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CAPITAL FRINGE FESTIVAL HAS ITS ACT TOGETHER
A Few Upcoming Fringe Events:
A Walk in the Woods American Ensemble Theater at the Goethe Institut, (Ages 13 and up) July 15 - 8:30 p.m.; July 17 - 11:30 a.m. and 9 p.m.; July 18 - 4 p.m.; July 24 3 p.m. H.M.S. Pinafore G&S Youth Company at The Mountain July 16 - 5:30 p.m.; July 17 - 12:45 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; July 18 - 4:45 p.m. Macbeth Push/Pull Theater Company at Redrum (Ages 13 and up) July 10 - 8 p.m.; July 11 - 4 p.m.; July 15 10:30 p.m.; July 17 - 7 p.m.; July 18 9:30 p.m. No Gentlemen of Verona The Rude Mechanicals at Warehouse July 11 - 8:30 p.m.; July 14 - 10 p.m.; July 16 - 10:30 p.m.; July 17 - 7:30 p.m.; July 22 - 6 p.m.; July 24 - 8:30 p.m. A Magical Way of Thinking: Magician David Morey At The Point July 11 - 1:15 p.m.; July 15 - 9 p.m.; July 20 6:30 p.m.; July 24 - 12 p.m. For more events check out: www.capfringe.org
By Nicole Zimbelman
photo by Jeff Malet
here can killer robots, remnants of the 1968 riots, a magician and tales of love, family and valor be found? At the 2010 Capital Fringe Festival of course. The festival, running July 8 through July 25, will celebrate its fifth year with 137 different shows to entertain the city. Capital Fringe festival provides an opportunity for lesser-known artists to present their work to the public, highlighting some of the local DC talent. Plays range from dramas to comedies to solo performance to musicals. There are even a few puppet shows in the mix. However, the festival will include some more famous pieces such as “A Walk in the Woods”, a play by Lee Blessing, which has been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, a Tony Award and an Oliver Award and “H.M.S. Pinafore” by Gilbert & Sullivan, returning to the Fringe Festival for it’s fourth summer in a row. Performances will be held in venues found in Penn Quarter and Mount Vernon Square such as a cigar shop abandoned since the 1960s, a historic church, an old restaurant and a German cultural institute. Tickets are $15 per show or passes can be purchased for a range of prices from $40 for four shows a $300 all-inclusive pass.
The McLean Drama Company presents “Florida Days” at The Apothecary at 1013 7th St. NW. The play runs on select dates for July 10 through July 22. Tickets are $15 each.
By Jenna DeWitt
As part of the Fringe Festival this month, Rachael Bail’s “Florida Days” premiered at The Apothecary on July 10. The play, performed by the McLean Drama Company, follows the journey of Betty, a Southern girl living in Brooklyn, New York. Betty, played by Elise Edwards, transforms from fiery young journalist to a wife and mother while her world crashes down around her. The audience seems transfixed by the depth of Edward’s talent. Her character’s chemistry with Thomas Linn’s character, Vincent, is equally apparent. The onstage couple carries the production with a truly convincing portrayal of two lovers facing life’s hardships while seeking the deeper meaning of it all. The physical appearance of the production could be described as minimalist with few costumes, about 10 props in all and projected images on a back wall instead of sets. Yet nothing is lacking. The comparatively few materials only aid the intensity of the emotions portrayed. Even the audience’s seating seems to transform from a few church pews, since the first scene is a wedding, to benches in a blue-lit coffeehouse, when the action quickly transitions to New York City. The setting then remains in New York for most of the play, despite the title. The Apothecary, a tiny dance studio with exposed brick and unpainted wood, conveyed the sense of watching this family in their city home, living off of Vincent’s salary as an opera conductor. Though the quality of acting from much of the supporting cast left much to be desired, Edwards and Linn gave performances of which they should be proud. For a small community
theater group, the company showed potential and will be a group to look forward to in future festivals. I would give “Florida Days” three out of five Fringes.
No Gentlemen of Verona
Elizabethan English flows aplenty with this renovated Shakespeare play. “No Gentlemen of Verona,” Joshua Engel’s take on “Two Gentlemen of Verona,” takes place in the 1940s. The time period works surprisingly well for the play, though the explanation of that specific adaptation is a bit hard to follow. According to the program, it was successful in Engel’s past experiment with “Much Ado About Nothing” and was thus chosen for the time period for this venture as well. Mobsters, Navy sailors and bright red lipstick make the setting work, however, and more relatable to a modern American audience. The Rude Mechanicals were as quick and witty as The Bard himself could have expected. The cast’s past experience with Shakespearean dialogue shows in their skillful delivery. It is obvious that the members of this all-female troupe not only know their lines, but they fully understand their meaning. In fact, it is as if they naturally speak Elizabethan English in their daily lives. The few trips over the complex lines were quickly remedied and never skipped a beat. Overall, “No Gentlemen of Verona” is a comic delight for Shakespeare lovers that enjoy a new spin on an old favorite. I would give “No Gentlemen of Verona” four out of five Fringes.
14 July 14, 2010 GMG, Inc.