I’ve told you my favorites. What are yours?

So far I’ve seen 41 Fringe shows and posted reviews of most of them (with four more to come this morning).

So I’ve told you my favorites. What are yours?

(And I hesitate to ask, but are there shows you would tell other people to miss?)

24 responses to “I’ve told you my favorites. What are yours?

  1. Robyn Kelly

    I have seen some awesome, and really crappy, stuff this year. But the ones that moved me and blew me away were 6 Guitars with Chase Padgett, Gay Bar Star with Janine Klein, Full of Grace with Kathy Baker Wood and, as always, the Cody River boys. For sheer “laugh out loud, n
    o brainer, strictly FUN times”, I loved Dream Express, Debbie Does Dallas and Hell Freezes Over. Unfortunately, I don’t feel comfortable posting my “do not see” list here…sorry😦 ….I save that for “lawn talk” with my friends,
    lol🙂 But I do have that list🙂 Great seeing you around Fringe, Betsey!!

  2. Gabby Hoffmann

    Definitely go see Yow Dance in Elements of Change!

  3. Michael Marinaccio

    I Loved a lot of the shows on your list(…Some Other Day, Cody Rivers, Reincarnation Soup, and Dream Express), But I’d add to That Janine Klein: Gay Bar Star, A Brighter Shade Of Blue, Tod Kimbro, and Ironhead. I’ve seen lots of shows I’ve liked but felt had at least one major flaw(usually script), and only one real stinker, but I’m with Robyn on not listing them here. Ask me on the lawn and I’ll be happy to tell you what I think. Overall, I’ve had a really amazing Fringe!!

  4. I haven’t seen A Brighter Shade of Blue yet and have heard good things.

  5. “Is this seat taken?” is a wonderful example of well executed improv. A great concept, well performed and seamlessly improvised “before your very eyes”

    Hell Freezes Over, Janine Klein Gay Bar Star, Julie Bunny Must Die, T-O-T-A-L-L-Y and Copping a Craigie were all very fun shows, light fun entertainment.

    The heavy hitters so far as content for me this year were T.J Dawe’s Lucky 9 – we got a real insight into the man behind the words this time, and I liked that. Others seemed disappointed that it wasn’t as ‘chuckle-a-minute’ as his other pieces, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Also 6 Guitars and Full Of Grace – two of my favorite pieces – showcasing performances that dominate the stage and hold your attention every single second.

  6. Michael Marinaccio

    Paul Strickland is a really funny, charming and endearing guy, with a great story to tell. He’s a stand-up comic by trade, but this is very much a storytelling monologue show. It’s a thoroughly enjoyable hour of fringe.

  7. Robyn Kelly

    It’s weird this year…I’ve seen several shows that have fantastic, talented casts, but a horrible script that even the most talented cast can’t do anything with. Very sad to see.

  8. Michael Marinaccio

    And I really hope I get to see Full Of Grace. I loved Kathy’s show last year.

  9. Robyn Kelly

    “Horrible” scripts might be too harsh. I should probably have used the word “weak”. Lots of weak scripts this year.

  10. Robyn Kelly

    Oh my gosh Michael. I hope you can see Kathy this year. I adored her last year and I think she’s even better this year, if possible. I just absolutely adore her. I loved the show.

  11. Robyn, I agree about the scripts. There are more terrific actors involved this year than ever, but some of the scripts are really mediocre.

    If only they taught playwriting at our local colleges and universities … Sigh.

  12. Robyn Kelly

    Yes exactly. I just watch and feel bad for them, knowing they’re so talented….and I wonder, did they even read the script before agreeing to be in it?!!!

  13. Emmy Collins

    Loved Full of Grace and TJ Dawe’s Lucky 9, really enjoyed Hell Freezes Over and enjoyed the Trailer Park musical in a comic-book sort of way. Three others were less entertaining, and I’m looking forward to eleven more over the next few days!

    And what’s that closing the gate last night through the Green Lawn of Fabulousness?!

  14. Emmy, the city has suddenly started to require a uniformed cop at each end of the lawn, which the Fringe can’t afford. I have just written an email to my commissioner about it and maybe others will want to do that too. It’s very easy to send an email to your city commissioner: Just go to http://www.cityoforlando.net/elected/council/index.htm

  15. Michael Marinaccio

    I don’t think you need to learn playwriting to understand that if you’re writing a show, there is one very important question you need to answer: What are you trying to say. A few of the shows I’ve seen this year seem to have been written more for the playwright’s enjoyment than for the audience’s.

  16. David Horgan

    Really, almost everything this year I would say was good. I honestly only really disliked one show so far. And it’s one a lot of other people love. Go figure. I’m also with everyone else on disliking a show. I won’t say it here. Sorry Elizabeth.

    Anyway, you can never go wrong with VarieTEASE, TJ Dawe, or Cody Rivers.

    To list a random ten shows I thought were fantastic in no particular order, I’d say Who Murdered Winthrop Carlson, Some Other Day, Julie Bunny Must Die!, Cyclosa Confusa, Dreams, Schemes, and Circus Crowds, Copping a Craigie, The Screw You Revue, Ironhead, Canuck Cabaret, and Shoshinz.

