HHF2019 Recommendations Round Two

from TheTvolution

By Ernest Kearney  —  So here you have the second round of Hollywood Fringe Festival 2019 offerings that sound promising.

For More Fringe Offerings Click HERE.

Now as solo shows are the spine of any Fringe, let’s run down a few we’ll be seeing in June.

Ladies first:

LEAVING PRINCE CHARMING

One of the problems in looking for Prince Charming is it requires sucking face with a lot of frogs. At best you’re stuck with a bad case of lip-warts, at worst….  Well, what this one-woman show, written and performed by Lara Repko, promises “an unorthodox fairy godmother” who intends to show us that not all fairytales end with “Happily ever after.”

NOTE: Not suitable for children.

Venue:  Lounge Theatre (Lounge 2)

6201 Santa Monica Boulevard

Info:  http://hff19.org/5689

 

BUNNY THE ELF LIVE!

What can I say, I love this title.

We are told this is a “heart-warming story about Bunny, a Musical Theatre Nerd forced by her family to give up her dreams and get a real job in the real world and ends up as a toy store elf…. What will happen to her after Christmas?  Christi Pedigo has done a slew of Bunny the Elf videos for YouTube discussing her joy and dedication of her seasonal job, and pondering such weighty questions as, does Santa’s home smell like her cotton candy perfume.  And this one is “family friendly!”

Venue:   Stephanie Feury Studio Theatre  (SFS Theatre mainstage)

5636 Melrose Ave

Info: http://hff19.org/5705

 

CLEMENTINE

Written and performed by April Wish, this “unapologetically feminist” show explores the valleys and hills of matriarchal traditions in a three-tiered presentation; as her mother, as the daughter and in a  “love letter” penned to her daughter, Clementine, as well as that little girl she once was herself.  The question seems to be, is the child lost in the daughter, is the daughter lost in the mother?  Frankly I like my insights on the sentimental side.

Venue:  Lounge Theatre (Lounge 2)

6201 Santa Monica Boulevard

Info: http://hff19.org/5725

 

ASK A BLACK WOMAN

From Mouthpeace Entertainment (a great name for a production company), comes Shanara Sanders’ one-woman show based on her YouTube and Podcast series, which she will share in this solo show “via reenactments and spoken word.”  She and Director Claudia Duran ask that the audiences “Be open to this raw account from a black woman’s perspective.”

Venue:  Studio C (Studio C)

6448 Santa Monica Blvd.

Tickets: http://hff19.org/5539

 

 

ORANGUTAN

The production team of Playwright Troy Deutsch and Director Tinks Lovelace (okay, I love this name) offers a “haunting and absurd one-woman show about the mother of a brutish (slightly orange) would-be dictator, and the tribalism that’s tearing our country apart.” I have been hoping for a solid, dead-on, skewering of doofus Trump to appear at the Fringe, since “his accidency” came to the White House, and I have been sadly, sadly disappointed by all comers – Orange Mango Cabaret, The Defecate-ables, Trump in Space and the painfully soporific Zombie Clown Trump: An Apocalyptic Musical!  C’mon Troy, c’mon Tinks!  Give me that Trump-bashing show that has brains, guts and “legs” and I will not only sing your praises I’ll name my next cat after you (“Tinkstroy” or “Troylace” or “Loveydeutsch” or something!”) Just Give Us A Show That Impales That Intellectually Bemuted Cacafuego, Please!!!!!

Starring Kristina Mueller as Mother Mary ……WAIT, MUELLER!??!

Venue:   The Broadwater

The Broadwater (Black Box)

6322 Santa Monica Blvd.

Tickets:  http://hff19.org/6130

Cathy Schenkelberg at the Fringe

 

SQUEEZE MY CABARET

At the top of the first recommendation list was Cathy Schenkelberg’s Squeeze My Cans, which was one of my all-time favorite solo shows to come out of the Hollywood Fringe.  Well bless her little heart she’s giving us two —

count them — two renderings of her struggle to free herself from the cult of Scientology.   And what better way to assault the ridiculousness of a religion based on the bad Sci-Fi writings of a tin-pan Messiah named “Lafayette Ronald” than in an all-singing, all-dancing, all-kicking Tom Cruise’s ass cabaret!!  Sounds like a toe-tapping, Kool-Aid spewing blast to me!

