Live & Let Fringe: Day 10

After brunch, May and I headed down to the Fringe site to catch Chance Moments (Stage 11). One of the few productions I picked based on its written description in the program, the play catalogued a series of snapshots integral to the rise – and fall – of a couple’s relationship. The script and direction themselves weren’t bad (the use of everyday objects as scene starters was a nice touch), but the acting was simply not there. Kyle Schroter in particular was flat, emotionless, and couldn’t grasp the concept of pacing and beats. The production ran ten minutes short of its advertised show length, indicative of an all-too rushed delivery, and the actors’ inability to embrace poignant pauses. As a whole, the story was one that I have seen done better elsewhere (last year’s 52 Pick-up, for example), and with anaemic acting, Chance Moments ended up being one of my weakest picks this Fringe.

To round out the festival, I met up with Dickson for his selection of El Muchacho (Stage 1). A musical primarily starring teens, the plot had been adapted from Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado (whatever that meant). A complicated “love story” involving an executioner, a blood-thirsty president, his guitaristo son, and a chica nicknamed Dum-Dum, the ninety minute production seemed to go on and on. There were also a number of offbeat pop culture references (including a snipe about Ryan Smyth) that Dickson didn’t appreciate – he felt they distracted from the play as a whole. A few days ago, I came across a review of this play in the Journal, and although I didn’t read the text of the article, the headline stuck in my mind – “Easy on the eyes, but often hard on the ears.” Too true. Lead male singer John Tribiger, as the tale’s Romeo, could not hold a note, and more often than not, was inaudible. Thankfully, the lead female, Katherine Carleton, could sing, but with her talent, it’s a wonder how she was cast opposite Tribiger. All this being said, I guess I shouldn’t be too hard on this group of kids; I can’t imagine getting up on stage to act, let alone sing. So bravo for their effort…but the onus will simply be on me to avoid amateur musicals in the future.

2 thoughts on “Live & Let Fringe: Day 10

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