Anything Can Happen
The 13th Annual Seattle Fringe Theatre Festival is in full swing, and I've seen and written reviews (they're here at TheatreSeattle.com) for ten productions in the past two and a-half days, with four more to go in the next three. By the time it's over next weekend there will have been over 500 performances from 90 different local, national and international companies.
This is the second year the Festival has gone up in its new mid-September slot, which places it in a better sequence for acts traveling the North American Fringe Festival Circuit, and frankly I've been pleasantly impressed with the overall quality of what I've seen to-date. Because of the itinerant nature of these shows, production values tend toward the sparse-to-almost-non-existent, so the emphasis is put squarely on writing and acting (where it rightfully belongs), and I've seen some darned good examples of both:
Local playwright John Longenbaugh's work doesn't always impress me, but his most recent effort How To Be Cool is the best I've ever seen from him. Intelligent, funny and with a great sense of playing with as well as to the audience.
Joe Boling is a living institution amongst the local theatre cognoscenti, and his fascinating one-man lecture What Is It Like To Be Joe Boling? gives us a fascinating glimpse into his complex, obsessive, but consistently humane personality.
Likewise, Maria Glanz is a consumate performer who's garnered a whole bunch of awards for her work, both locally and on the fringe circuit, and her latest outing And The Cowgirl Jumped Over The Moon promises this enchanting writer/actress even more well-deserved accolades.
And those are just the things I've seen personally. We've got five other reviewers out there scouring all the little performance spaces on Capitol Hill, digging through the rough for the gems that lie beneath. Fortunately for us, this year at least there seems to be a strong vein of really good theatre ore to mine, and that can only bode well for future prospects.
If you can, go see some shows. If you can't go read about all the great (and yes, not-so-great) stuff you're missing.
on 2:58 PM