After a Fringe binge, the postmortem begins

Overheard Sunday night at the Hollywood Fringe: “We had about 12 (in the audience). Not bad!” And everything being relative, it wasn’t bad. An even dozen was my count at Theatre Asylum earlier in the evening when I started my Fringe binge with Sam Shepard’s Cowboy Mouth – although three of us were from […]

Sound and Fury, Signifying Nothing

They don’t call them “fringe” festivals for nothing. With titles like I Heart Hamas: And Other Things I’m Afraid to Tell You, the 2011 Hollywood Fringe looks packed with theatrical land mines. One misstep and…kabloowie! Take the LA-based comedy trio Sound & Fury’s Spaceship Man, a simply ghastly 70 minutes of self-indulgence that makes water-boarding […]

Oh, and there’s another show in town…

There are several popular mythologies about theater audiences. Some people say that big splashy tours build general excitement for in theater, theoretically increasing interest in events like RADAR L.A. and Hollywood Fringe. But a quick poll of people attending “Les Miserables” at the Ahmanson Theater on Sunday paints a different picture. Or maybe it’s just a marketing issue…

Podcast debate: ‘The Last Five Years’

It’s the battle of the sexes, waged over the Jason Robert Brown musical The Last Five Years. Cathy and Jamie meet cute, fall in love, get married and then fall apart. But who is to blame for their unhappily-ever-after? Help Engine 28 decide. Take our poll The Last Five Years, Hollywood Fringe Festival. Through June […]

Is There Life After the Fringe? (Video Interview)

In Summer “Rain” Sinclair’s Born Again Bohemian, a personal story of shedding parental baggage, the playwright’s mom dismisses the absence of Sinclair’s hippie-dippie dad, saying, “We have plans for our life, Summer, and they don’t include him.” Eventually, the plans of a grown-up Sinclair do include the man she calls Dadio. And after her Hollywood […]

Arab spring comes to Los Angeles’ theater festival summer

  Theatre Communications Group went bold when it scheduled Mona Eltahawy to open its 50th annual conference, which closed Saturday in Los Angeles.  The Egyptian-American columnist is a mainstay read for those following the tectonic shifts of Middle East nations beyond the headlines. But for theater professionals? It’s safe to say more than one head […]

Spring Awakening: What’s in a Song? Or The Franzen Factor

Back when the musical version of Spring Awakening was still finding it’s footing on Broadway, author Jonathan Franzen published a new translation of Frank Wedekind’s original 1891 German play. In his introduction to the 2007 volume, Franzen excoriates the musical adaptation, calling it “insipid,” “overpraised,” and sullied by “a dense modern fog of sentimentality and […]

TVK: Outrageous and appealingly smarty-pants

Tüte Voller Kinder: Seizure No. 1 is the short subject screening before Pure Shock Value at Fringe Central. Sample random quote from a scattershot variety spoof that has everything in its gun-sights: “If I could go back and not shoot your mom in the head, I would.” Creators Jason Lind and C. Honett attack their comic […]

Pure Shock Value rocks Hollywood Fringe [Film]

All around the TCG conference and concurrent festivals, theater people are voicing questions and concerns about the viral encroachment of media into theater. Speculation on eventual outcomes abounds.  Into the fray comes the Furious Theatre Company – premiering a movie. So from the get-go, Pure Shock Value is about as encroached as it gets. Film was the […]

The Hollywood Fringe 1-woman show picker

Out of 91 theater works in this year’s Hollywood Fringe, 19 are one-woman shows. How to pick the ones to see? This flowchart can help you narrow your choices. Choose a topic of interest from the tabs down the left margin and proceed from there. Let us know what you end up choosing!

‘Born Again Bohemian’: Fatherless Child Saves Herself

If you’ve ever tried to drain the poison of your childhood, or even if you just enjoy a bit of ballet and a turquoise boa, you should find something to like in “Born Again Bohemian.” Summer “Rain” Sinclair admits her one-woman Hollywood Fringe Festival show is a work in progress. But as it evolves, this […]

Engine28 Quiz: Comedy or Theatre?

Peruse the Hollywood Fringe Festival program and you’ll find productions organized into categories like “Cabaret and Variety,” Musicals and Operas,” and “Events.” They seem self-evident until you consider some of the descriptions in the “Comedy” and “Theatre” sections. Headscarf and the Angry Bitch is described as a “…hilarious hour of story and song.” How Did […]

Gay, Black and Kind of Funny

Christmas In Bakersfield, playing at Comedy Sportz as part of the Hollywood Fringe Festival, will disappoint if you’re looking for the big gift but it’s a perfect stocking stuffer. Les Kurkendaal’s one-man show details the true story of meeting his boyfriend’s conservative white parents who know their son is gay but don’t know his boyfriend […]

What Is the Fringe About?

Wondering what the shows are all about? Above, the most common words in the Hollywood Fringe Festival program. Apparently the shows are hilarious solo musical comedies about love, family, friends and America.

The Shows of the Hollywood Fringe, Mapped

The Hollywood Fringe Festival opened last night, kicking off frantic blast of performance. With 215 shows in 10 days, the Fringe crams as much theater into just over a week as happens in my hometown—Portland, Ore.—in an entire year. Remarkably, very nearly all of the productions are from southern California, making the topic of Tuesday’s […]