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Call this one a joint effort: We both saw it, and then we argued about it, and then I edited what Keith wrote. ‘Cause I have the blog password, so I’m the boss of him …
Carrie Potter at the Half Blood Prom Atlas Performing Arts Center – Lang Theatre
Remaining Performances: Friday, July 27, 6 pm Saturday, July 28, 6:30 pm Sunday, July 29, 5 pm
They say: “A new punk-improv musical from the creators of Frozty The Abominable Snowman. Carrie Potter attends Predestined Magic School (PMS), a private school for elite American teenagers born with magical ability. Carrie struggles to control her own dark rage as she is seduced by Christian books and Jesus Christ himself.”
Keith and Trey’s take: Maybe some of us are getting too old for Fringe. Or maybe it’s just that our high school drama teachers drummed into our young skulls that the cardinal sin of acting is to break character on stage. (Or worse, not to have developed a character to break.) Then again, this is Fringe, and to point out these flaws in Carrie Potter — though they’re certainly there — might be missing the point.
The youngish cast (many of them doubling as the band, including Jesus on keyboards and lead vocals) puts on an energetic and as-irreverent-as-promised hour of audience-participatory entertainment.They make it clear from the outset that they won’t be respecting the fourth wall, even though they’re playing in one of the few Fringe venues that can properly be said to have one. In fact, this may be one of the primary weaknesses of this presentation of the material: It might seem a lot more at home in a venue like the old Metro Cafe (once home to the late, lamented Cherry Red), where the crowd could be imbibing while the cast is writhing. In fact, parts of the production — the unhappy fate of Carrie Potter’s mom and her prom-mates, ferinstance — seem kinda Cherry Red-lite.
A final word: A little tech rehearsal goes a long way, and a little more tech rehearsal can keep a show clipping along. Nothing kills a punk musical’s momentum like a song where you need to read the soloist’s lips. Then again, that happened a couple of years ago at Hairspray — and they were charging a lot more than 15 bucks a seat.
See it if: You don’t mind yet another lame George W impersonation.
Skip it if: You don’t want to know how the final Harry Potter ends. Just kidding, there are no spoilers, although they do threaten several times.