Emily Casey gets a critical nod as the nurse with a conflicted heart — and very short nurse’s outfit — in Opera Alterna’s “Gallantry: a Soap Opera in One Act.” (Photo by Nichole Brock)

Why wade through the reviews of this year’s Capital Fringe Festival when you can check out the Cliffs Notes? Find out what the critics have to say about shows from the opening weekend:

An Adult Evening with Shel Silverstein at Studio Theatre

Synopsis: The legendary children’s author had a naughty streak, and it plays out in seven skits in this hour-long show performed by grads of the National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts.

Reviewer Nelson Pressley says: Despite some unseasoned acting, “the chance to spend an hour with Silverstein is too good to pass up, even when the writer of ‘Where the Sidewalk Ends’ and ’A Boy Named Sue’ is penning an entire playlet with lines rhyming in ‘e,’ spoken by two prostitutes making brazen promises.”

Remaining dates: 7:30 p.m. July 16; 10 p.m. July 20;
6 p.m. July 22

Gallantry: A Soap Opera in One Act at the Warehouse Theater

Synopsis: Opera Alterna’s tale follows a nurse who is contemplating an affair.

Reviewer Joe Banno says: “Director AMC Clapp has devised a sly, gleefully smutty staging filled with visual gags involving scantily clad, off-camera nurses studying for the GRE, hokey choreography interrupted by twinges of appendicitis and hospital staff locked in soft-core-porn tableaus.” Emily Casey’s naughty Nurse Lola wins a rave on both her singing and her enviable way with a nurse’s uniform.

Remaining dates: 6 p.m. July 13; 2:30 p.m. July 16; 6 p.m. July 19

Tactile Dinner Car at the Baldacchino at Fort Fringe

Synopsis: Banished? Productions transforms its popular Fringe show “A Tactile Dinner” into a moveable “future food” feast.

Reviewer Fiona Zublin says: “The show is occasionally in the cuisine ... but it’s more often about engaging the audience with absurdity. ... ‘Tactile Dinner Car’ is diverting and well thought out, but best enjoyed with an adventurous palate and a thorough appreciation for the ridiculous.”

Remaining dates: 7 p.m. July 21-22; 7:30 p.m. July 23 and
2:30 p.m. July 24

Illuminopolis at the Warehouse Theater

Synopsis: Baltimore’s fire-spinning crew Tilted Torch presents its first Fringe offering, a variety show about a fictional city and its denizens who all seem to have a special talent, be it burlesque or acoustic guitar.

Reviewer Stephanie Merry says: “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.”

Remaining dates: 4:30 p.m. July 17; 10 p.m. July 21; 11 p.m. July 23

The Oregon Trail: Quest for the West at the Mountain

Synopsis: No. 11 Productions breaks new ground with a musical inspired by the 1980s educational video game “The Oregon Trail.”

Reviewer Rachel Weiner says: “’Oregon Trail’ the show is never as edgy as it should be or as funny as it seems to think it is.” The musical numbers, however, are bright points amid “lame dialogue.”

Remaining dates: 7:45 p.m. July 12 and 8 p.m. July 13