On the fifth day, the Fringe rests. Festival theaters are dark tonight, but that gives us a chance to catch up on recommendations for the week of Fringe ahead. Our critics caught several shows this weekend, including:
“Please Don’t Beat Me Up: Stories and Artifacts From Adolescence”:
Nelson Pressley was lukewarm on Adam Ruben’s one-man show about childhood humiliation. On one hand, “young Ruben’s verbal precociousness and detailed strategy for How to Get That Girl are really endearing,” Pressley says. On the other, “The show is not quite artful, but it’s not calculatedly raw, either.” Read his full review here.
“Fat Men in Skirts”: Rachel Weiner finds that the fake blood doesn’t flow quite as freely in the Molotov Theatre’s Fringe offering this year. “The much-hyped baby eating is not as gross as you would expect,” she reports. Good to know. Read her full review here.
“Illuminopolis”: Stephanie Merry enters a city inhabited by fire-eaters, belly dancers and accordion players. Says Merry: “While none of the acts were impeccably performed — this is Fringe, after all, and there were forgotten lines and occasional mishaps — it was a delight to witness Malibu put out a torch with her tongue, see Miss Joule whirl a multi-hued, illuminated hula hoop and watch Na’la flutter stretches of white cloth so fast that they looked as ethereal as smoke.” Read her full review here.
“The Oregon Trail: The Quest for the West!”: Rachel Weiner prays for a “Game Over” in this musical based on the classic computer game. “ ‘Oregon Trail’ the show is never as edgy as it should be or as funny as it seems to think it is. The words ‘manifest destiny’ are used many, many times, to no effect,” she says. Read her full review here.
“Pandora: A Tragicomic Greek Romp”: Fiona Zublin is relieved that this Pandora has little to do with the figure in Greek mythology, and praises The Impressionable Players’ “winning humor and homemade quality.” Also, the bat jokes. Read her full review here.
Elsewhere in Fringe:
• On DC Theatre Scene, performer Jon Feffer explains how his show about 1980’s Poland, “The Bird,” came to be.
• Fringe videomaster Cory Ryan Frank, who persists in making puns out of his name, says that Fringe has sold over 9,000 tickets and 5,000 buttons. Three shows have sold out: “Good Girls Don’t but Indian Girls Do,” “Cabaret XXX Les Femmes Fatales” and “Squirrel, or the Origin of a Species.”
• Finally, gentlemen should note: