The Internet Theater Magazine of Reviews, Features, Annotated Listings

A CurtainUp Report
2016 New York International Fringe Festival

August 29, 2016 Final Update

List of awards can be found here

Qaddafi's Cook A History of Servitude (Photo: Angie Kremer Patriot Act (Photo: Shawn Stoner) W.E.B. Du Bois: A Man For All Times (Photo: Justyn Richardson) A Microwaved Burrito Filled With E. coli (Photo: Jenny Rubin) Pryor Truth (Photo: Rebecca Brillhart

Click on Show Title Below, the Photo Above or Scroll Down Page to Browse

15 Villainous Fools | Amelia and Her Paper Tigers | American Strippers | The Arkadina Project | At the Crossroads: Music for Faust | Cabtivist | ChipandGus: A Comedy with Balls | Colorblind'd | The Co-Operatives | DAD | Debriefing | Dementia Americana | The Door | The Further Adventures of... | The Gorges Motel | A History of Servitude | Humorously Horrendous Haunted Hideaway | The Illusory Adventures of a Dreamer | The Intriguing Engagements of Frances and Meg Cheatham, Ladies Of Society | Lunt and Fontanne: The Celestials of Broadway | Machine Gun America | A Microwaved Burrito Filled With E. coli | Miss | Mother Emanuel | Mr. Yunioshi | Mrs. Schrodinger's Cat | Patriot Act | Pryor Truth | Pucker Up and Blow | Qaddafi's Cook | The Radicalization of Rolfe | Richard III (A One Woman Show) | Seeger | Sheila and Angelo | SUPER! | The Sutherby Triplets | Take One | The Theatre Made in Paradise | Till Birnam Wood | To Protect the Poets | Tribulation: The Musical | Walken on Sunshine | Walls: A Play for Palestine | W.E.B. Du Bois: A Man For All Times

EDITOR'S NOTE: Now in its twentieth year, FringeNYC runs August 12-28, 2016. This year's festival has scheduled almost 200 shows at over 16 venues over its 16 day duration. We will report on a healthy dose of this year's offerings in the reviews below. Information and schedules are available at (Mobile friendly searches at

Tickets are available:

ONLINE up to 5 minutes before the performance at (24 hours, credit cards only, convenience charge applies). Tickets will be emailed and then scanned from your smartphone (or from a printout).
IN PERSON at Fringe Lounges (located at The Clemente, 107 Suffolk, between Rivington and Delancey, and at Downtown Art, 70 East 4th Street, between 2nd Avenue and Bowery) up to 15 minutes before the performance (cash or credit card, convenience charge applies). Lounges are open 1-8PM from 8/5 until 8/11, and during Fringe from 1-10PM M-F, 11:30AM-11PM Sat-Sun).
AT VENUE starting 15 minutes prior to the show (credit cards only, convenience charge applies)

All tickets are $18, but are reduced to $13 for kids 12 and under to FringeJR events, and for senior citizens 65 and older (not available online). There are also passes: 5 shows for $85, 10 shows for $150 and the "Lunatic Pass," which entitles you to attend as many shows as possible (so long as they are not sold out), for $500. In addition, groups of tickets for the same performance are entitled to a discount price (online only) of $15 for 10 or more tickets and $13 for 20 or more.

A complete list of venues (with addresses) can be found to the right.

The last name of the author of each capsule review is indicated at the end of the review in brackets.


The Radicalization of Rolfe
Tom Stoppard brilliantly imagined the back story of Hamlet's childhood friends Rosenkrantz and Guildenstern in Shakespeare's play and how they were affected by the tragic hero's mission for revenge. Not quite so brilliantly but rather deftly and intelligently Andrew Bergh has done somewhat of the same thing for Rolfe, the young ("17 going on 18") Austrian who delivers telegrams to the Trappe family in The Sound of Music, and woos Liesl ("16 going on 17"), here unseen. Getting comic mileage with just a few choice bits of song, lyrics and dialogue from its source, Bergh's play is otherwise soundly and commendably rooted in its serious depiction of Nazi indoctrination of youth, or as German recruiter Herr Zeller (Dominic Comperatore) puts it to the impressionable handsome Rolfe "The country needs young men like you." Germany also needs spies, and Rolfe, who is hiding the fact that he is gay, is easily conscripted to not only seduce Liesl but to get information regarding Captain Trappe's support of the impending Anschluss. The stiff-necked butler Franz (Jay Patterson) has also been engaged to spy on the household although the wise but increasingly wary housekeeper Frau Schmidt (Polly Adams) soon enough gets wind of what's going on. (That her nephew Johan (Alex J. Gould ) is Rolfe's lover adds to the play's clever convolutions.) It only takes five chairs, one table and five fine actors to create the dispiriting ambiance of late 1930s Salzberg under the smooth direction of Abigail Zealey Bess, who moves things forward with short and snappy confrontational scenes that afford increasingly emotional content, leading to a sudden and heartbreaking resolve. The play would gain much if Rolfe's behavior was less pointedly gay, while letting his guard down only during his romantic interludes with Johann. His kitchen table chatter with Frau Schmidt get the play's biggest laugh. As it is, the story that feeds Rolfe still cuts deeply. At Venue #13. 90 minutes. [Saltzman]

The Theatre Made in Paradise
I was optimistic about this show, about a group of actors creating a theatre in the New World in the early seventeenth century; the premise, that Renaissance actor Nathan Field did not in fact die when history assumes but instead faked his own death and travelled in a ship of Puritans to make his fortune as an actor in Jamestown, is an intriguing one. And the character combination-Field (disguised as George Greene, played by John Glowacki) is joined by a former actress and prostitute now married to a Puritan, an indentured servant from Africa, and several Native Americans with a gift for and love of story-seems promising, to say nothing of the tie-in with Shakespeare. The problem is that you can't just throw together characters without believable motivations on stage and hope it all works out, and too often during the play the characters act bizarrely-it's unclear, for instance, why Rebecca Stanford (played erratically by Alexandra Templer Waldon) married her cruel, domineering Puritan husband and was traveling to the New World in the first place, nor why she then (apparently) falls in love with servant Stephano (Sidiki Fofana), nor why she then decides to make a theatre in nature... or why she does anything else. The other characters are similarly confused; it's as if there are gaps in the script which never got filled, and the result is a strange, oddly paced, and tonally uneven production (made worse by the inability of some of the actors to project, leading to a lot of missed lines). The Theatre Made in Paradise isn't awful, but it's a shame to see something with potential end up as eminently forgettable. At Venue #2. 1 hour, 45 minutes with intermission. [Wilson]

15 Villainous Fools
15 Villainous Fools has a winning simplicity. Based on The Comedy of Errors, it is a two-woman adaptation of Shakespeare's apprentice play that employs rap, rock 'n roll, rhythm and blues, puppetry, and a lot of theatrical ingenuity. It will help if you're familiar with the classic, which includes a shipwreck, a family's separation, a long quest, mistaken identities, and ultimately a family reunion. But not to worry if this is your first encounter with the golden tale. The dynamic acting duo, Olivia Atwood and Maggie Seymour, deliver a prologue in the form of a rap that neatly recounts Shakespeare's play in rhyme. Following this primer, they proceed through the key events, re-enacting the adventures--and mis-adventures--of the wandering merchant Egeon and his wife, their twin sons Antipholus (with identical names) and their twin servants Dromio (with identical names as well). Atwood and Seymour are terrific clowns. You see them inventively impersonate all the principals in the dramatis personae and give the old play new immediacy. Okay, some of the stage business does get repetitive at times. But the performers look like they are having such a good time on stage that it really doesn't matter. And no question you'll find yourself pulled into the action and perhaps laughing more than you ever have at all of the tomfoolery in Ephesus. At the show's finale, one of the performers quips: "I've got 99 problems but Shakespeare ain't one of them." Indeed, anybody who has ever had a problem with The Comedy of Errors should go see this show. It ain't perfect but Shakespeare would approve. At Venue #11. 70 minutes. [Donovan].

To Protect the Poets
Playwright John Doble pursues ethical questions with admirable zeal, but the characters and plot of this earnest drama appear fabricated to serve his intellectual preoccupations. The production, efficiently directed by Alberto Bonilla, includes a few sequences of believable emotion, which may be credited primarily to the sensitive, well-calibrated performances of John Isgro as Jab and Elizabeth Alice Murray as Mac. But those moments are frequently undercut by dialogue riddled with movie-of-the-week banalities. This is regrettable, since the conflict of conscience at the center of Doble's play is consequential. (This weakness ought to be remediable, if the playwright applies a sensitive ear to his future work on the script.) Jab (short for his surname, Jablonski) is a seasoned big-city detective, with ample horse sense and minimal education, who's driven by righteous indignation to inflict surreptitious "street justice" on a rapist/murderer (Angel Dillemuth) because he doubts the official system of justice will keep this monster off the streets for long. (The details of this part of the story are gruesome and effectively conveyed by writer and actors.) Mac (real name Margaret), the poet-teacher with whom Jab has recently fallen in love, holds unwavering faith in the rule of law and is horrified that Jab and his partner sometimes mete out station-house punishment for egregious crimes when no one is looking. Neither Mac nor Jab is inclined to compromise, and their promising romance appears doomed by irreconcilable convictions. To emphasize the ill-starred nature of the alliance between Jab and Mac, Doble includes classroom scenes in which Mac (a bookish foil to Jab's earthiness) discusses Romeo and Juliet with three students in the GED-preparation class she teaches. The students lend comic relief to what otherwise is a pretty solemn two hours. Doble's thumbnail sketches of the three, embodied by the talented Joy Donze (Courtney), Ariel Kim (Mingzhu), and Deshawn Wyatte (Jamal), have a vividness that's lacking in his depiction of the leads. The students' performance of the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet (enhanced by their commentary) is at once funny and moving. Their streetwise, up-to-the-minute interpretation of Shakespeare underscores the insight, offered by Mac in an early exchange with Jab, that wisdom doesn't require great book-learning. At the play's end, it's unclear whether either of the leading characters has learned anything from the other or from their love affair; but the silence that precedes the final curtain offers a little hope (the exact nature of which won't be disclosed here) that at least one of them is developing in a promising direction. In that moment of ambiguity, To Protect the Poets ceases to resemble a platonic dialogue and becomes, however briefly, genuinely dramatic. Doble is fortunate in his cast and director; but, with or without this particular group of performers, the play deserves further work and a future life. And a new title. At Venue #1. 2 hours, with intermission. [Wright]

I really don't want to come down too hard on SUPER!, a show about a young man with extraordinary powers who grows up on a farm with his doting mother (deeply frightened that he will accidentally reveal that he's "not normal") and encounters a bald-headed and brilliant friend named "Alex" who eventually decides he needs to take over the world. But if what I've just said reminds you even remotely of the television show Smallville, or indeed any and every Superman origin story, then A. you're right and B. you might understand why this review is going to be difficult. The story of SUPER! is a derivative, nonsensical mess, ripped off from multiple superhero origin stories which all did their jobs better than this one does, but it's only the first of a host of problems with this production; the music is forgettable and unfortunately beyond the vocal abilities of most of the performers, who despite their obvious enthusiasm struggle to stay in tune, and they get little help from a dreadful pit orchestra (which sounded like it had maybe one rehearsal under its belt). But the biggest problem, and the one which probably underlies all the others, is that the show has no idea what it wants to be. Played for parody, sort of Adam West plays Batman redux, it could have made a virtue out of the derivative and low-quality level of the production-but I suspect writer and composer Aaron Michael Krueger is trying to be serious, and the show simply can't sustain that when the execution is this amateurish. This is 2016, and we are in the era of well-written and psychologically rich superhero stories; I'm sorry to say this one is neither, and as much as I appreciate the sentiment, little about this production is SUPER! At Venue #15. Two hours with intermission. [Wilson]

Till Birnam Wood
Till Birnam Wood is a reimagining of Shakespeare's Macbeth, in which each audience member is invited to put on a blindfold and experience the play without the benefit of their eyesight. Sound gimmicky? Well, yes. But if you can accept the conceit and open your ears--and other senses--to this theatrical experiment, you perhaps will "see" Macbeth from a deeper perspective. But forget the eye-candy and special effects. You won't be judging this production by any actor's physical endowments, the visual appeal of the set and costumes, or the swashbuckling fighting scenes. No question Shakespeare's language dominates here, with all the hallucinatory power that is woven into the dramatic fabric of Macbeth. And though you won't see the acting ensemble on stage (unless you peek), you will sense their presence and listen to their virtuosity, as they recite the play's famous speeches and set pieces. Beyond the poetry, there's stage business that can be experienced sans eyes: the sound of "thunder," the feel of "wind" from the Scottish heath, and the smell of Birnam Wood as it advances toward Dunsinane. Curiously, this no-looking-with-your-eyes Macbeth points up the clichés of most traditional productions: a dark stage, three witches bent over a cauldron, a dagger descending from the flies, and so forth. True, Till Birnam Wood doesn't fully explore the nook and crannies of the great tragedy. But Schultz does hammer home the notion that "seeing" a play depends less on open-eyes and more on an open-mind. At Venue #5. 64 minutes. [Donovan]

Richard III (A One Woman Show)
I've been covering the Fringe for a decade now, and when shows work well it's because the creators understand what the Fringe does best-giving artists a chance to experiment and try things which wouldn't (initially) work even in an off-off Broadway environment. But there are some shows which I'd like to see make the jump even if I can't quite see how a traditional theater would manage them, and the production of Richard III (A One Woman Show), which previously played in the Prague and Edinburgh Fringe Festivals, fits into this category. Emily Carding plays the infamous Richard III with insight and intelligence, and nails his unique blend of malice, sociopathy, and charm. . . but what makes the show truly shine is its interactive quality, as the audience members, lined up on both sides of the long playing area, are led to their seats by Richard himself (playing to the rest of the audience with quips and jokes the whole time), where some of them are given identification tags to indicate their roles in the play (as brother Clarence, Lord Hastings, Buckingham, and so on). Richard then goes through a truncated version of the play, using the characters as various "props" for his monologues. Done poorly, interactive theater of this kind can be awkward and frustrating, especially if the audience members aren't up to what's being asked-and in our group, a couple of them were perilously close to wanting to upstage Richard themselves. But Carding handles the variety of reactions masterfully throughout, maintaining focus on Richard and his story, and about halfway through, it struck me that this is the essence of the play to begin with-Richard is constantly breaking the fourth wall as it is (the play has among the most monologues of any Shakespearean work), so this production is really the logical extension of that reality. And both Carding and director/adapter Kolbrun Bjort Sigfusdottir do exceptionally well in maintaining pace and energy. I don't know how a larger venue would handle something like this; it's hard to see it being done any other way than on a long carpet with an office chair and maybe an audience of forty. But it's good enough that it deserves to get a second look off-Broadway, and in my opinion Richard III (A One Woman Show) is one of the best Fringe shows in 2016. At Venue #10. One hour. [Wilson]

The Sutherby Triplets
Some families just have a flair for the dramatic, especially when mom's never gotten over being America's favorite TV mother and the kids were raised to relish the spotlight. Welcome to the Sutherby household, where matriarch Anne (Wende O'Reilly) has put together a birthday party for her husband (Timothy Scott Harris) as a way of bringing together the entire family (it's not actually his birthday, but she assumes the children won't realize). Sammie (Rich Wisneski) shows up with his fiance Regina (Melissa Farinelli) sporting a subdued-verging-on-somber black outfit and the new preferred moniker "Bob," rendering him practically unrecognizable to his family, especially his high-energy sisters Sally (Melissa Patterson) and Susie (Anna Wallace-Deering). The farce that ensues as the Sutherby's attempt to sort through various family dramas past and present, all the way from the excess of squirrels on the deck to the time Sammie lit the house on fire. The Sutherby Triplets gets off to a slow start that pulls on the rest of the show—it could be condensed and made tauter, especially in its introduction—but when it hits it stride, there's fun to be found in writer/director Kelly Barrett-Gibson's play. The tensions between the Triplets manage to yield both humor and warmth, and while the siblings' quick toggles between zanier and more human modes can seem a bit manufactured, this ultimately serves to make them feel more like humans than if they existed as heightened jokes throughout. Patterson, Wallace-Deering, and Wisneski nicely embody different types of "weird" so that the characters don't feel redundant. Meanwhile, Barrett-Gibson demonstrates her skill with the classic elements of the farce as a genre, teeing up little moments that become consequential later and setting up precarious relationship structures just begging to be knocked down. In fact, The Sutherby Triplets is probably much like the family sitcom that Anne Sutherby starred in (something like Leave It to Beaver or The Brady Bunch): a silly show that consciously flirts with treacle but stays just clever enough to avoid feeling too saccharine. At Venue #13. 1 hour, 45 minutes with intermission. [Horn]

Walken on Sunshine
"You're here because you're intrigued by the legend of Christopher Walken," the narrator correctly surmises. A cobbled together company, trying to lure investors, claims to have signed Christopher Walken to star in their not-yet-written film. In order to fool the producers they fake their missing star and manage to make an impossible task harder. The paper-thin premise is milked for all it's worth, embellished with twins (who happen to be black and white), jokes, songs, impersonations, various trajectories, and references to an old SNL sketch that featured Christopher Walken. Writer (and lead actor) Dave Droxler, who conceived the piece as a film some time ago, more recently adapted it for live performance at the Fringe. Pianist James Rushin's original music shifts gears right along with the action, and comments on the nutty things that transpire among the appealing cast members. Clever use of props creates non-existent space on the small Soho Playhouse stage. This good-natured, high energy show is very fringe --fast, frenetic, and loose. It's just that in invoking Christopher Walken's peculiar menace and idiosyncrasy, you might expect a tad more sophistication. At Venue #15. 90 minutes. [Osenlund]

Amelia and Her Paper Tigers
"Kick the tires, and fire the engines!" That's one of the lines that you'll hear Amelia Earhart roaring out in Amelia and her Paper Tigers, now in full flight at the Fringe. Created and performed by Heddy Lahmann-Rosen and Ilana Saltzman, Lahmann plays the daring aviatrix with Saltzman supporting her in a number of roles. And, oh yes, Amelia is part of Fringe Jr, with its target audience being anyone from 4 to 104. So if you've been searching the Fringe for a family show, this one surely qualifies. The authors bookend the play with Earhart's birth on July 24, 1897 at Atchison, Kansas and disappearance (and presumed death) with her navigator Fred Noonan somewhere over the Pacific Ocean en route to Howland Island on July 2, 1937. In between, they highlight her early years and what put her on the map of American history. There are scenes of her tomboy days in Kansas, her first flight in an airplane (a birthday gift from her father), her no-nonsense teacher Anita "Neta" Snook, her transatlantic flight with pilot Wilmer Stultz and co-pilot Louis Gordon to South Wales (Earhart was a passenger who kept the flight logbook), and her later historic solo flights. Nobody snoozes here. Lahmann's Earhart plays a banjo, walks on stilts, and tells the audience that fears are only "paper tigers" to be crushed by courage. Lahmann and Saltzman are a well-balanced artistic team. They boldly break the fourth wall, interact with the audience, and creatively involve them in the Earhart legend. Amelia is both entertaining and educational. And, if you ever wanted to know what made Earhart tick, this show is a good entry point. At Venue #6. 55 minutes. [Donovan]

