The Last of the Fringe 2016 Round Ups

Well Hollywood Fringe 2016 has come to a close and with it comes the last of the Round Ups…  Fringe-2016.jpg

Read on….



sredway.jpgSam 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 gold.jpghuman one. In demonstrating that to the audience, Redway and Jones manage, albeit briefly, to make even Bin Laden simpatico.

The call: GOLD

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jlukeman.jpgTHE KING OF SOHO

Jack Lukeman arrived at the Hollywood Fringe in time for just two shows, so there was not much opportunity to see him, which is a pity. He has a voice that platmed.jpgfirst fills the room, then your soul.

He is a troubador who sings his songs with intoxicating thunder and startling tenderness.


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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.platmed.jpg

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

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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.

sribbon.jpgFor the adventure: SILVER

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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.


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Written by

An award-winning L.A. playwright and rabble-rouser of note who has hoisted glasses with Orson Welles, been arrested on three continents and once beat up Charlie Manson. His first play, "Among the Vipers" was a semi-finalist in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition and was featured in the Carnegie-Mellon Showcase of New Plays. It was produced at the NPT Theater in Ashland, Oregon and Los Angeles’ celebrated Odyssey Ensemble Theatre. His following play, “The Little Boy Who Loved Monsters” was produced at The Hollywood Actors Theater, where he earned praise from the Los Angeles Times for his “…inordinately creative writing.” The play went on to numerous other productions including Berlin’s The Black Theatre under the direction of Rainer Fassbinder who wrote in his program notes of Kearney, “He is a skilled playwright, but more importantly he is a dangerous one.” Ernest Kearney has worked as literary manager or as dramaturge for among others The Hudson Theater Guild, Nova Diem and the Odyssey Ensemble Theatre, where he still serves on the play selection committee. He has been the recipient of two Dramalogue Awards and a finalist or semi-finalist, three times, in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition. His work has been performed by Michael Dunn, Sandra Tsing Loh, Jack Colvin and Billy Bob Thornton, and to date, either as playwright or director, he has upwards of a hundred and thirty productions under his belt, including a few at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater as puppeteer. Kearney remains focused on his writing, as well as living happily ever after with his lovely wife Marlene. His stage reviews and social essays can be found at and Follow him on Facebook.

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