The Capital Fringe Festival kicked off yesterday, and I celebrated by hitting up "Dorks on the Loose: It I Awkward." I chose the show based solely upon the silliness of its name, and I think it partially lived up to the awkward part.
This 45-minute play was made up of sketch comedy, in which two women continually changed characters in order to escape the dork police. Some of the sketches were hilarious, especially when the girls became catty newscasters on an Oxygen-like network, or when they transformed into roommates who quarreled because one was messy and the other was a vampire. Others fell flat -- two hipsters at the Met hitting on girls was especially, well, awkward. When I laughed, I laughed hard, but when I stopped laughing, it was usually to groan.
But I guess that's the beauty of Fringe. You never know when you're going to hit upon a gem. So I decided to take a deep dive into the awe-inspiring schedule to increase my odds of finding a winner. Based on past performances or talented participants, here's a brief rundown of my newly revised list of top picks:
â€¢ "Chocolate Jesus," a collection of true first-person narratives about religion and identity, is back after a sold-out run during last year's festival.
â€¢ Molotov Theatre Group's "For Boston" was well-received in 2007, and this year the group presents "The Sticking Place," which promises "if we don't disgust you, it's not for lack of trying."
â€¢ In the dance realm, the Word Dance Theater's "Revolutionary: Isadora Duncan's Word, Music and Dance" brings the icon of iconoclasm back to life.
â€¢ Speaking of icons, "Iconicity" sounds promising. Presented by Eleventh Hour Ensemble, including Jennifer Crooks who worked on last year's well-received "Love & War," this experimental mix of ensemble work and improv explores why certain images have such an impact on us.
â€¢ There was a lot of buzz surrounding Laura Zam and her one-woman play "Collaterally Damaged" during the 2007 festival, and this year she's performing "How I Got Rich in a Year, Using that Secret."
â€¢ A lot of people loved "The Neon Man and Me" last year and the writer-actor, Slash Coleman, returns with the seemingly less serious (if the title is any indication) "Slash Coleman has Big Matzo Balls," about growing up Jewish in small-town Virginia.
â€¢ Peter Coy, a Helen Hayes Award winner, brings us "Poe and All the Jazz," which explores the tortured life, visions and poetry of Edgar Allen Poe.
Of course, this is a very abridged list. There are so many more plays that sound promising, so let me know in the comments what you saw and liked or what you're hoping to catch over the next couple of weeks.
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