrates that again with The Toxic Avenger Musical. With Miller as director/choreographer and Corey Hirsch as musical director the show is slick, fun and remarkably successful.
Miller knows how to cast a show too with Jared Reed as Melvin (soon to be the Toxic Avenger), Kim Dalton a powerhouse as the buxom and blind Sarah, Shirley Anne Hatton as a cast of thousand (okay just three) and Danny Fetter and Wesley Tunison (the show’s personality kids). All in all, just about as much fun as one can have sitting down and totally dressed.
The call: GOLD
Learn More at www.goodpeopletheaterco.org/
Steven Fales, Gay Mormon, abuse survivor, porn actor and self-confessed cultaholic delivers a frustrating and fascinating half-rap/ half-Broadway melody stream of consciousness that is not so much a show as an adventure in the performer’s brain.
Learn More at http://facebook.com/fales.steven
Vanzu Khonsu’s evening of poetry reading on the subject of time has a striking look about it.
His program photos, his stage design ringed by clocks, his costume, himself even, all seem to reflect a concern with the visual.
Unfortunately, it remains there, on the surface. His respect ends with his appearance, and not with respect for the material.
Learn More at www.vanzubeaumont-khonsu.com