The Washington Post

Capital Fringe 2011: Review roundup and more tips to beat the heat

Is Capital Fringe too expensive? Is it too hot? We'll return to these crucial questions in a bit, but first: review bonanza. This weekend, our critics saw:

"But Love Is My Middle Name!”

Emily Love Morrison in the one-woman play ‘But Love Is My Middle Name!’ (Dominic Albo)

Con: “Morrison’s not a great singer, and she knows it.”

“Stanley Ann”

Pro: “Noble portrays an older [Stanley Ann] Dunham with grace and wisdom, as she worries about the values she has instilled in her children.”

Con: “Stanley Ann” “could use some trimming of the numerous monologues dedicated to finding one’s place in the world and railing at the injustice of Indonesian politics.

“[Expletive]-ing Up Everything”

Pro: “The score, by David Eric Davis, rocks the house with nearly every song and is aided by the cast’s uniformly excellent voices.”

Con: “The acoustics in Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company’s rehearsal hall often mean it’s difficult to make out the lyrics.”

“Cry of the Mountain”

Pro: “Rock-solid Fringe show. . . . It’s unapologetic agitprop and compelling drama.”

Con: Nothing. Nelson Pressley has only positive things to say.

“A Day at the Museum”

Pro: “More than lust, Barnett’s silent comedy is about reversing the gaze, a hyper-analyzed art-historical concept.”

Con: “The concept is clever . . . but begins to wear thin after several rounds of museum visitors have passed through.”

“Squirrel, or the Origin of a Species”

Pro: “The play is high-minded mockery, and it’s directed gleefully by Kerri Rambow.”

Con: “At times, it’s almost too dense and quick; Merino gives you a lot of social science to sort through amid all the gags.”


Pro: “Some theatergoers reveled in the pantomime, twirling hands and shaking heads.”

Con: “Fans of merely observational performances might find the whole thing tiresome.”

“Shrewing of the Tamed”

Pro: “The show has firm ideas about that tricky final speech of Kate’s.”

Con: “It’s kind of a raw 70 minutes.”

Fringe news:

— No shows today, folks. Instead, there’s a panel discussion on arts criticism with some of the City Paper’s Fringe & Purge crew. Disgruntled actors and directors are welcome to air their grievances in the open discussion portion of the evening.

— Playwright Rich Byrne tackles the annual complaint about the price of Fringe tickets, which can be a barrier to people who just want to check out a show or two. He thinks Fringe is doing something right with the Gypsy Tent: “To pick on one particular instance, you have an awesome space like Artisphere with a cafe that doesn’t stay open long enough to have a drink or kibbitz after a show. That’s a lost opportunity. And a way we can learn from what Fringe does right. Not just creating art, but creating a fun and exciting and vital space around the art.”

— Some stay-cool tips for the hot week ahead: Banished Productions’ Twitter account tells me to carry ice packs to the more tropical venues, which become a “personal AC.” Good call. And Tom Tiding from the show “Twisted” writes to me about his low-tech air-conditioning efforts for his show in the super-hot Gypsy Tent: He’s turned his programs into fans and is offering free bottled water with greeting-card sayings printed on the label.

— According to this tweet, Fringe show “e-Geaux” will be featured on NPR’s “All Things Considered” today at 4:20ish.

Maura Judkis covers culture, food, and the arts for the Weekend section and Going Out Guide.


Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read


Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
Making family dinnertime happen
Deaf banjo player teaches thousands
New limbs for Pakistani soldiers
Play Videos
A veteran finds healing on a dog sled
Learn to make this twice-baked cookie
How to prevent 'e-barrassment'
Play Videos
Syrian refugee: 'I’m committed to the power of music'
The art of tortilla-making
Michael Bolton's cinematic serenade to Detroit
Play Videos
Circus nuns: These sisters are no act
5 ways to raise girls to be leaders
Cool off with sno-balls, a New Orleans treat