Venue:   Lounge Theatre (Lounge 1)

6201 Santa Monica Boulevard

Tickets:   http://hff19.org/5845

 

MORMON PLAYGIRL

Moving from Scientology to Mormonism we have C.C. Sheffield’s one-woman show that promises to take us along from a “Mormon teen in AZ, to…all the little triumphs that make a Mormon Playgirl.” How you can be a “playgirl” with no tattoos, no coffee and only one piercing per ear and nowhere else will have to be explained to me.  Zara Burdett directs.

Venue:   The Complex Hollywood (OMR Theatre )

6468 Santa Monica Blvd

Tickets:   http://hff19.org/5768

 

LOOSE UNDERWEAR

Dagmar Stansova has been one of the core ensemble members at the Odyssey Theatre for years, now she comes to the Fringe with an autobiographical one-woman show about the trials of a Holocaust survivor’s daughter who is “compelled to “cha-cha” away the wounds of her ancestors.”  She assures us “it’s funny.”  I believe her.

Venue:   The New American Theatre (Black Box)

1312 N. Wilton Place

Tickets:  http://hff19.org/5795

“The Notorious M.O.M.S.” during Hollywood Fringe 2019

 

 

THE NOTORIOUS M.O.M.S.

Finally! I have been bitchin’ about this for years. Back in the days when dinosaurs ruled the earth every comic on TV was a white guy who was either Jewish or Italian or pretending to be Jewish or Italian.  The first woman I saw on TV was Gracie Allen – she was hysterical, but she came attached to a Jewish guy by the name of George Burns.  The first female comic I saw owning the stage by herself, and the first black comic I ever saw, was Moms Mabley (1894 – 1975) a toothless Vaudevillian in a Five-and-Dime dress and a floppy hat that looked like she ironed it with a baseball bat.  As a woman, a black woman and an openly gay black woman she didn’t just open doors for those who came after her, she blew them outta their frames.  High time someone paid homage to this marvelous talent.  Yvette Saunders looks a bit too fresh and way too young for Moms, but talent will-out and I’ll be there to check her out.  If you don’t know Moms Mabley here’s a chance for an introduction.  And now, my favorite Moms Mabley joke:

“So, yo’s men out in da audience wanna know what it feels like givin’ birth?  Take yer upper lip and pull it over yer head.”

That one nearly killed me at twelve-years-old.  I’m rooting for you Yvette!

Venue:    The Complex Hollywood (Flight Theatre)

6472 Santa Monica Blvd

Info: http://hff19.org/6105

Well, let’s jump to some one-man shows now –

 

SIGNS W/ JONATHAN DAVID

Comedian Jonathan David offers to take us into his world, the son of deaf parents suffering from mental health issues and substance abuse.  It becomes a question of who’s bringing up who, and if that isn’t fertile ground for comedy or psychoanalysis I don’t know what is.

Venue:    The Broadwater (Second Stage)

6320 Santa Monica Blvd.

Tickets:   http://hff19.org/6127

 

THE LAST POWERPOINT

Well, this one sounds right up my alley.  Of course, my alley is located on a seedier side of Whitechapel.  Ben, CEO of “disincorporated” is doing a PowerPoint presentation of his company’s newest product: Mail-Order Seed Potato Death Clock.  Writer/Performer Benjamin Nicholson promises professional salesmanship, original nu-folk music and potatoes.  Only three performances of this show.

Venue:    Studio C (Studio C)

6448 Santa Monica Blvd.

Tickets:   http://hff19.org/6007

PIT OF GOBLINS

Described as “A madcap multi-media solo show about Wayne, an optimistic serial killer who, in order to avoid capture by a local sheriff, must feed his victims to a pit of goblins in the woods.”

