Sunday, May 19, 2013

Fringe National / International Preview

On Wednesday May 15th the Fringe National / International Preview was held in the Orange Venue at the John and Rita Lowndes Shakespeare Center. 44 shows from out of town performers had two minutes to get patrons interested in their show. If and performer went beyond two minutes, Bikini Katie would get up and escort the performer off stage. Michael Marinaccio, Fringe's producer, and Chase Padgett hosted the event.

The first performer up was Miss Hiccup, Shoshinz from Tokyo Japan, and I placed her in the sketch.  Her show is called "A Day in the Life of  Miss Hiccup". Her loud flower covered costume was hard to resist. Her physical comedy looks like it could be a fun show. Alexa Fitzpatrick from Aspen Colorado told us about her show called "Serving Bait to Rich People." Alexa works as a bartender at a Colorado dive in a mountain town where men outnumber women two to one. She got serious for a moment, "I'm in the middle of a break up." She paused to let that sink in. "But I'll  be OK, the couple was already having trouble." I laughed out loud.

That reminds me, there was a guy seated in the front row who had the loudest guffaw of a laugh, I've ever heard. One performer commented, "I love your laugh, It's like you're hurling acceptance at me." Oddly a woman in the audience chimed in saying she hoped it would stop. Chase was very diplomatic and stressed that different people have different laughs, and at the Fringe , laughs from all walks of life are accepted. Sadly the guy seemed to have become self conscious and didn't laugh as loud or as often. Then again, seeing 44 previews in a row can wear an audience member down.

I was impressed by the performance of Qurrat Ann Kadwani from NYC. First off she lamented that her parents gave her a name that no one could pronounce. I can identify with that. She switched characters often as she talked about what it was like growing up Indian in the Bronx. I circled "They Call me Q" in my program. Jason Nettle educated us about Fetishes. He said Bronnies and Clappers are individuals who get off on "My Little Pony." He said he could explain why Michael keeps asking George for a Blimpkin. I obviously have much to learn, so I circled "Fetish" in my program. 

Patrick Combs got one of those fake checks from publishers Clearing House for $95,000 dollars. He thought it would be funny to deposit it at his bank signed with a smiley face. He forgot about it and later discovered that his Bank (Bank of America) had cashed the check and he was $100,000 richer. When he went to the bank to straighten things out he was greeted by armed gun men in black suits. His two minutes were up at the mic, and the audience all went awww. Because we all wanted to know what happened next. Bikini Katie walked him off stage with "Man 1, Bank O" written on her thighs.

Chase Padgett and Paul Strickland teamed up to do a guitar duo.  They made up lyrics on the fly and Chase came up with lyrics about laughter that tied into the evenings ongoing theme. I circled, "Chase and Paul: Solo Shows are Hard". Gemma Wilcox from London took us for a ride in her "Magical Mystery Detour". She played a dog, a driver and a motorcycle side car, switching between characters in an instant. I suspect this show is a must see, although she moves so fast and so often, she might be hard to sketch.. "Little Pussy" by John Grady isn't about Sex, but about a little kitten named faith that he rescued from sprawling LA traffic. Martin Dockery is a master storyteller. I saw him last year and recognized his frenetic energy. I definitely want to see "The Dark Fantastic".

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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