The Washington Post

Fringe Festival 2011: A heat advisory guide to the Fringe, plus new reviews

Seeing shows in un-air conditioned theaters on potentially record-breaking heat advisory days is half the fun of Fringe, right? According to our Capital Weather Gang, if you see a show in a venue with inadequate air conditioning tonight, you will be MISERABLE. Even if you manage to get an industrial fan like this horse, you’ll still feel really hot and sweaty. The heat index is expected to top 100 degrees, and there is a heat advisory until 8 p.m. For those scheduled for a Fringe event in the tent, I’d highly suggest bringing a bottle of water and a paper fan, as well as wearing loose-fitting clothing.

'Manifesto!' at the Capital Fringe Festival 2011. (Courtesy Capital Fringe Festival)

Our critics have new Fringe reviews and recommendations for you:

“Manifesto!”: Fiona Zublin appreciated that this Happenstance Theater production did not take dada too seriously. “But Happenstance Theater routinely offers Fringe shows that are polished and beautiful, full of well-thought-out visuals and, in this case, charming and impressive musical accompaniment from Karen Hansen. It’s tough to pull off such a disjointed evening of performance art, but something this lovely to look at doesn’t really require rationality,” says Zublin. Read her full review here.

“Life, Love, Sex, Death...and Other Works in Progress (a Multi-Chakra Extravaganza)”: Nelson Pressley addresses his review in the form of a letter to Stevie Jay, whose one-man show was “different, dude.” “I thought you were really smart about teasing issues of sexuality into view and then being playfully resistant about the way we get hung up on labels,” Pressley tells Jay. Read his full review here.

“My Name is Pablo Picasso”: I saw this show on Sunday, and was charmed by this glimpse at a young Picasso realizing his potential, and and his need to leave muse Fernande behind. It’s a good year to revisit Picasso, too: “Filled with artistic in-jokes, ‘My Name Is Pablo Picasso’ is one of the Fringe’s more polished offerings, having been presented throughout Australia. Although the play was written in 1979, this Cubist Productions version comes during a year in which interest in Picasso’s muses has been renewed, with a show dedicated to his teenage model Marie-Therese at the Gagosian Gallery in New York.” Read the full review here.

“Boston Marriage”: Nelson Pressley saw this show about Victorian lesbians, and he offers an important rule of theater criticism: ”In plays with maids, when the maid is really good, the show’s on solid ground. Nora Achrati is, indeed, really good as the maid, acting with an accent that’s as consistent as it is absurdly broad, and nailing the dim girl’s punchlines.” Read his full review here.

And, oops, I neglected to include “Gallantry” in my roundup yesterday. Sorry, Joe Banno and Opera Alterna. Banno says that the show, which spoofs early radio and TV soap operas, is pretty benign fare for Fringe. And even though advertising is included in that spoof, the show’s own advertising is misleading! “The advertising proclaims nudity, but if any actually occurred it must have been an easily missed nanosecond’s-worth.” Bummer. Read his full review here.

Full listing of tonight’s Fringe shows.

Fringe news:

• Though the folks at the show “Twisted” are jealous of the air conditioning in venues beyond the tent, they realize that they don’t have it so bad, after all:

@playwrightsteve Ooh. Fair point. Drunk patrons = me being suddenly funnier. #capfringe2011less than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet ReplyTwisted Tidings

• DCist reviews some shows we haven’t seen yet: “The Malachite Palace,” “Who Killed Captain Kirk,” “Embodying Poe,” and “Pascal’s Aquarium,” to name a few.

• Meanwhile, Fringe & Purge takes on “Twisted,” “UPheaval,” and “Captain Freedom,” among many, many others.

• TBD’s Sarah Godfrey reminds us that there’s another theater festival in town: the D.C. Hip-Hop Theater Festival.

• Finally, from the CDC, here are some tips for preventing heatstroke. One of them is to drink non-alcoholic beverages. Guessing the folks hanging out in the Gypsy Tent, where prosecco is on tap, won’t be heeding that one.

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


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