Okay, okay I confess, Mitchell Bisschop walks into a room and I find myself falling to the floor in a fit of uncontrollable chortling and chuckling and that usually ends up with me wetting myself.  It’s either the onset of drug and alcohol psychosis or he is that funny.  (The jury’s still out.)  But his I Can Hear You Now was one of the true laff-crankers from HFF18 so expect good things from the lad.  And c’mon, serial killers and cannibalistic goblins, if that’s not a recipe for a good time I don’t know what is.  (Hi, mom, thanks for letting little Mitchell come out and play!)

Venue:   The Complex Hollywood (Ruby Theatre )

6476 Santa Monica Blvd.

Tickets:    http://hff19.org/5785

 

LOCK YOUR HEART, ELDER P.

And here we have a glimpse into Mormonism from the male perspective, and delving into one of the most entrenched aspects of that faith, the two year missionary rite.  Now the last time I checked any stats, about 30% of young Mormons go off preaching from bicycles accounting for about 70,000 full-time missionaries worldwide.   Robert Perkins as Elder P. is happily sermonizing in Sweden when – she shows up…!   Described as “A Mormon tragedy in one act” it asks the two great moral questions: “What if your “person” comes along right when you’ve been forbidden to find one?”  And is good sex worth a demotion to mere Telestial Glory?  (Okay, I’ve got the answer to that one.)  Amanda Bird directs.

Venue:     Studio C (Studio C)

6448 Santa Monica Blvd.

Tickets:   http://hff19.org/5971

 

Show Creator Carlos Heredia

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED

The hip hip heredia theatre promises a “toe-tapping family friendly musical, which is a motivational masterpiece that will talk to your soul.”  Well first I’d have to get my soul back from the hooker in Detroit with whom I left it as collateral, but for others, Writer/Director/Musician Carlos Heredia recounts his battles with depression and his rise to fatherhood.

Venue:    Underground Annex Theater (Underground Annex)

1308 N. Wilton Pl.

Tickets:    http://hff19.org/5924

 

CRAZY HORSE: A DREAM OF THUNDER

Sam Wright claims to specialize in performances dealing with “truth, forgotten history, and the American identity” which happens to be three of my major topics.  In his one-man show he certainly has chosen fertile ground with Crazy Horse, war leader of the Oglala Lakota who handed Custer his golden fanny at the Battle of the Little Bighorn.

Venue:    Thymele Arts (California Room)

5481 Santa Monica Blvd

Tickets:     http://hff19.org/6027

 

KEITH MOON: THE REAL ME

I saw Mick Berry’s one-man show about drummer Keith Moon of the Who, the iconic “mad man with the sticks” a couple of years back.  The show had points but not enough of them.  But I’ll be interested in seeing what he’s done with the piece, which, whatever its flaws, did not lack for Passion, and that’s with a capital “P.”  It’s encouraging to see Fringe stalwart Michael Blaha on board as producer, who always brings shows worth the watching to HFF.

Venue:   The Broadwater (Second Stage)

6320 Santa Monica Blvd.

Tickets:    http://hff19.org/6037

 

MAGIC 8 BALL (MY LIFE WITH ASPERGER’S)

George Steeves is coming back to the HFF for one performance only this year, Sunday June 16th at 7:00 pm.  His one-man show about the “trials and tribulations living on the autism spectrum” was a crowd pleaser at HFF17 and NOHOFF17 and has played in the 2018 Edinburgh Fringe.  Steeves shares the stage with a Magic 8 Ball, hence the title.  I promise, George, this year I’ll be there!

Venue:    Actors Company (LET LIVE THEATER)

916 N.Formosa Ave.

Tickets:     http://hff19.org/6257

♦     ♦     ♦

There you have the second listing of  TheTvolution’s recommendations.   Again, tickets go on sale May 1 and we do encourage you to check out the HFF19 site and peruse the offerings for yourself.

TheTvolution’s next listing will focus on musicals and political productions.

Won’t that be fun?

♦     ♦     ♦

 

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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. After a wild and misspent youth, which lasted well into middle age, Kearney has settled down and is focusing on his writing, as well as living happily ever after with his lovely wife Marlene. Ernest’s stage reviews and social essays can be found at TheTVolution.com and workingauthor.com. Follow him on Facebook.

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