This week I have had the wonderful opportunity of attending the Hollywood Fringe Festival! In connection with that, I will be posting my findings throughout the weekend, focusing on the unique aspects of each show that are inspiring to me.
30 Minute Musicals was such a delight! First came the hilarious parody of the classic Jurassic Park movies in which my favorite character, the T-Rex, sang about his misfortune as a carnivore. This spectacular show reminded me of the days when my cousins and I would put on shows for our grandparents in our lving room. It came complete with homemade dinosaur costumes, dramatic intervention, classic tossed in jokes and mayhem. My first thoughts after experiencing this dino-tastic musical was: “why has this not been written before”. The script and lyrics honed in on everything missing in the film from spontaneous missing limbs, to the terrible solutions offered to escape the dino-land and songs! Although this production was lacking in high technical elements it truly captured the youthful energy of the audience and pulled us into the fun on stage. I appreciated that every ensemble member was working towards the main goal of the story. I can only imagine the collaboration meetings that went on to make this great show possible.
Next came Showgirls and in all honesty I was not quite as enthralled with this piece in the same way, but I also did not realize that it was a parody of the 1995 film. This is the story of a country girl climbing her way into the Vegas limelight, so naturally I saw Coyote Ugly and Burlesque images in my head. After going home and researching this movie, I concluded that this show was indeed hilarious in its own fashion! Lindsay Ray, playing Nomi, captured the essence of this character’s many quirks while highlighting her own singing and dancing talents. I enjoyed the attention to detail that this show entailed including the awkward “sexy” dance moves of the 90’s and the wacky style. Again, the cast depended on each other and cohesively put on a great show.
The actors and musicians were having a blast during both of these shows, which reflected in the audience’s laughter and response. This ensemble worked well using their strengths to highlight each other and I was greatly entertained, so it is a win-win show.
Pacific Conference featured around a snobby aussie bloke signing a deal with a new american movie. It was funny to recognize the changes these american business men made when dealing with the Australian actor in order to make him feel more comfortable, like de-professionalizing their clothing and using terms such as “bloke”. These types of adjustments may seem highly stereotypical, but in many cases very true. Having lived there myself, I thoroughly enjoyed the use of the quirky down-under terms. Although the aussie accent is always a win in my opinion, the show relied on general stereotypes of international businessmen, from the sex crazed Indian to the bigoted American and the baffled Middle Eastern. I would have enjoyed a bit more realism from the characters or at least solid plot. It was a funny sketch about working in a mixed ethnicity environment, but overall lacked in the ingenuity I was looking for in a fringe show. Often times when a project is first starting out, many of these things become apparent when put in front of an audience. This particular show strives off of it’s Saturday Night Live sketch feel. In saying that, I respect the playwright and director Christofer Frey for putting up this show and seeing where it can take off!
Anna Hodgson is the 2012 Communication Intern. When not communicating, she is either managing the stage, dreaming up fabulous direction, organizing dusty props or making messes in her kitchen baking delicious goodies.