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Crashing HomeHarman Center – Forum

Remaining Performances:
Saturday, July 26 @ 3:00 pm
Sunday, July 27 @ 12:00 Noon

They say: “Voted “Pick of the Fringe 2007,” WEERD SISTERS brings back singer/songwriter Annie Johnstone and choreographer/poet Diana Tokaji in a feast of words, dance, live music, and song. Expect chilling beauty – voice and muscle: Raw, ripe, “funny, intense.” (Takoma Voice) With David Jernigan, jazz bass; and Mattias Rucht, drums.”

Sheffy’s take:With the clock running out on CapFringe ’08, I’ve been combing the blogs to chart a roadmap for my final few hours. Even though the alluring blurb for Crashing Home in the festival guide is right on target, I didn’t know what to expect. But Fringe is about experimenting, and I’m glad the nearly 70 people in the audience ranging in age from 7 to 70 were not deterred by the less-than-stellar review posted elsewhere. The multi-cultural WEERD SISTERS showcase musical and creative talent in a program of four unrelated pieces that feature live instrumental music, original poetry, dance, and vocals.

I must admit I’m usually inside-the-box when it comes to theater: I prefer characters with names, a plot, and at the end of the day, I expect there to be some meaning. But this was no theatre (it’s the Harman Center for the Arts). Crashing Home is more akin to a jazz concert—while I didn’t learn anything, I enjoyed each piece, and the show left me in a relaxed, peaceful mood.

Although Diana Tokaji’s vibrant energy was the glue holding everything together, the show lacked unity and focus.Yet each individual element—from Chinwe Enu’s soaring operatic voice harmonizing with Annie Johnstone’s rich alto to Tokaji’s choreography to a primal drum circle to David Jernigan’s string base—resonated with an innate beauty. The verdant costumes and lighting design and the nature video projected during the last piece imbued all with organic overtones. The silent rainstorm featured in the finale left my spirit feeling cleansed. What this show lacked in coherence, in made up for in Zen. And just like good theater, there’s plenty to discuss afterwards as everyone leaves with a different impression.

See it if: You’ve been heretofore avoiding that “experimental” genre from the festival guide because it conjures images off-beat college kids in turtlenecks and black lipgloss lying on the floor in a circle in total silence interrupted intermittently by shouts in Esperanto (and no, don’t anyone steal that idea for next year).

Skip it if: You can’t call it poetry if it doesn’t rhyme (don’t get me started on Homer’s Iliad “poem”).