Monday, July 14, 2008

2008 Fringe Festival Experience - Part 1

The 2008 Capital Fringe Festival officially started on Thursday, but Saturday was the first day I was able to see any performances.

J and I went to the Rude Mechanicals’ staging of Shakespeare’s Coriolanus . This staging was remarkable in that it packed what was originally a 3 hour play into 75 minutes. (In doing so, they had to cut out a lot of the battle scenes.) The situation was updated to the present day, thus alleviating the need for major costumes. The opening of the play was a bit uneven, and some of the actors in smaller roles were really, really bad – but the actors in the main roles were quite good, especially the actors who played Menenius, Coriolanus and Coriolanus’ mother, Volumnia. In fact, the performances that linger for me were those of Menenius, who had long gray hair in a ponytail and a long, scraggly beard, and of Volumnia, who portrayed her passionate, possessive emotions very convincingly. The fight scene at the end was well staged and definitely left a lasting impression.

So for a scrappy group working with minimal props, sets and a mountain of material, I give that show a definite thumbs up.

Adding to the Fringe experience, before the play we found what can best be described as a “Mozambique-an fast food” restaurant on 7th Street. Yes, really. It was mostly some sort of rotisserie chicken in a flavorful sauce (which you could ask for in varying degrees of heat) and some healthy and tasty sides, such as Butternut Squash with Corn. We’re trying to eat healthier, so this definitely fit the bill until we got to the desserts, which were a very chocolate chocolate cake and a generous scoop of chocolate ice cream with a little spiciness to it. Yummy!

After the play, the Fringe has a patio area where you can get snacks, beverages of many types and bratwurst. Sine it was still rather early in the day, we got sodas and water but definitely tried the bratwurst. The patio seems like it would be a chill place to hang out in during the evenings after a play, mingling with other Fringe-goers and Fringe performers. As it was, we were there so early that we were the only ones occupying the tent for a while, but we could see the potential of the space.

Tonight, I’m going to another Fringe event and I hope to have something fun to report tomorrow. This is going to be a super busy week for me of evenings filled with both Fringe and non-Fringe related activities. There is much for me to look forward to and help keep my mind off of the many other things pressing on my brain. I’m hoping the creative activity nudges me towards thinking of creative solutions to what’s been keeping me stuck . . . we’ll see!

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