The Cabtivist holds his audience cabtive as he regales with tales of cabbie adventures. John McDonagh comes across as someone who's never missed an opportunity for media exposure. But you realize that it takes guts for him to lay out his convictions, grab life by the horns, and take on its adventures the way he has done - all while working as a New York taxicab driver. McDonagh's standup is rife with outrageous tales, and he has pictures and videos to prove it. Blessed with the Irish gift of gab and disarming humor, he peppers his story with facts that are not necessarily widely known, like that Central Park horses, who are unionized, get two weeks' vacation, while cab drivers get no vacation. He gives a kind of social history of the city as he describes his careers as a cabbie and an activist. Along the way he quotes some bits from his poem, What Happened to My City?, which was selected as part of a PEN festival that included working people's poems along with the work of literary stars. Wouldn't you know, he ended up on stage with the likes of Salman Rushdie. And he took English celeb Stephen Fry on a televised tour of the South Bronx, and I won't even go into the Times Square sign. You'll have to see the show for yourself if you want to know everything. At Venue #16. 65 minutes. [Osenlund]

The Gorges Motel
Nine tightly-written scenes make up The Gorges Motel, which depicts various happenings over the course of a day at a roadside motel in Watkins Glen, New York. Contributions by Gretchen Cryer, Lynne Halliday, Isaac Himmelman, James Hindman, Arlene Hutton, and Craig Pospisil run the emotional gamut from estranged families to anxiety over an upcoming wedding to a drone accident. Ably acted by a cast of seven actors (Dustin Charles, Jody Flader, Ryan Wesley Gilreath, Ilene Kristen, Cynthia Mace, Brian Sheridan, and Amanda Sykes) playing eighteen roles, many of the scenes have an aura of mystery—of pasts we haven't seen and of things left unsaid. The composite structure of the play has its ups and downs. On the one hand, it's satisfying to have a short peek into the lives of this smattering of characters, and the feeling of moving from one hotel room to the next allows for the combination of sharply contrasting stories and tones, which director Chris Goutman executes with precision (he does particularly well guiding the show through quick transitions from humor to seriousness, though the vignette "What Lola Saw" plays a bit cartoon-y in relation to the others). The flip side of this is that our windows in on these characters are brief and fleeting, and in few of these stories do we reach a satisfying point of conclusion. That which is mysterious and begging to be revealed—what a character will decide when faced with a choice, or what history two people have—usually remains obscure to us. Calculated overlaps between some of the scenes will often reference the other stories without offering additional insight on them, which feels like a missed opportunity. Certainly, leaving things ambiguous is a fair and valid literary choice, but when replicated across so many stories, it starts to feel less artful and more like a tease. So maybe The Gorges Motel isn't the Plaza. But as long as you're OK with that going in, you'll likely find plenty to enjoy about your stay. At Venue #13. 1 hour, 20 minutes. [Horn]

Drawing on the many recent Hollywood whitewashing controversies and last year's #OscarsSoWhite boycott, Colorblind'd explores the fallout for a college theater department after a white student is cast as the lead in a biographic play about Rosa Parks. Eden (Malikha Mallette), a woman of color and the director of the play within the play, makes her decision primarily as a pragmatic one: Lucy (Jenna Sander) is viewed as the best performer in the program, while Dorian (Yanece Cotto), the only black student, is considered one of the worst. But that's not enough for her department chair, David (James Kloiber), so Eden also backs up her casting choice with an artistic justification, suggesting that a white Rosa Parks is no different than a white Othello. Whether others will see it that way remains to be seen. From afar, Kirk White's play (directed by Keith Winsted) is most obviously about sensitivities and perils of grappling with race in the performing arts, but White also takes a critical eye to academia, probing the value of formal theater education (especially during the YouTube era, where building a personal brand online can be a more efficient ticket to stardom), the tension between teachers and practitioners, the nature of relationships between students and mentors, and how those relationships can be abused. With so many elements, the play can sprawl such that it sometimes comes off as unfocused. Among these plot strands, though, one of the strongest concerns Eden's relationship with Dorian: Dorian expects kindredness from her teacher based on their similar status as minorities in an overwhelmingly white world, while Eden resents the assumption that they would have a special bond because of their shared race. The friction between these two perspectives—depicted with sharp severity and intensity by Mallette and Cotto— generates some of the play's most compelling moments. Meanwhile, the play within the play lingers in the background as something of a problem across Colorblind'd, which never addresses if Eden's production actually has merit or not. That's a high stakes decision with significant implications for the rest of the play, and without a firmer sense of where we stand, it's hard not to feel adrift in a sea of ideas. At Venue #13. 1 hour, 30 minutes. [Horn]

At the Crossroads: Music for Faust
When I breezed through the FringeNYC booklet and saw a title that referred to the Crossroads and music and Faust I didn't read the blurb under the title and just assumed the show must be about Robert Johnson at the Mississippi crossroads making his legendary Faustian bargain. So it was a surprise when the show turned out to be F.W. Murnau's horror film, Faust, featuring the addition of new music by Modern Robot. This is performance art of a very different kind. Two musicians sit with their backs to the audience, facing a screen that's hung way too high for comfortable viewing. They never speak or even turn around until the work is over. Ben Singer (guitar) and Spencer Cohen (drums) accompany Murnau's silent film with music that Spencer (Modern Robot) composed specifically to match the movie second by second. The brilliance of this esoteric art lies in the intimate intersection of the new music and the venerable images on the screen. At times sweet and benign, at times driven and relentless, the music accompanies the German Expressionist aesthetic of distorted perspectives, powerful clashing of light and dark, and long, convoluted shadows. Faust, uber dramatic and subjective, has trick photography that Murnau made up as he went along, and the antique dramatic acting can at times be unintentionally funny to modern eyes. Singer and Cohen approach the sound with precision and lots of spirit. They seem to particularly enjoy the celebrated flight scene, where the music gets beautifully percussive and melodic. Lights, positioned by the screen, are also part of the performance. The color of the light changes with the scenes, for instance from red and orange when there's fire, to white, mimicking the movie lights on snow. The 1926 movie had its own piano score, which was widely admired, but were he alive, experimentalist Murnau very likely would approve what this new score does, as it alters the dimension of his work. At Venue #5. 55 minutes. [Osenlund]

The Arkadina Project
This is the show you're hoping to find when you come to the Fringe. It's just top notch quintessential fringe. Grounded in the work of theatre luminary Anton Chekhov, The Arkadina Project is not a stuffily reverent piece. The Seagull is the template, and they run with it like running with scissors. The solid script, updated with a bad mouth and attitude, allows the huge reflex to comedy to float above the tragedy. Lead writer of the collaboration, Ashley Kelley, says, "This type of humor isn't for everyone, it's for the people who see the humor through the darkness." There's precision direction, four all-around excellent actors, fluid minimal set, and a smart structure - where between story scenes the characters check in with their respective confidantes to express their thoughts, allowing us to learn their concerns and yearnings. And it's all wrapped up in pervasive social media. If you know Chekhov's Seagull you'll appreciate the echoes. If you don't, you'll applaud the sheer entertaining theatricality. What more can you want? At Venue #9. 1 hour, 30 minutes. [Osenlund]

Sheila and Angelo
Sheila and Angelo is a love story that tangos with death. A noir comedy, playwright Nick Raio will tug laughter and tears simultaneously from you. Set in a senior citizen village in South Florida, we meet Sheila and Angelo, who are determined to make the best of their golden years. But when Sheila is diagnosed with cancer, the atmosphere of the play darkens in a hurry. And, with a history of cancer in her family, she feels that she'll be six-feet-under in no time. No, this isn't your garden-variety play. And its graying couple don't call to mind that stoic pair in Grant Wood's American Gothic. Sheila's dark night of the soul, however, does force her to ask some big questions about life and death. How does one die with dignity? How does one afford health care in our country when serious illness hits? Sheila ponders these weighty subjects and decides on an alternative to the traditional manner of dying. Without divulging how Sheila plans to resolve her dilemma, I will point out that Angelo, when registering his personal protest against her decision, spews out the best one-liner of the play: "You surprise people with birthday parties, not death!" Emmy-winner Dan Grimaldi and Lynda Rodolitz are well-matched as the love-birds here, and the supporting actors are all sturdy in their roles. Directed by Michelle Kristine Best, this play looks death right in the eye and doesn't flinch an inch. At Venue #11. 90 minutes. [Donovan].

