The Sin Show
The Mountain at Mount Vernon Square UMC
Remaining Performances: Wednesday, July 22nd at 10 p.m.; Friday, July 24th at 8 p.m. [SOLD OUT]; Sunday, July 26th at 2 p.m.
They say: “Riding on the sold-out success of last year’s Chocolate Jesus and Revenge of the Cat-Headed Baby, SpeakeasyDC presents yet another sure-to-be-Fringe-fave, THE SIN SHOW featuring true stories about pride, greed, envy, sloth, gluttony, lust, and wrath.”
Glen’s take: Look, the SpeakeasyDC guys don’t need our help — they’ve a proven record at Fringe as both vets and all-stars, they’re selling out shows, they got a rave in the paper blog of record. So they really don’t need us to tell you the show’s pretty great, but they’re getting it anyway, because, turns out? The show’s pretty great.
It’s great for the reasons their previous Fringe outings were: With seeming effortlessness, these stories, and these storytellers, provoke precisely what they mean to — gasps, laughter (raucous and rueful, in turn), along with quieter, more introspective reactions.
That seeming effortlessness is part of the game, because it’s clear that all seven performers — though they may evince varying degrees of comfort in front of an audience, or at least an audience this size — have worked over their stories, shaped them, honed them into the versions they present to us.
This is particulalry true of the two tales that bookend the evening: John Kevin “Gluttony” Boggs’ sardonic account of quitting cigarettes, and the emporkening that ensued; and Seaton “Envy” Smith’s blisteringly funny screed against an old college classmate, which is nothing less than a master class in comic timing.
So, yeah, it’s great. But let’s just note that their previous Fringe outings featured fewer performers (Chocolate Jesus: Four, Revenge of the Cat-Headed Baby: Five) in more intimate spaces, so those evenings felt satisfyingly cohesive.
The Sin Show is looser, and considerably longer, and more uneven. With seven performers, it’s easier to discern those who still need to work on their confidence, and those — like Saurabh “Lust” Tak, whose spin on the line “a warm TICKLE ran through my body” reduced the dude in front of me to boar-like snorting — who’ve got it going on.
See it if: That Spalding-Gray-shaped hole in your heart? Yeah, it’s still there.
Skip it if: “Shaped? Crafted? That’s bullshit — Fringe means fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants! First-thought-best-thought! Boy, I’m angry about how unfair that is, but I will use this anger to inform my blowetry.”