Thursday, August 16, 2007

More New York Fringe Festival Fun

Continuing my all-out-assault on the tremendous theater offerings in the New York International Fringe Festival, I'm aiming to take in a play a day. And my volunteering gigs get me near creative people and finally have me giving back to my beloved New York City home. Here are some insights into two more Fringe offerings:

Marvelous Shrine: Focusing on a family in crisis, with a 'gay rock-n-roll boy goes to war' plot twist, this play pits three strong pay-attention-to-me characters against each others desires, pride and notions of success. Playwright Leslie Bramm utilizes hot-button topics like homophobia, gays in the military and DUI's to illuminate the most classic of conflicts - grasps at independence between parents and child as each desperately aims to keep the bonds of unconditional love unbroken.

Bonus: Getting to meet director Pamela Butler was a thrill, as this dramatic one act is well produced and staged.

Vampingo, a Comedy with Bite: Bless the Fringe for providing a plethora of solo shows for hungry audiences. Ariana Johns' Vampingo offers a unique perspective on where a broken heart will lead us. Fantasy-filled and mystical, this play (co-written with director Jolene Adams) remains childlike as it explores mature themes like suicide, wicca-esque blood potions and bad bad men. Throw in a bat named Nosferatu, a sexy eel, blood-thirsty flamingo, and a few chatty lizards and you've got something uniquely Fringe.

Bonus: Meeting ACR Evangeline Johns (and mom of actor/playwright Ariana Johns) in the lobby, as well as cool New Yorker Selma. Great seeing how family and friends support fellow artists!

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