Pucker Up and Blow
Daniel Reitz's Pucker Up and Blow centers on a dilemma particularly resonant in New York: how much should we have to sacrifice in order to pursue our dreams? After working in children's theater, David (Will Dagger) moves to New York and meets Robert (Asa James), a playwright with a reputation for inflammatory work, who offers him a career-making role on Broadway. The catch, though, is that the role involves a graphic sex act perpetrated on David's character on stage—a prospect that the young, timid actor isn't crazy about. Pucker..., directed by Paul Schnee, wins points for its skillful cast: Dagger's sincerity in his discomfort elicits a satisfying mixture of laughter and sympathy, while James comfortably revels in his character's pomposity. Chandra Thomas offers understated but noteworthy support as a stage manager with a flat demeanor who remains unflappable in the face of Robert's provocations, and as a journalist who challenges his artistic sensibilities in an interview. A scene in which David's costars Lenny (Alex Emanuel) and Micah (Shane Allen) work on the sex choreography for the show does a nice job harnessing discomfort as a source of humor. But the play encounters a pitfall when it pursues shock value too aggressively, especially when it's dealing with race. Robert, a black playwright (whose work and reputation could be seen as alluding to contemporary playwright Thomas Bradshaw), includes racially charged content in his plays; naturally, the "inflammatory" way of doing so is to use plenty of epithets and shocking language. This makes sense for the character, sure, but it's carried to excess here in a way that ceases to serve the play and starts to raise discomfort with Reitz, a white playwright, vocalizing this through a black character he has imagined as a caricature, perhaps of a specific person. It doesn't help that several black characters exist here as little more than obstacles for the central white character to overcome: there's the contentious relationship between David and Robert, plus we see David manipulated by his girlfriend Melora (Sydni Beaudoin) and romantically rivaled by his other costar Kevin (Jeremy Burnett), a former rap star. Beaudoin and Burnett don't do anything wrong, but their characters are underdeveloped and function as means to an end, giving the actors less to work with. Reitz knows he's in thorny territory and self-interrogates through meta-commentary during the interview between Robert and the Times journalist, but he in turn uses this self-awareness as license to heighten the shocking elements even further. It turns what could be, with greater discretion, a ripe source of satire into something tiring. The thing is, there's plenty about the play I found quite funny, its incisive digs at the culture of the theater world and scene in particular. Toning down the forceful attempts to shock viewers doesn't seem like it would hamper this, and in fact what remained might be greatly enhanced by doing so. But Pucker... can also occasionally evince a lack of care, and those moments end up undercutting the effective ones. At Venue #13. 1 hour, 40 minutes. [Horn]

Mr. Yunioshi
Mr. Yunioshi explores the casual racism in the casting of an Asian character, in Breakfast at Tiffany's (Novel by Truman Capote, 1958. Movie released by Paramount Pictures, 1961). The Fringe show's sole actor, J. Elijah Cho, a young Japanese-American, focuses on the small role of the Japanese character, I.Y. Yunioshi, inexplicably played by Mickey Rooney, who can't believe he was passed over for a leading role and offered the throwaway "Oriental" one. Paramount wouldn't consider casting a real Asian. They wanted the "Mickey Rooney draw." Mr. Cho fights back in his solo show by playing out Rooney's reaction to the casting of this Yellowface role. As sprightly Mickey, he practices saying things in "Oriental," in the process mixing up Japanese and Chinese. A big part of the theatricality is, of course, watching an Asian man portray a white man struggling to come across as Asian. As Mickey Rooney he reads the script and tries to practice "a deep Oriental sigh." Along the way Mr. Cho does a wise Toshiro Mifune. (His attempt at impersonating director Blake Edwards is less successful.) As the Rooney character he notes that it all started to work for him when he finally approached the Mr. Yunioshi part the same way he would any other character. It's funny yet painful when this Asian actor dons the movie costume of a robe, glasses with stereotypical Jap round black frames, and two cartoon-like oversized front teeth. He succeeds in letting us know that this kind of casting is ugly and out of date, and the total transition to a more evolved, realistic, and enlightened view of various races is still overdue. Just one thing: The actor's performance would benefit from keeping it real when he's supposedly personally relating to the audience. Step out of autopilot and keep it real, with unrehearsed connected moments. Kudos to the man for braving this subject. At Venue #12. 1 hour. [Osenlund]

Dementia Americana
Synapse Theatre Ensemble brings the legendary and notorious love triangle of Evelyn Nesbitt, Harry K. Thaw, and famed architect Stanford White to the stage at FringeNYC. They were the lead actors in "The Trial of the Century" --perhaps a premature title in 1906. Written by Louis Acquiler and Chris D'Amato, Dementia Americana has many, many scenes that move along, never showing more than needed or wasting time belaboring. A key scene features a very clever instance of reverse-staging. D'Amato, who plays Harry "I got class coming out of my ass" Thaw, absolutely slays with his fearless and energetic acting. The versatile cast truly impresses in shifting roles. Stanford White is played with dignity and a ridiculous black moustache. A demure Evelyn Nesbit, who has supported her mother since she was a child, is maybe not quite the innocent she seems. A psychoanalyst, Dr. Rollo May, who was not part of the actual historical narrative, explains that he has been added to the show. Thaw's mother has hired him to cure Thaw of his quirks and excesses. The doctor character helps the story by pulling together the tale of Harry's pursuit of Evelyn and exposing the fissures of Thaw's diseased mind. This show's a keeper. If you go, do try to sit down front. [Note: I've written before about how the sound in Teatro Latea is problematic: Loud whirring fans behind the audience make it hard for the back half of the house to hear the actors, particularly when they're speaking while turning sideways. Theatre companies coming in should be cautioned about this so they can project their voices above the noise.] At Venue #3. 1 hour, 30 minutes. [Osenlund]

Mrs. Schrodinger's Cat
The Fringe is awash with celebrity- themed shows. But playwright-director Tasha Nicole Partee takes the road less traveled with Mrs. Schrodinger's Cat. In the promotional ad, it's described as a "philosophical comedy about seeing and being seen." But the play's title is also a nod to "Schrodinger's Cat" and the observer's effect. And if you read up on this celebrated study, it will help you understand the nuances of Partee's play that deals with paradoxes. Now for the the story: It follows seven women who get wind of a local art gallery exhibit, presenting anonymous photographs, covertly taken, of people in their hometown. The womens' curiosity is piqued by the controversial exhibit. They wonder what "pervert" would take photographs of people without first getting their permission. Everybody in town falls under their suspicion as they collectively play Sherlock Holmes. What's compelling here is that Partee investigates some serious artistic issues in her play and has the courage to let its gray areas remain gray. Partee, who also wears the hat of director here, smartly allows the able cast--Emily Gordon Fire, Eileen Howard, Amelia Huckel-Bauer, Madigan Mayberry, Emily Moody, Danielle Patsakos, JC Sullivan--to bring her story to vibrant life and lets the audience become the judge of the unfolding events. Okay, the performance I attended wasn't flawless. Some onstage props had a few nuts-and-bolts come loose at pivotal moments. But, obviously, this is a problem that can be ironed out quite easily. This piece has humor, psychological depth, and a whiff of philosophy. No question that Partee, and the cast, land on their feet here. At Venue #1. 1 hour, 55 minutes with intermission. [Donovan]

The Further Adventures of...
Every afternoon, a young Maggie Day (Jamie Heinlein) would tune in to watch the adventures of the boyish Prince Kal (Tim Burke) and brave Commander Zoron (Mark Finley) on the campy sci-fi serial Atlantis, One Million Years B.C. Even by the time she was watching it, she explains, it was already dated, but something about the show always captivated her. Years later, as an adult, she's still in its thrall and sets out to explore its backstory. As she learns about its creation and the public and private lives of its stars, as well as revisiting the show's legacy within her own life, Maggie muses on love, loss, and roads not taken. The Further Adventures of..., written by Kathleen Warnock and directed by Eric Chase, is an intriguing work of storytelling—most of it narrated by Day directly to the audience—if mildly predictable and the slightest bit heavy-handed. The disjunction between Day's lived experience as a lesbian in the modern era and the attitudes towards homosexuality when the show aired makes for a poignant contrast; at the same time, though, the play also observes some limits of today's more accepting culture. Burke and Finley always exude a warm likeability, but the two actors, who each play several characters, could stand to more sharply differentiate their multiple roles. In particular, we sometimes see the exaggerated style they employ to depict the TV characters spill into their portrayals of those off-screen, blurring lines that the narrative needs to be clearly articulated. The two do play that camp style quite well, though, and the cleverly-written excerpts from the TV show, which celebrate its genre as much as mock it, are always a fun counterpoint to the more measured tenor of the piece overall. Heinlein's Day, meanwhile, feels genuine and sufficiently invested in her efforts to engage the audience, even in a slow-burn show without pronounced dramatic stakes. At Venue #3. 1 hour, 15 minutes. [Horn]

American Strippers
On the eve of Aphrodite's wedding to Apollo, what better way to make her bachelorette party truly legendary than with a visit to Americana, a Texas strip club featuring some of the hottest hunks of American mythos: Johnny Appleseed, Davy Crockett, Pecos Bill (who replaced Billy the Kid), and Casey (of "at the Bat" fame). John Henry works the door, and as long as you behave, you won't have to cross manager Paula (formerly Paul) or her imposing pal Babe. As Aphrodite and her bridal party realize they're not on Olympus anymore, what started as a simple night of debauchery becomes much more complicated in Kevin Broccoli's American Strippers. While the premise of a gaggle of Greek goddesses going to a strip club featuring American folk legends for a bachelorette party offers incredible comic possibilities, the show chooses to take a more serious route, prioritizing existential musing over reckoning with, or profiting from, its own absurdity. Broccoli seems determined to justify a ridiculous premise (that, he notes in the program, originated from nothing more than a catchy-sounding title) with intellectual heft. As a result, he creates an overwhelmingly complex set of rules and conditions, rooted to varying degrees in real myth, that precipitate one plot twist after another. An attempt to justify this later in the show by describing religion as a set of convoluted and random rules is too little, too late. Perhaps there are just more plot lines packed in here than any show can handle—the ensemble cast features fifteen performers, every single one of whom offers a monologue at some point in the show expressing a different life philosophy and desire, and managing all of those isn't by any means an easy feat for the writer. All told, he manages so many diverse points of view surprisingly well, but it's a structure that begs to be simplified. The impulse to make American Strippers more than just Magic Mike with a mythical coat of paint is a valid one, but we veer too far in the other direction here, and in an attempt to avoid cheap laughs, we instead end up in a world of contrivances and melodrama. At Venue #3. 2 hours, 5 minutes with intermission. [Horn]

