Thursday, May 26, 2011

Hench Bots

Some thought it couldn't be done. Dog Powered Robot was an instant flash fire hit at last year's Fringe. Back then the show was just three minutes long. Every night it won an award that said it would make a great full length Fringe show. Tons of dedicated hard work went into making the show a runaway hit at this year's Fringe. Now there is a small army of new robots all built from cardboard yet seeming high tech on a shoe string budget. It's the simplicity that continues to give DPR it's charm. In this sketch, "No Bones" lies on his flaccid bean bag chair. His delicate inflated ego needs constant re-enforcement from his two "Hench Bots" who were programed to offer constant praise and adulation. They weren't designed with legs however so they move on simple coaster wheels using their robotic arms for propulsion.

In one magical sequence in the play, a simple overhead projector shows transparencies that animate YouTube pop cultural viral clips. I was laughing uncontrollably when "Keyboard Cat" started tickling the ivories. I laughed so hard I couldn't breath. You could see the operator's fingers as he moved the transparencies to animate the cat's paws and pink head. But this is just one example. I laughed just as hard throughout the rehearsal. These two bickering "Hench Bots" played off each other like Laurel and Hardy but with metallic voices and endless robotic charm.

When Dog Powered Robot finally appears, the epic robotic battle still has an adorable humor to it because Fisher, the dog nestled inside the chest of Dog Powered Robot, steals the show. The show is cleverly written and expertly directed yet there is a playful quality that come's out in rehearsals and is sure to hit the stage. I can imagine flash mobs across the country breaking out and doing the Dog Powered Robot Ddddance!

5/26 THU 7:40PM
5/27 FRI 6:40PM
5/29 SUN 1:25PM

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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