    A couple that completely blew me away with people I never saw before were Dirty Stuff and 6 Guitars. I know, 6 Guitars is sold out, but Dirty Stuff isn’t. See it if you can. He’s amazing.

  17. I agree about Dirty Stuff, David. It’s a wonderful show. (Bad title though.)

  18. Robert DelMedico

    I’ve made it out to about 26 shows so far (for me a personal record — since Annie Todd only had 4 performances it was pretty easy this year).

    Unlike prior years, I got most of what I was dying to see out of the way in the first 4 days — I’m not sure that this was a great strategy. There’s something fun about seeing some of the top shows at Fringe with the more warm crowds towards the end.

    Also, I feel like the dropoff from the top shows to the rest is a bit further than in prior years, although as others have mentioned, I’ve only seen two shows I’d consider “bad” this year (and both were more content problems than acting).

    My favorites:

    6 Guitars (Ain’t bandwagoneering, I’ve been championing this one since Sunday!)
    Lucky 9
    Ironhead
    The Blood Feather
    The Great American Trailer Park Musical
    Fruitcake
    Cody Rivers
    Bike Trip

  19. Terry Olson

    Lucky 9 is my top followed by Cody Rivers.
    I haven’t seen horrible shows but was disappointed by one show with well-known (serious) actors doing a silly comedic script. It wasn’t their forte and would have been funnier with comic actors. Also suffered through part of the Creative Minds Experiment and really enjoyed a couple parts of it, but then it isn’t rehearsed as a show – it is an experiment. I’d rather have had the experiment happen “in the lab” and then have the truly great results brought out of the lab and onto the stage and leave the less successful behind. But that would be a more work for the producers – and more enjoyable for the audience.

  20. I end up having two agendae to meet when planning my Fringe schedule: see everyone I know from town in their shows, and see everyone from out of town because when else can I see them? The former quickly cedes to the latter as time shortens and my schedule tightens (exacerbated this year by my involvement in two shows.) I love seeing my friends, but I can see them through out the year (and do.) I hate listing favorites because someone will feel slighted or I won’t have seen something and people will think its omission means I didn’t like it.

    Instead of a list, I’ll go out on a limb and mention one show that’s gotten rather trashed in reviews, but which I still enjoyed: Reckless Daughters. I think this show suffers from an identity crisis: it purports to be about the “show within a show” of the Carole King/Joni Mitchell/Carly Simon tribute band; rather (for me, anyway) it’s about Peg, Alice and Vic, the three women who play the three icons, and the drama of their lives and relationships. It didn’t so much matter that the singing and playing weren’t really where they would need to be if it were an actual tribute show. Well, it would have been a way cool bonus, but that’s not the story on which I focused. Glad to discuss this further on the lawn while y’all share your horror stories. 🙂

  21. Thanks, Chris, I do think that’s what they were going for in Reckless Daughters. I am glad that it came across to you and that you liked it so much.

    Which makes me think of another question …

  22. My most “unfavorite” show is on Elizabeth’s “best of” list, so how do I dare mention it? It’s not that the performance or performers was bad; it’s just that I truly didn’t get what they were trying to do. I’d privately like to ask them “can you fill me in on what was going on, because I feel left out of some private joke…?”

    Being a first-timer, I enjoyed just about everyone. Being an instrumentalist by trade, Chase Padgett and Tod Kimbro naturally got, and kept, my attention. “Welcome To Hell” is still my favorite “fringe-y thing”. Paul Strickland was the best of many great one-person shows. “Pla” was like an initiation into a wonderful secret society. Natural shouts out to Janine Klein and the Craigie crew! Cody Rivers… well, my mind is still blown. That was life-changing. I’m serious. Life-changing.

    I’d also like to echo Chris’ sentiments about “Reckless Daughters”; we’ve discussed this show much more than anything else we’ve seen. Yes, everyone knows about the problems, but this show had a very honest premise at its center. I work with people who are professional celebrity impersonators, and without exception they either quickly start to feel caged by the constraints of their jobs or they start identifying with their characters in unhealthy ways. The fact that Vic wanted to sing her own song, and was strongly discouraged to do so, was spot on.

    With guitar and vocal lessons (and definitely more coffeehouse-type gigs in front of patrons who haven’t paid a ticket and will walk out on you if you don’t hold their attention!), and some real production, this could actually turn into the show they so badly wanted to present.

  23. I loved Full Of Grace! But I might be accused of bias. I also thought that A Day In The Life Of Miss Hiccup was exceptional. I saw it at a very late show with a room full of other Fringe artists. We all had the best time. GO SEE MISS HICCUP! Of course we’re going to talk about shows we disliked. But for that I don’t think this is a good forum.

  24. MYRON BLATTNER

    So far I liked, in no particular order, THE BIKE TRIP, T-O-T-A-L-L-Y, A LIGHTER SIDE OF BLUE, JANINE KLEIN, DREAMS, SCHEMES AND CIRCUS PEOPLE, THE BLOOD FEATHER, THE CODY RIVERS SHOW, THE SCREW YOU REVIEW, TRAILER PARK MUSICAL, DIRTY STUFF, ODDLIE, JULIE BUNNY MUST DIE and REINCARNATION SOUP. There are still a few, on your list, that I haven’t seen yet. I have now seen 43 shows.