ChipandGus: A Comedy with Balls
Chip and Gus, opposites in physique and temperament, complement each other. Best buds, they regularly meet at an old bar to play seriously unserious ping pong and have a beer. Along with batting balls, they get into these crazy brainiac punning riffs, batting glorious bits of verbiage back and forth. Gus loves to wax eloquent and display his erudition. Chip holds his own and can throw back his own brilliant bullshittery. And these guys really can play table tennis. Funny, they're not keeping score. And are they really all that close? They go back, but don't seem to know each other very well. What's up with that? Something seems to have gone wrong for slight, nervous Chip, whose phone keeps pinging, and portly Gus keeps everything personal at bay, hmmm. There's propulsion under their chatter. Their verbal badinage, like ping pong, is a surface sport, a kind of screen that keeps troubling little things from falling through. Things like past, present, and future. Although the talk ranges all over the place, it's a tight play with a ping pong kind of metronome behind it. John Ahlin and Christopher Patrick Mullen, who bring their star quality to the acting, collaborated on the writing of ChipandGus. You don't have to be a member of the intelligentsia to enjoy this lively play, but it wouldn't hurt! At Venue #8. 90 minutes [Osenlund]

In the last few years several new plays have treated prevailing concerns of espionage or terrorism in a compelling way. Unfortunately, in its current manifestation, this play isn't one of them. A young Muslim American woman of interest to Homeland Security is questioned by an experienced agent. Crucial trust issues that should engage audience attention are involved, but the repetitious conversation goes on far too long. And although her attitude is downright off-putting, much of her language is too precious to be buy-able as answers to routine questions. Intra-agency machinations are no doubt routine, but it's to be hoped that Homeland Security is more efficient, effective, and trustworthy than it is portrayed here. The way these operatives relate at work is problematic too. The boss, Finch, who seems to be intended as a smart professional, routinely talks down to the career guy who reports to her, even when he already knows everything she's explaining. Her tone is almost too arch to be believable: "Do you have a mythic narrative about yourself?" The play has redeeming moments, too. The parts involving a young undercover agent in the field tend to be brief, light on dialogue and effective. But for the most part, despite the intricate set up of the plot and the cast's very competent acting, interest flags as the belabored and over-written play dissipates its potential energy. Quicker, crisper scenes would cover the same territory while retaining audience attention. At Venue #1. 1 hour 30 minutes. [Osenlund]

Lunt and Fontanne: The Celestials of Broadway
Mark E. Lang's Lunt and Fontanne: The Celestials of Broadway will entertain many a theater-lover. This two-hander presents the back-stage story of this famous acting couple whose partnership lasted four decades. Mark E. Lang and Alison Murphy, who perform the titular parts, are an acting couple themselves and easily slip into the skins of Lunt and Fontanne. The opening scene is at Lunt and Fontanne's New York apartment on East End Avenue on May 5, 1958. The two stage veterans are well aware that this is no ordinary opening night for them. In fact, the first lines spoken in the play are delivered in a voice over by a radio broadcaster: "This is also a big night for theater enthusiasts, as the legendary duo of Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne make their comeback, opening tonight in a new drama, The Visit at-appropriately enough-the Lunt-Fontanne Theater on Broadway." As the voiceover fades out, Lang and Murphy as the legends, begin to speak their inner thoughts aloud, overlapping each other's lines with no apologies. Lunt is nervous; Fontanne isn't. But the famous couple's strong personalities can be detected from the get-go. The play see-saws between their memories and imaginations. And we learn much about their theatrical heyday and their less glittering-and awkward-moments in private life. Aside from their own marriage and career, there's much ado about their famous friendships and theater acquaintances: Laurence Olivier (he dubbed the couple "the celestials"), Leslie Howard (the Lunts sadly note his plane's shootdown over the Bay of Biscay on June 1, 1943), Noel Coward (he wrote his 1933 play Design for Living with the Lunts in mind), and Montgomery Clift (he played their stage son in There Shall Be No Night), to mention a few. While the anecdotes and cameo appearances of the aforementioned are entertaining, no question that Lang's impersonation of Marlon Brando is one of the play's sterling moments. Lang does a terrific spoof of Brando's raw acting style and sloppy speech-and it adds terrific flavor to the proceedings. Still, the spotlight keeps drifting back to Lunt and Fontanne, and how they ruled the stage for so many years. To illustrate this, we see Lang and Murphy, as the Lunts, perform actual snippets from The Guardsman, The Taming of the Shrew, and There Shall Be No Night. And though Lang and Murphy of course can't replicate the Lunts' actual performances, we do get to listen to how the critic Alexander Woolcott essayed the real-life Lunts' premiere performance of The Guardsman in the New York Sun: "Those who saw them last night bowing hand in hand for the first time may well have been witnessing a partnership destined for theatrical history." True, this play doesn't turn every stone on the Lunts' remarkable partnership. But what it does uncover and hold up to the light, rings true. Directed by Owen Thompson, this two-hander sensitively portrays the theatrical greats on and off stage. And stranger or no stranger to the legendary duo of Lunt and Fontanne, everybody leaves this show as intimates. At Venue #11. 1 hour, 45 minutes with intermission. [Donovan]

Pryor Truth
Khalil Muhammad's one-man show Pryor Truth is an homage to the great stand-up comedian Richard Pryor. It's impossible to pin down this show in so many words. But, if pressed, I would call it a stand-up comedy routine in search of its titular comic genius. Fortunately, Muhammad chooses the right character to summon up Pryor's spirit: Mudbone. Muhammad insinuates himself into Mudbone's persona with all its rawness. Fans of Pryor's films will surely find themselves in nostalgia-land. The problem with this piece, however, is that Muhammad often is trying too hard here. His anecdotes about Pryor are fascinating, his jokes are good, but the delivery of his material is so fast and furious that it's tough to absorb it all in an hour. Obviously, the target audience for this show is Pryor devotees. And if you are a Pryor fan (and who isn't?), you are bound to latch on to some of the jokes and skits. Intrigued by the show's title? No question it's a fitting one-and it neatly dovetails with one of Muhammad's anecdotes about Pryor and his comic craft. Muhammad deftly explained at the show's midpoint that one of the indispensable ingredients to a Pryor joke was truth but that it had to be prior (pardon the pun) to the gagline. In short, Muhammad noted that when Pryor told a joke, it was more of a truth-tickler than a rib-tickler. And who can forget that Pryor's jokes boldly exposed racism, hypocrisy, elitism, and more? Honestly, this one-man show has peak-and profound-moments. But it's too bad there aren't more of them. At Venue #7. 1 hour, 25 minutes. [Donovan]

A Microwaved Burrito Filled With E. coli
The sort of performance piece you could imagine taking place in a SoHo loft in the 70s, A Microwaved Burrito Filled With E. coli—which feels more like an extended character study, or a cabaret without any music—blasts through its subject matter without any preciousness, approaching sexual politics, relationship drama, and indigestion alike with the kind of carefully-considered impetuousness that is the enemy of subtlety. This is already apparent in the name of our protagonist, Molly "Equality" Dykeman, a character created by Andrea Alton whom Alton has depicted in previous performances and reprises here. Molly is forcefully blunt, somewhat bombastic, and mildly volatile, and as A Microwaved Burrito... begins, she has unceremoniously exited her friends' wedding festivities after a disagreement with her girlfriend. While she waits for an apology in the other room of the venue, the Mexican dive Enchilada Shelly's, she starts chatting with the waitress Angie Louise Angelone (Allen Warnock), a self-proclaimed "Q" (as in "LGBTQ") who has just relocated from Kentucky to New York to figure some things out. Their conversation is loose and free-flowing, integrating Molly's devil-may-care outlook on life and Angie's desperate desire to connect with someone, the latter of which can sneak up on you and be more affecting than one might expect. Alton hams up her performance and engages more directly with the audience, but Warnock—who co-wrote the play with Alton, while Mark Finley directs—plays more earnestly (albeit exaggeratedly so) towards his co-star. The two are both magnetic, comically gifted performers, and neither decision is right or wrong, but mixing the two results in some occasional friction when it feels like the actors aren't quite on the same wavelength. Perhaps not surprisingly considering its subject matter, A Microwaved Burrito... isn't neat and tidy, and it's undoubtedly an acquired taste. It hits the same beats relentlessly, and by the end of the hour starts to feel a bit depleted. But here that feels slightly less like an oversight and more like an aesthetic, and in one of the more fiercely spirited shows you might encountered at this year's Fringe, it proves unexpectedly endearing. At Venue #16. 1 hour. [Horn]

I would describe Miss, by Michael Ross Albert, as a peeling-the-layers-off-an-onion play. If you read the blurb about it in the Fringe listings in advance, however, many of those layers will be telegraphed to you, as will the information that the show is about 15 minutes shorter than it actually is. We meet Laura (Rosie Sowa) facing us at a table in a room with two other tables facing her. Shortly, and much to her seeming dismay, we meet Gil (Daniel J. O'Brien). She, it turns out, is a school teacher; he is her (perhaps tenuous) fiancé. Something (or things) bad has happened and that has their relationship on the rocks. Subsequently, we will meet one of her students, Tyler (Adam Petherbridge), who may or may not be on the verge of being expelled. That extra fifteen minutes provides the playwright more than enough time to tell us way more than we need to know about way too many details, and in some cases way too many times. The play is saved by the agile direction of Kaitlyn Samuel, and the especially fine performances by all three actors. O'Brien is shackled with the largest share of the extraneous and redundant, but nonetheless manages to confront this broad range of circumstances effectively, without becoming a caricature in any of them. Sowa negotiates with aplomb a razor thin line between sympathetic and not, and likewise avoids resorting to lazy stereotype. And Petherbridge, succeeding at the thankless threshold task of being a 15 year old in a body at least a decade older than that, certainly also meets the same challenges faced by his castmates. If the notion escaped you, the play's title has more than one meaning. Oh, and there is a fish involved in the play: it's name is also Gil(l). At Venue #11. 1 hour, 15 minutes. [Gutman]

