With Fringe performances dark last night — the most energetic theater festival in the city needs to rest sometime — it’s time to step back and contemplate the big question: What is this year’s Fringe really about?
Style Blog dropped the descriptions from this year’s shows into a Tagxedo word cloud that gives prominence to the words used most frequently. Here’s how Fringe performers are describing their shows (hover over words to enlarge them):
Love, life, music, comedy, D.C. and work are the major themes that emerge — and they’re not too different from last year. The smaller words are where the more interesting patterns pop up: This year, we’re seeing more opera and burlesque, and more shows about science, God, and, naturally, Occupy — which started too late to occupy last year’s Fringe. Apocalypse, raptors and revenge are a few of the other winners.
New reviews from our Fringe team:
“Madame: Helena Rubinstein in America” : “The lurching book includes some fun anecdotes (the account of Rubinstein showering Fifth Avenue with perfume vials attached to balloons, for instance), but while dwelling at length on Rubinstein’s famously rocky marriage to journalist Edward Titus, writer Denver manages to make that marriage seem dull.” — Celia Wren
“Beertown” : “Although you might wish that any of the eight actors in this partly improvised evening might turn up the volume just a tad on the personalities of the locals they’re embodying, there seems to be a method in not making ‘Beertown’ the kind of mocking lampoon of small-town politics portrayed on ‘Parks and Recreation.’” — Peter Marks
“Superhero Celebrity Rehab” : “The show’s gold-spandex-clad protagonist, Supernova, has a cocaine habit that gets in the way of his ability to deftly dispatch villains.” — Stephanie Merry
“President Harding is a Rock Star” : “It looks like something a whip-smart and profane high school student would dream up for a history-class project.” — Fiona Zublin
“The Pundit” : “’The Pundit’ deflates its target with a sharp satiric pin in that first hour.” — Jane Horwitz
“Imagination Meltdown Adventure” : “Though Jack’s journey is awfully similar to those trod by other ordinary-guys-turned-action-heroes before, what sets ‘Imagination Meltdown Adventure’ apart from the pack is the masterful puppet design led by Matt Reckeweg.” — Maura Judkis
Though there were no Fringe performances last night, Andrew Baughmann, the artistic director of the Landless Theatre Company, which is presenting “President Harding is a Rock Star,” reviewed above, offered up some #fringereviews:
Be sure to send us yours tonight! And take water and a fan to any venues that aren’t air conditioned — the Capital Weather Gang predicts a hot evening, with temperatures in the 90s for the afternoon and evening.