Monday, February 28, 2011

Adelaide Fringe 2011 - Fringesanity Part 1

Well, we're just over two weeks into the greater Fringe festival and, as planned, I've been to see a bunch of shows. Here's what I've seen up to the night of Friday February 25. I'm sorry I can't go into more details about the shows; there just isn't enough time to give everything the full treatment.

Viva La Franglaise

I saw this was on and was hoping to go, but then budgetary issues kicked in and it didn't make the cut. However, composer/performer Matthew Carey asked me if I'd like to go and write a review of it for Cabaret Confessional, and I did. It's a great show and I really hope he and singer Nikki Aitken make good on their plans to bring it back later in the year, since I'd like a) to see it again, and b) other people to see it as well.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Fringe Review - The Max & Dagger Show

Max is a fast talking, ukulele-playing, whip-cracking Texan; Jack Dagger is a Louisiana knife-thrower with nerves – and blades – of steel. Together they present The Max & Dagger Show, a mix of songs, comedy and death-defying stunts.

Shelby Bond is a Fringe veteran, having performed here over the years with Sound and Fury, mostly recently in their hilarious, highly acclaimed 2010 show Private Dick – which I wrote about in my post on last year's Fringe. It's Jack Dagger's first time, but, as his website indicates, he's no less accomplished a performer, being an award winning knife-thrower who has appeared on The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The week that was #23

The Fringe loometh1

Pre-Fringe (i.e. those shows that start prior to the official Fringe opening on February 18) begins this week so this will probably be my last weekly update for a while as my time will become, well, scarce. But I will be making regular Fringe updates while it's on.

At this point I'll be seeing around forty shows, twenty reviews and about as many more by choice. There are quite a few I'd like to see but am not seeing, mostly because of lack of time and opportunity – I've also got to fit in a couple of non-Fringe things, like a buck's party and a birthday party – but also because of budget; as it is I'm looking at spending upward of $600 on tickets, and that's around the limit I'd set myself.

But I should have plenty to write about.

1Yeah, yeah, I know it's not a word, but I'm feeling a bit retro this evening.

The Walking Dead

I got my hands on the first season of the tv series The Walking Dead a few months back and have just finished the last episode – not that it was much of a marathon, given that there are only six.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The week that was #22

It's been a fairly busy week. When I haven't been out and about doing stuff, I've been trying to put my Fringe schedule together – and you can read about what I plan to see here.

Twilight (the film) with RiffTrax

Given how I felt about the book – which you can read about here – seeing the film adaptation of the first Twilight book wasn't on my to do list.

But then I discovered RiffTrax.

The brainchild of the guys behind Mystery Science Theatre 3000, which took old b-grade sci-fi and horror film and added commentary ('riffs') to them, RiffTrax is the continuation of that, only now the movies they give the treatment to are modern, big-budget films.

All you do is download the mp3 – the cost varies, but the Twilight one was US$4; you can buy packages, which works out a bit cheaper – and then let it play. You have to synch it up with the film, but that's relatively easy, since there's a regular reminder ('Disembaudio') which speaks a line of dialogue; if it's spoken at the same time as it's said in the movie, you're at the right spot.

And what it provides is snarky, smartass commentary about the plot, characters and dialogue – and if you're a regular visitor here you'll know that's exactly my idea of a good time.

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Red Shoes

I got to see a very interesting show last night: Kneehigh Theatre's The Red Shoes, at Her Majesty's Theatre.

Based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale about a girl who winds up with a pair of red shoes that are cursed so she can't stop dancing or take them off, it's done in what can best be described in a dark, twisted cabaret style1. There's a cross-dressing narrator, four performers (three of which play multiple characters) and two musicians, and between them they tell the story on a relatively simple set: mostly a raised platform with an arch (upon which the narrator perches) and a set of folding doors.