Tribulation: The Musical
Apocalyptic narratives don't tend to consider the possibility of an end of the world so slow and gradual that people would still need to pay rent and make end's meet even as they await somewhat-imminent doom. In Tribulation: The Musical, however, the end times become a fact of life, a backdrop against which everyone's mundane, normal lives continue. For the aspiring poet Genevieve (Sarah Hoffman), that means going in to work every day at Smartlife Insurance, where she and her co-workers Nathan (Seth Wanta) and Lilly (Erin Rein) struggle to endure the enthusiasm and eccentricities of their boss Sally (Sarah Dell'Amico). Will Genevieve ever overcome the drudgery of office life to realize her creative aspirations, or will Smartlife's new owner Dameon Goodman (Nick Shine) have other plans for humanity that might get in the way? If this all sounds a bit scattered, it plays that way too. Tribulation—with book and lyrics by Molly Miller and compositions by Brad Kemp, and Tyler Samples directing—over-ambitiously tries to integrate so many types of stories and potential sources of humor without committing wholly to any of them, winding up feeling like a schizophrenic hybrid of millennial angst a la Girls, office drudgery in the vein of Office Space, and a Dogma-style apocalypse drama. Its world is so disconnected from any sort of reality, physical or emotional, that the quirks of its characters don't stand out as particularly unusual. A show with such an outlandish setup needs to be grounded somewhere, if not in its plot then in having its characters behave like actual human beings, or at least something resembling them. That's not what the script offers, though, giving a cast with impressive comedic credentials little to work with. Instead, we're given a lot of cookie-cutter gags without satisfying depth that are aggressively jumped on and rehashed into oblivion. Not that oblivion is a bad place for a show about the end of days to wind up, but Tribulation comes up short on making it an enjoyable ride there. At Venue #2. 1 hour, 40 minutes with intermission. [Horn]

W.E.B. Du Bois: A Man For All Times
When it comes to emotional intensity in a play, Alexa Kelly's W.E.B. Du Bois: A Man for All Times is second to none. Featuring Brian Richardson in the eponymous role, this one-man show is a portrait of Du Bois based on his life and writings. It follows him from his birth at Great Barrington, Massachusetts, in 1868 (five years after the Emancipation Proclamation), to his graying years and death in Accra, Ghana, on August 27, 1963 (on the eve of the "March on Washington"). At every turn here, as he reincarnates Du Bois on stage, Richardson gives reason for pause. He notes Du Bois' christening name (that would be William Edward Berghardt Dubois), his years at Fisk University in Nashville, his hunt for a teaching job in the hills of Tennessee, his setting precedent as the first black American to graduate from Harvard (and later earn a doctorate), his marriage to Nina in 1896 (they lived together 53 years), his Niagara Movement (the first "protest" of the twentieth century), his co-founding of the NAACP (the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), and more. Much of the power of the piece is the relationship that Richardson, as Du Bois, establishes with the audience. His Du Bois is the host, and the audience his guest. While Richardson projects an authoritative air throughout, he never speaks at but with the audience. Besides inhabiting Du Bois, Richardson morphs into two other notables: Marcus Garvey and Booker T. Washington. And these two flinty historic personages add great texture to the show. As directed by Alexa Kelly, this piece clocks in at 75 minutes, with no dead spots in any scene. This is an ideal opportunity to learn about this civil rights activist and the lasting contributions he made to the twentieth century. At Venue #12. 75 minutes. [Donovan]

Qaddafi's Cook
There are at least three Muammar Qaddafis. One of these, the terrible dictator, has been drilled into us for more than a decade. Another is little known--brilliant pan-African strategist and anti-discrimination advocate. This two-hander highlights the Doctor's sometimes benevolent capriciousness. Sous chef Fredy (Alvaro Flores) adds action and engaging commentary to investigator Paula Madrigal's expressive reading of his boss Sergio's supposed diary of their month-or-so remunerative captivity as Qaddafi's Mexican components of his cooking team. High tension while on weekly duty alternates with abject boredom. Bit players in the Libyan court drama, they are mystified at Qaddafi's never even sampling their culinary creations except for the soup with fideos. Their prized Chicken in Peanut Sauce always gets fed to the staff. They know they've been following supervisor Big Moustache's house rules-no white rice, always flavored-but things seem to be collapsing around them. Under Lynn Lohr's masterful direction, Madrigal has the audience on the edge of their seats by the point in the diary when it seems the pair can gracefully exit the country. Fredy has his suitcase packed in 30 seconds and waits for days for the last ride to the airport. Spoiler: alas things end badly as Sergio's blood stained final diary pages and Fredy's bullet-ridden t-shirt testify. Double spoiler: the events were real but the two chefs got out intact well before the US invasion and lived to tell their tale as dramatized by playwrights Lance Belville and Carlos Ambrosi. At Venue #4. 1 hour. [Lipfert]

Humorously Horrendous Haunted Hideaway
Pee-wee Herman may have given plenty of people the creeps, but that wasn't exactly intentional. If he'd been trying to make his show more deliberately frightening, the result might have looked something like Humorously Horrendous Haunted Hideaway, a children's variety show hosted by Ernest Headstone (Scott Michael Morales) and his vampire pal Ima Knotgoth (Aprella Godfrey Barule). (Important distinction: the show-within-the-show is for children, but the actual play is not considered a FringeJR program.) Employing multi-media effects, puppetry, and a truly incredible number of puns (just one example is a letter beginning "Tomb it may concern"), Ernest and Ima are determined to put on a good show for their loyal viewers in the Ghoulie Gallery (that's the audience), and if they can do it without becoming victims of the monstrous Blood Banshee, all the better. It's welcome that Hideaway, "cobbled" and directed by Kevin P. Hale, doesn't try to be more than it is: a compendium of playful segments, clever visual tricks, and silly jokes. There are no hidden meanings or artificial complexities, and the intermingling of horror and children's television tropes is a good deal of fun. Though transitions between segments could slow down the show overall, the segments themselves maintain a healthy pace and integrate diverse material, including the amusing short film "Shine" by Puppetcore (another film segment, a trailer for Elmwood Productions' "Head," is a bit of a misfire, with the clip cut so short that it ends before you've processed what you're looking at). Morales and Barule balance hosting duties nicely, with the frantic Headstone leveled out by Knotgoth's airy coolness, and they both take advantage of the tight quarters of 64E4 to create moments of connection with audience members. A third cast member, credited only as the Mad Creeper in the program, does a nice job with the puppet characters, including an incredibly cute and equally murderous squirrel. By the end of the hour, the premise has started to wear a bit thin, but the amusing Hideaway is a certainly a nice stop for a quick visit. At Venue #11. 70 minutes. [Horn]

A History of Servitude
You haven't really experienced the Fringe until you've experienced Fringe Al Fresco. And it was my great good luck to catch one of these free outdoor events, A History of Servitude, under the canopy of a Fringe Lounge on Suffolk Street. Presented by The Department of Fools, a New York based Commedia dell'Arte troupe, they shake out the Master and Servant relationship like nobody else. Set in an enchanted garden, we meet 13 Fools (four Masters and nine Servants), with many of the stock characters from Commedia dell'Arte in tow: Capitano (a braggart soldier), Pantalone (a miserly old Venetian merchant), Dottore (a pompous know-it-all scholar), Pulcinella (a horny devil)-to mention a few. This piece is often crude-but not in an offensive way. In the opening scene, we witness the dawn of civilization, and see the First Master materialize and cruelly make his Servants bow to his demands. What follows are variations of this theme over the centuries, where the Masters rule and the Servants submit. We get glimpses of famous world events from the building of the Great Pyramids to the Sinking of the Titanic (expect a spoof of the 1998 Oscar-winning film Titanic complete with sound track). The performers are enthusiastic and the grotesque masks they wear speak volumes. And if you are thinking of bringing the family to this al fresco event, think again. A blurb in the program says it best: "Not for children! Vulgar, bawdy, profane and totally un-PC." Yes, the show definitely lives up to the warning! But that said, it's also a breath of fresh air (you can take that in the literal sense here)-and a rich celebration of Commedia dell'Arte. Courtyard behind Venues 1-4. 75 minutes. [Donovan]

