Fringe 2013 wrap-up

IMG_1449The cold (for New Orleans) weather made dashing from venue to venue a little less pleasant on Sunday, but there were still interesting things to see and friends to meet.

This was a heavily choreographed performance piece, with three women moving through scenes that were mostly unspoken. The actions were at the intersection between dance and mime, which sometimes gave me problems.  I have a “story brain” and trying to make sense of what I was seeing wasn’t always productive. Some of the visuals where quite harrowing, clearly scenes of molestation or sexual assault. Others, such as a woman seeming to delight in rubbing sand all over her body were a bit more obscure.

The story we know from the Greek myth is here rewritten. In what might be called an aerial ballet, Icarus falls from the sky, not to die but to survive on an unknown shore and meet a rescuer who also wants to fly. This show had some very nice work on rigging, rope, and rings and a surprising gender-bending twist as well.

Grandmothers of the Universe
This show posed the provocative question, “What is it like to be an African-American woman?” Unfortunately, it was not particularly illuminating on that score. What I had hoped would be stories of grandmothers and identity devolved more into a sort of new age self-mythologizing in which the performer claims descent from the Queen of Sheba and purports to be able to answer audience questions in the voice of that character.  Not my cup of tea.

My Fringe experience ended with this oddly compelling bit of immersive theatre in which three characters from mid-19th century New Orleans (Bricktop, a red-haired prostitute and murderess; The Colonel, a steamboat gambler; and The Nightingale, Swedish opera singer Jenny Lind). The three characters spoke in simultaneous (more or less) monologues to create a portrait of the characters and their time.

All told, I saw 18 shows of out the 76 performances the Fringe offered. I heard of several that sounded intriguing, but didn’t have a chance to see, but feel fortunately that my schedule allowed me to see shows each day of the Fringe. I’m sorry it’s over, but also glad of a chance to catch my breath, and I’ll be back next year.

Previous Fringe posts: Wed/Thu, Fri, Sat

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