Fringe Festival Wrap-Up…

12 08 2009

I had a big ol’ long post planned where I would recap all the shows I saw in the Fringe Festival this year, and do some commentary on how my show, “Danny Is Going To Die” went.  But I’m feeling particularly unmotivated as of late, and don’t really feel like writing all that.  So I’ll just summarize by saying: Saw a bunch of shows…more than I had in previous years, but still fewer than I wanted to…some of them were amazing, some of them were crazy, and some of them put Nikki W. to sleep.  Our show went, I think, very well…some people though it was amazing, some people thought it was crazy…I don’t think anyone fell asleep.  For fun, let’s look at some of the citizen reviews we got on our website:

First, some not so good reviews–

Amateurish.
by re gurgitate Follow this reviewer
Rating 2 kitties
Some of the audience laughed, I didn’t. I didn’t believe the situation, the actors, or the sub-sitcom dialog. Better luck next time.

Ouch.  Definitely our worst review.  I won’t bother weakly protesting that criticism from a guy who calls himself “re gurgitate” on a website is difficult to take too seriously, or the fact that if Mr. Gurgitate were to be honest, he would have wrote, “Most of the audience laughed A LOT, but I didn’t.”  Whatever.  I still have to say of all the people who reviewed our play, this is the opinion I’m most interested in, as I always think criticism, no matter how hard to hear, is more constructive and interesting than praise.  However, with the name “re gurgitate” I’m guessing he (she?) wants to stay anonymous.  Too bad.

A bit stereotypical…
by Richard Sacagawa Follow this reviewer
Rating 3 kitties
This show was okay…the best part was the acting, but the show wasn’t written very well. The characters were a bit stereotypical and the humor was 7th grade-ish; cheap genitalia and curse word jokes. However, it was fast paced and full of great performances!

Another not so great review, although people in the cast tried to helpfully point out to me that it isn’t a bad review at all, just a so-so one.  This forced me to point out the fact that, yes, it is an okay review…UNLESS YOU’RE THE WRITER!  Then it’s not so good.

I already used this joke in a Facebook status update, but for those of you who read my blog but do not use Facebook, I will repeat it here because I think it’s a pretty good one:  Anyone else notice that the name Richard Sacagawa can be shortened to “Dick Sac.”  The fact that someone named Dick Sac is criticizing my script for cheap genitalia humor is, so far anyway, the only evidence of the existence of God I have encountered in my life.

How about some good reviews?

My must see…
by Michael Sheeks Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
I thought this was an exceptionally well written comedy, particularly for this ensemble. I also enjoyed the fact that it didn’t try to be more than it could be within the context of the fringe, but there were a few moments that suggested this playwright could shift gears and turn it into a longer piece that had a less episodic structure and more levels. Nice work. I will definitely be watching for work by these folks after the fringe.

Sweet!  Thank you, Michael Sheeks, whoever you are.  I particularly like that he enjoyed “…that it didn’t try to be more than it could be within the context of the fringe…”  This is a very important point that is possibly missed by Mr’s Gurgitate and Sac, who maybe expect all their Fringe shows to be deep, moving pieces about the difficulties of being a lesbian or the angst caused by the meaningless of existence.  It’s a fun, cartoony show with some cheap laughs.  And that’s okay.

Finally, the best review we got:

Danny Is Going to Die
by David Bratt Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
Very funny writing; some very strong comic acting (especially Tim Gage, Kim Hostrawser, and Andy Waldron); appropriately breakneck pacing.

David Bratt, for those who don’t know, was the chair of the theater department at Winona State University, so it’s safe to bet he knows a thing or two about theater…probably a thing or two more than re gurgiatate or Dick Sac.  He was also notoriously difficult to please, as anyone who was ever involved in one the productions he directed at WSU knows, so if he says there was some funny writing and strong comic acting, I’m inclined to believe him.  Thank you, DB!

Final analysis: It was a bunch of hard work, really fun, Nikki W. and I didn’t murder each other, though it was touch and go some days…and I can’t wait to do it again.

I’ve added the script for “Danny Is Going To Die” to the Non-blog related writing section of this page.  Give it a read, either if you didn’t get a chance to see the show, or did see the show and are one of those nerds like me who like to see how things develop from written script to actual performance.

(Note: The script I have posted is the FINAL PERFORMANCE VERSION, not the original script I wrote.  Due to time constraints, we were forced to make substatial cuts…this is the script as it was performed.)


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3 responses

30 08 2009
Debbie Steinberg

After attending two performances of “Danny’s Going to Die”, I look forward to future works involving this theater group. I was very impressed with the format and scene transitions. The humor was a great plus! I laughed, and enjoyed the entire presentation. Thanks!
The after-party was also awesome.
D. Stein

30 08 2009
Debbie Steinberg

Did I mention that your re-cap(above) is hilarious?

17 10 2009
Tamcatt

I just love the fact that kitties are used for ratings instead of stars!!^..^

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