That thing? Just below the hem? No-one ever talks about that…

Following my friend Mac, here’s a list of shows I’m either going to or not going to in the NYC Fringe Festival

“9/11- The Book of Job”- Please. If you killed me and tried to drag my corpse into this show, I hope my lifeless body would resist.

“Apocalypse, book one”- I’m only going to say this once. If you’re making a show wherein either the President or Jeus Christ make an appearance, I’m not going.

“Another Cat and Another Moon”- This one has clowns and sounds kinda weird. A show actually on the Fringe and one that is probably long on sweet.

“Beware the Man Eating Chicken”- I like the title. It takes you a second to figure out, so that bodes well for the play.

“Big Trouble in Little Hazzard”- This kind of fucking show need a blog all it’s fucking own. These guys can swing. Satire my ass. Y’know what? Check in later, I’m writing a whole goddam blog about shows like this.

“Browntown”- Three brown skinned actors are invited to audition for a MOW in Hollywood called “The Color Of Terror”. This is right up my alley.

“Becoming Woman”- Any show with either one or two actors, I’m not going. One or two people being an ass pretty much sums up dinner with my friends, and I do that about four times a week. I aint paying to see people I don’t know do it.

“Cane’s Bayou”- Has a warning about nudity and under director it says “ensemble”. Very promising.

“Chekov On The Wing”- I may not agree with Mac about everything but… actually I generally agree with Mac about everything. This dude can swing. By swing, I mean “on deez nuts”.

“A Chicken and Its Breast”- Okay, here’s the thing. The description says “an audacious young lady attempts to charm the audience in a hilarious alienated whirlwind”, and that sound hilarious to me. I love alienating whirlwinds.

“Confessions of a Mormon Boy”- I just don’t think I can. One man show? Music? Gay? Ex-Christian? Check, check, check, check, check please. It’s all very good for you to have been Mormon and now you’re not, but I just can’t indulge you.

“The Dead Sea”- Dark horse possibility. A guy returns home to talk to his brothers and dad, that’s it. That sounds like a *play*, and not some kind of juggling, tap dancing bullshit.

“The Disembodied Soul”- Fucked up Chinese break beats and supernaturalism. Word. I’m there.

“Ellen Craft”- Gotta support the home team. There is no way in the world I am missing this.

“An Evening of Semiautobiographical, Highly Self-Indulgent Theater”- You’re telling me up front, and you’re telling me you’re naked, so I’ll bite. If it’s as bad as the title, I got no-one to blame but myself.

“Gork! The Retard Always Wins”- Okay, I know I said no one-person shows, but I’ll go to this. She talks about her retarded brother as they grew up in Iowa. Again, the home team, I got no choice.

“Granola! The Musical”- Jesus Christ. I would go to this show if a) It was free, b) The seats were comfortable and the theater was air conditioned and c) The show was cancelled.

“Haven: A New Play with Music about Refugees and America”- Give me a goddam break. What stupid ass retard includes “a new play” in the title of their play? A musical about Cameroonian torture survivors escaping to America? There should be a place where people who survive musicals can escape to.

“High Cotton”- This actually looks fun and it feels like the home team again.

“Irish Authors Held Hostage”- I’m trying to leave the shows Mac’s mentioned alone, but this actually looks pretty fun.

“John Walker:The Musical” & “Jonestown: The Musical”- Two shows, and I can tell you why I pick the latter over the former. The “American Taliban” was pop invention, whatever personal drama or whatever he went through, it doesn’t mean that much to me. The Jonestown Massacre has been with me since childhood, it’s one of the most dramatic events of the last half century. The two guys who wrote about Jonestown could have written about anything, and they chose an incredibly compelling, incredibly smart story to dramatize.

(People submitting to the Fringe Festival for next year, take notice: The people chosing the plays seem to like sperm bank plotlines. Just a bug in your ear.)

“The Last Detail”- Two guys transporting another to jail and the various characters they meet in 1970s America. I don’t ask for much, and this seems like just barely enough to get me to go. I just want people revealing themselves, that’s it.

Okay, there are about thirty musicals in this year’s festival so..

“LULU”- It’s set in the silent movie era and the score is lush and jazzy. Better than anything claiming to be a “TeknoPopera”. I’m serious, that’s the quote. “Mankynde” can also swing.

“The Pet Goat Convention”- The name alone, and I’ll come see it. Not a musical? Awesome, I’m there.

“Project”- Okay, this is what I want. Four businessmen fighting for control of something. Perfect.

Look, I’m sure it all has a place, but that circus clown bullshit just doesn’t mean anything to me. I don’t want to see improv, I don’t want to see one person shows. I just don’t. I wrote one and decided not to perform it, it just isn’t my thing. I want to see people.

I know, I know, it’s a “Fringe” festival or whatever, but the truth is that a lot of this is leftist shock talk or young person navel gazing. What on earth could someone under the age of 60 have to talk about for two hours? If you aren’t Elaine Stritch, I don’t want to come see your goddam one man show, even if you play twenty characters.

Also, the best writers in the world live to write, the best actors live to act, the best directors live to direct. I’m not saying you can’t do two or three of these things, I’m just saying that if you are doing more than one, don’t be surprized if you are better at one than the other, and that someone else would be better than you at the thing you aren’t as good at. So, if you’re doing two or three of these things, one of them is being done not as well as it could be.

The preceeding is, of course, not true for my company. But that’s why we’re better than everyone.


“Reconstruction”- A married couple rebuilds their marriage and never leaves their bed. See? Is there a motorcycle? No. Is there assinine snide commentary about the state of our nation? No. I’m going to this.

(Another piece of advice: The Fringe *loves* if you talk shit about Reality TV. And “a one-(person) show about growing up (fill in ethnicity) in a (major urban center)(fill in opposing ethnicity) ghetto” so you could have “a one-goat show about growing up Hassidic in a Chicago Shiite Ghetto” and you’ll be just fine.)

“Save The Goondocks”- You guys should be ashamed of yourselves. See my next blog on parody/satire.

“Sound Of The Estate”- I’m differing from Mac here (I think) because this actually sounds cool. Uncle Vanya set in a recording studio. I know, more home-team, but I gotsta

“Suicide/Joke”- I’ll be at every performance of this play, I promise you. Every single one. And every rehearsal.

(I just called Mac because I got to a play called “This is Murphy’s Law” and I lost my shit for a second. When I see that an Icelandic multimedia play got chosen over “Lucretia”, I’m okay with that, but this play had better win a goddam *obie* one day, or I’m gonna figure the procedure is totally random…)

“Training Wisteria”- It looks like a good divorce tragicomedy, and I loved shit like this. More divorce plays. And Jonestown musicals.

“Vampire Cowboy Trilogy”- See, this is a Fringe show. Weird ass kung-fu fighting film-noir spoof. I can totally get behind this.

“The WingDing Doodle Club”- Howdy Doody meets Dog Day Afternoon. Awesome.

“Young, Sexy and Talented”- Obviously I’ve run out of steam because I just jumped to the last two I would consider seeing and I jumped over all the stuff that made my blood boil. I will always like stories about people in acting class, especially if they are neurotic as hell. For me, that’s comic gold.

Okay, one more post, later, about goddam satire/parody and then no more about this festival.