The Intriguing Engagements of Frances and Meg Cheatham, Ladies Of Society
Adaire Kamen's play looks a lot like a comedy of manners up top, as Frances Cheatham (Mia Hutchinson-Shaw) celebrates her engagement to the older man Alexander (Bill Morton) as she flirts with the younger, handsomer Jack (Taylor Alan). But as she grows closer to Jack, it becomes clear that the consequences for her sister Meg (Natalia Dyer), brother-in-law to-be Will (Evan Sibley), and father (Rob Skolits) will be more serious than we might have expected. For anyone who has noted the show's categorization as a comedy on the Fringe show guide, this will come as a disappointment, but for purposes of discussion, it makes more sense to focus on The Intriguing Engagements... as a drama. Directed by Jose Gamo, it is the Lifetime equivalent of a drawing room play: a family looks happy on the surface, but a closer examination reveals volatile forces of love and envy that threaten to be its undoing. While this makes for a juicy narrative (and it certainly draws you in), it can also prompt some sudden pivots and twists that don't feel coherent in the overall context of the narrative; the most notable of these comes from Frances towards the play's end, and feels contradictory to all the character development that has preceded it. Thanks to a strong cast, however, the play remains very watchable even when the plot starts to go off the rails, or when modern cracks appear in the faux-Victorian script. Hutchinson-Shaw is well-equipped to depict the range of emotional states her character experiences, while Dyer and Sibley register their characters' torments honestly and sympathetically. Alan's Jack can morph from charming to unnerving with impressive ease. The period costume design by Nick Staigerwald, one of the more elaborate I've encountered at this year's Fringe, is able to effortlessly establish the setting. Gamo's direction keeps the play moving at a brisk, urgent pace, though the frequent scene changes push the length in the other direction. The intricate plot could benefit from some finessing, but this robust production and the particularly powerful performances of its cast are likely to keep audiences intrigued by these Engagements. At Venue #3. 2 hours with intermission. [Horn]

Part history lesson, part concert, part sing-a-long, Randy Noojin's multi-media solo show Seeger is altogether a journey to nostalgia-land. Playing a banjo and singing 15 Pete Seeger songs, Noojin disappears into Seeger's persona and whisks us back and forward in time through the American 20th Century. Set on a small stage at a fundraiser for U.S.-Cuban normalization in Washington, D.C., Noojin's Seeger is the epitome of a political activist. Although this protest event at our nation's capital might not ring a bell with all of the audience members, Noojin does drive home that Seeger was continually trying to chip away at the callousness of many American politicians who didn't want to become involved in controversial issues. No stranger to the New York International Fringe Festival, Noojin debuted his solo show Hard Travelin' with Woody at the Fringe five years ago-and it's still rambling around the country on tour. Okay, that was then, and this is now. But Noojin proves with Seeger that he's no one-note performer. Although one might quibble over a few of his song selections in this current work, he certainly makes them all fly by contextualizing each with key events in Seeger's life. Perhaps the play's real strength is that Noojin never over-reaches himself. No special effects, expensive props, or fancy clothes. Noojin simply breathes new life into the old songs. And, oh yes. Noojin balances Seeger's signature songs with a few less-known ones. There's "Goodnight Irene," "If I Had a Hammer," "Turn, Turn, Turn," "What Did You Learn in School Today?," "Wasn't That a Time?," "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?," and that civil rights anthem "We Shall Overcome." No question that Noojin has the audience under a spell as he crooned out the various songs and invited everybody to join in. While the sing-alongs were heart-warming, it was when Noojin shared the particulars of Seeger's life story that the audience really leaned in. Noojin pinpoints some of Seeger's life-changing moments (his marriage to Toshi-Aline Ota) and the horrors of being blacklisted during the McCarthy era. True, Noojin isn't saying anything strikingly new about Seeger in his solo show. But how he says it is memorable. Anybody who is a Seeger fan should make a bee-line for the Huron Club, where this song-fest is humming. At Venue # 16. 80 minutes. [Donovan]

Mother Emanuel
Hats off to Mother Emanuel! Those fortunate enough to catch this Fringe show at the SoHo Playhouse need no explanation. And those who missed it should start praying that it returns to a New York stage soon. Since others have already showered praise on the merits of this gospel musical, yours truly can only add that it really does deserve all the superlatives given it. It sensitively dramatizes the lives of those shot down by a gunman during their Wednesday evening Bible study at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, on June 17, 2015. For hard realism, this musical is the last word. But the real power of this piece lies in its honest portrayal of the four victims (there were actually nine killed at the Bible study), including the church's pastor and state senator Clementa C. Pinckney. Yes, this is a documentary musical play at its best. While it does take creative license, it beautifully captures the spirit of those who happened to be in the right place at the wrong time. Among other things, this musical is able to effect a fusion of topical material with a gospel background. No, one doesn't have to be a holy-roller to enjoy the show. But one may well be reborn to the wonder of theater during this 90 minute event. Of all the offerings at the Fringe, this show not only offers the talents of its cast (Christian Lee Branch, Marquis Gibson, Lauren Shaye, Nicole Stacie), authors (Rajendra Ramoon Maharaj, Adam Mace, Christian Lee Branch), and creative team (Douglas Cox, Paul Wilt, and Maharaj) but an opportunity to reflect on a hate crime and how to transcend its horror. At Venue #15. 90 minutes. [Donovan]

The Co-Operatives
In New York, people are willing to go pretty far for the perfect apartment. This is carried to an extreme in Derran Moss-Dalmau's The Co-Operatives, directed by Tatiana Pandiani. It all begins when Jon (Aaron Keller) and Cindy (Puy Navarro) discover their neighbor Ramon (Jose Antonio Melian) dead on the floor of his lovely, two-bedroom, rent-controlled, park-view apartment. It's too late for Ramon, so the two switch to the more urgent task of figuring out how they can use the Co-Op rules to ensure that they get the apartment. It doesn't take long for their other neighbors Sam (Emmanuelle Bernard), Kim (Karen Frances), and Ken (Steven Moskos) to find out and formulate their own plans, but once the board president Curt (Bautista Duarte) gets involved, looking for any rule violations he can find, none of them may stand a chance, if they can even manage to stay in their existing apartments. The Co-Operatives relies on a web of complex relationships, histories, and lease stipulations that can occasionally feel overwhelming, which can risk burying its humorous moments. This is especially the case given that several bigger reveals don't take place until later in the play but are alluded to heavily before we fully understand them. And all of this is exacerbated—deliberately, it seems—by the choice to have none of the actors leave the stage once they've entered, instead drifting into the background when necessary. This means that the play starts small but is physically, and energetically, packed by the end. With so much going on, it's hard for the characters to exist as more than one or two key traits reiterated and amplified through the performance, but the cast shares focus well enough to prevent any of the roles from being overexposed. Duarte demonstrates particularly keen comedic timing as the insufferable stickler Curt, while the playful stage chemistry between Bernard and Navarro injects an appreciated bit of humanity into a show where emotion tends to be neutralized in the name of pragmatism. Or perhaps there's no room for pragmatism when a dream apartment is at stake; rather, as The Co-Operatives shows, getting what you want is all about relativism. At Venue #3. 1 hour, 20 minutes. [Horn]

Patriot Act
Weary of watching the latest news on the presidential race? Well, turn off your TV and get a ticket to Patriot Act. Written and perfomed by Mike Schlitt, it is designed to "restore your faith in American Democracy" in a hurry. Schlitt takes us on a whirlwind tour of American history, beginning with the Declaration of Independence and ending up with our present presidential race. And speaking of races, Schlitt's show is a kind of race against time. Schlitt promises the audience that he will reactivate their faith in American democracy in only 47 minutes. And with a digital clock prominently placed in view on stage that serves as his stopwatch, one gets to watch the minutes elapse and anticipate an increase of patriotism. Of course, the fun of the show is that Schlitt isn't really promising the moon. He's more intent on being our guide through the seminal events of American history. A natural raconteur, he chats with the audience about the great American patriots of yesteryear and how they shaped our country with their ideas and deeds. Two founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, get the lion's share of attention here. But Schlitt never gets too pedantic or stuffy about their contrasting philosophies. In fact, at about midpoint through the show he pulls out a couple of puppets from his suitcase that playfully resurrect Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. And before one can recite the Pledge of Allegiance, the two puppets are pontificating on their opposing views of our infant country. Inevitably, Schlitt returns to the present to probe the audience about their pressing political concerns today. And though most audience members choose to put their two cents in on the presidential contest between Hillary and Trump, some preferred to talk about the hot musical Hamilton. And, oh yes, wondering if anybody in the audience had their faith restored in democracy after 47 minutes? Well, why should I be a spoiler? It might be too politically-saturated for some theatergoers. But Schlitt hands everybody a "Patriot" button at the finale, which can be your perfect reminder to vote on Election Day. At Venue #10. 80 minutes. [Donovan]

The Illusory Adventures of a Dreamer
Ibsen's epic poem Peer Gynt gets reimagined by Michael Bradley in his new play The Illusory Adventures of a Dreamer. For those who have found sitting through a five-act performance of Peer Gynt too much for their rear ends, Bradley's compact spinoff of the classic will be most welcome. While Bradley retains the essence of Ibsen's story, he takes much creative license here. In a program note, Bradley points out a key difference between Ibsen's Peer Gynt and his Dreamer by their different manifestations of the character Boyg: Ibsen represents Boyg as a Voice in the Darkness intoning the question "Who am I?" to Peer; and Bradley has Peer asking himself the who-am-I question. At first blush, it might seem a rather inconsequential point. But if you really push the peanut, Bradley's relocation of Boyg's three words within Peer's psyche morphs his protagonist into a post-modern creation who's able to tap into his own stream-of-consciousness and contemplate its meanings. There are other twists too. Bradley's Peer is gay-and coming out creates a huge dilemma for him. As for the acting, it is uniformly good, with Taylor Turner well-cast as the shape-shifter Peer. Having recently seen the Classic Stage Company's production of Peer Gynt, it was invigorating to see this new take on the classic. While you won't see Peer eating the famous onion at the close of Bradley's play, you will find his protagonist psychologically layered and intriguing. Directed by Chris Goodrich, this new play deserves a post-festival life. At Venue #1. 100 minutes. [Donovan]

Take One
The new musical Take One is a humorous study of the act of creation a la Michelangelo, Richard Rodgers, and God. Jeff Ward does triple duty writing the book, lyrics, and music and Michael Schiralli helms this ambitious production with a firm hand. Honestly, this show is a good antidote for anybody who has ever attempted an artistic project and messed-up in the process. The message is plain here: if the greatest have taken nose-dives as they developed their masterpieces, then any Jack or Jill who has fallen short of their artistic goal can take heart. The drawback to the production is that it's actually a triptych of musicals that have been shoe-horned together a bit too snugly. Each segment, in fact, would come into sharper focus if it breathed in its own dramatic space. That being said, Ward surely knows how to pick meaty material for his musical. For starters, Ward spoofs the Biblical creation myth and Adam and Eve's life in the Garden of Eden (and "after the fall") in "The Ballad of God." Next up is Michelangelo at work on the Sistine Chapel in "The Ludovico Technique." And the last leg is Richard Rodgers exhaustively struggling with his musical Oklahoma in "Intervention!" This show will tickle your funny-bone as well as demystify the act of creation. Though Michelangelo and Richard Rodgers may well be rolling over in their graves, and God perhaps looking down agog, this show is a good mood-elevator for any artist who has ever suffered from the creation blues. But take my word for it, this new musical, though overstuffed, is one funny look at the great things that have gone awry with masterpieces-in-progress. At Venue #2. 90 minutes. [Donovan]

Machine Gun America
Taking its name from a real firearm-themed park in Florida, Joseph Huff-Hannon's Machine Gun America melds unbelievable facts with absurd fiction in order to satirize the outsize role of guns and the Second Amendment in US culture and politics. The musical comedy, directed by Matt Renskers, centers on Bang-Bang (Tim Murray), so nicknamed by his peers after he accidentally shot and killed his mother as a child. Bang-Bang has made peace with his past with the help of a support group of "Sharp Shooters," led by the formidable Fran (Chelsea Picken), all of whom caused fatal gun accidents early in their lives. As incidents involving guns and children become more frequent, fellow Sharp Shooter Suzie (Emily Donald) questions whether more guns are always the answer, while Bang-Bang is asked to head a new initiative of the National Machine Gun Association to distribute guns to toddlers to encourage responsible gun use from infancy. What could possibly go wrong? As far as this production is concerned, aside from some sound issues, not much: Machine Gun America is a clever, funny, and scathing send-up of our gun-obsessed culture that navigates a topical issue with a sharp balance of reality and drama. When you start to feel that the musical has detached a bit too far from reality, a well-placed video projection—an animation featuring the NRA safety mascot Eddie Eagle, for example, or news footage of children being taught to use guns—reminds you how strange the truth of the topic can be. Several songs, composed with unexpected sophistication by John Turner, offer further ties to the world beyond the play, offering parodies or pastiches of Dirty Dancing (showcasing well-executed intentionally awkward moves by Murray and Donald) and Adele's "Hello," among others. Picken is a particular comedic force here, earning cheers at nearly every exit, and Jeremy Varner also offers a notably strong performance as Eddie Eagle. The plot isn't air-tight, and there's certainly room for refinement, but the show marks a strong first outing as a playwright for Huff-Hannon. The take he offers here has a clear viewpoint, and anticipates an audience who agrees; I couldn't help but wonder what a version of this show that does more to engage an opposing viewpoint, rather than steamroll it, might look like. But you can't blame him for forgoing nuance and taking a strong stand here. Machine Gun America makes you laugh, but it also channels the playwright's righteous anger, offering a forceful message on one of today's most sensitive political issues. At Venue #2. 1 hour, 35 minutes. [Horn]

The Door
We never learn why Mastaneh is so desperate to emigrate to America-actually two of them, dressed identically in loose white overdress, red headscarf and mismatched shoes, one red and the other black. Shiva Ebrahimi and Hadis Mireminy share the role of distraught Iranian would-be US resident. Neither reveals anything that would indicate this is a life or death matter. And yet they have completely given over their existence even their breath to immigration lawyer Mr. Golbahari, who hardly deserves his name-Mr. Spring Flower-for stringing them along with call-you-later messages. The brief frenzy as a conclusion may offer a post-feminist critique of women that become completely dependent on others for answers they can only find inside themselves. The thrust is as enigmatic as any of the plays this reviewer has seen in the Tehran Fajr Theater Festival. Too bad the audience hardly reacted to the inherent humor in Mehdi Mashour's text even though at least half the attendees were of Iranian background. Perhaps Mashour's direction of his made-to-order script replete with New York references needs to be broader to signal it's OK to laugh. This single performance at the tail end of 2016 Fringe marked the first but also the final show-maybe the cast relied on a Golbahari to get their very late visas? At Venue #11. 1 hour. [Lipfert]

Walls: A Play for Palestine
A tough play about two tough topics. This is a thoroughly vivid presentation of intractable matters: the future of Palestine and intergenerational conflict between traditional first generation immigrants vs. their "modern" assimilated children. There is no solution to be found in Summer Ghasan Awad's script, with Mother Palestine (Ruba Therese Mansouri) recounting the nearly seventy years of a particularly brutal occupation. Nor does Awad offer a neat formula for father (Anton Obeid) and daughter (Ellen Nikbakht) to arrive at mutual acceptance. Only resistance in the first case and forbearance in the latter can bring truth and self-realization. Such a highly-detailed and emotional account of Diaspora Child's first visit to her ancestral country likely comes from personal experience. Likewise Obeid's unwavering Baba (father) seems taken from life. David Ratliff keeps the three principal characters in their own space except for Joey Odom's brief multiple-character interventions. The concluding moment is all the more moving with Nikbakht in a teenager outfit embracing Mansouri's Mother Palestine, in white traditional-form dress and headscarf but with a large Palestinian flag as bodice. While anyone seeing this might not change their opinions on the topics Awad covers, they will be left with indelible impressions. At Venue #11. 1 hour, 20 minutes. [Lipfert]

From Denmark photogenic Christian Gade Bjerrum brought his autobiographical narrative of his eventful past few years and centering on his relationship with his father who has had two bouts of cancer. In the process the audience intermittently becomes a beach yoga class in his Mexican escape from a Northern winter and reenactment videos covering the narrative's blanks. Bjerrum rapidly changes in and out of story-specific clothes while building suspense up to the relief revelation that his father is alive and well, his prickly personality unchanged. Malika Sia Graff fills in as the voice of cameo characters and her very own guitar accompaniments. But whatever sympathy Bjerrum builds up over the course of his animated monologue is squandered in a lengthy rant about upcoming US elections. He'd be better off railing against Denmark's very own warmonger Anders Fogh Rasmussen who destroyed Libya as then-head of NATO and now will have a hand in further destroying Ukraine. At Venue #10. 1 hour, 25 minutes. [Lipfert]

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VENUE #1:Teatro SEA at the Clemente
107 Suffolk Street (between Rivington and Delancey)

VENUE #2: Flamboyan Theatre at the Clemente
107 Suffolk Street (between Rivington and Delancey)

VENUE #3:Teatro LATEA at the Clemente
107 Suffolk Street (between Rivington and Delancey)

VENUE #4: Abrazo Inferno at the Clemente
107 Suffolk Street (between Rivington and Delancey)

85 Avenue A (between 5th and 6th Streets)

VENUE #6: The Theater at the 14th Street Y
344 East 14th Street (between 1st and 2nd Avenues)

VENUE #7: Under St. Marks
94 St. Marks Pl (between 1st Avenue and Avenue A)

VENUE #8: WOW Cafe
59-61 East 4th #4 (between 2nd Avenue and Bowery)

VENUE #9: The Kraine Theater
85 East 4th Street (between 2nd Avenue and Bowery)

VENUE #10: Alpha Omega Theatrical Dance Company
70 East 4th Street (between 2nd Avenue and Bowery)

64 East 4th Street (between 2nd Avenue and Bowery)

64 East 4th Street (between 2nd Avenue and Bowery)

VENUE #13: Players Theatre
115 MacDougal Street (between West 3rd and Bleecker)

VENUE #14: The Steve and Marie Sgouros Theatre
115 MacDougal Street, 3rd floor (between West 3rd and Bleecker)

VENUE #15: SoHo Playhouse
15 Vandam Street (between 6th Avenue and Varick Street)

VENUE #16: The Huron Club
15 Vandam Street (between 6th Avenue and Varick Street)


Overall Play:
Pucker Up and Blow
The Radicalization of Rolfe
Black Magic

Overall Musical:
Mother Emanuel

Kristin Skye Hoffmann - Dream Ticket
Leslie Kincaid Burby - Zamboni
Jessi D. Hill - Brewed

The Gorges Motel
The Further Adventures of...

Solo Performance:
The Box Show
Honour: Confessions of a Mumbai Courtesan
At The Flash
Pryor Truth
Rent Control

Kevin R. Free - Night of the Living N-Word!!
Dahn Hiuni - Murmurs & Incantations
Meghan Gambling - Bonnie's Future Sisters
Louis Aquiler & Chris D'Amato - Dementia Americana

Taylor Turner - The Illusory Adventures of a Dreamer
Nadia Brown - Hysterical!
Meg Kelly - Kerrmoor
Dave Droxler - Walken on Sunshine

Tom Gold - Joey Variations

Scenic Design:
Jason Lee Courson - Cyrano: a love letter to a friendship

Aaron Michael Krueger - Super!

Music Composition:
Matthew Lowy - Fallen Skies
Ben Singer - At the Crossroads: Music for Faust

TheaterMania Audience Favorite:
Walken on Sunshine

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