City Paper is not for tourists
And all through Trey’s house … well, there’s a lot of laundry waiting to be done, to say nothing of the dishes. And the litterbox — well, let’s just say the local authority, by which I mean me, is on the verge of qualifying for Superfund money.
But here I am at the wee laptop instead , preparing to think about contemplating the possibility of exercising my shockingly atrophied blogging muscles. Also making a wee hello video, which of course was sabotaged by the cat attached to said litterbox, who walked in front of the camera. Also, WordPress is acting wonky, so I dunno if it’s gonna show up, the video, but if it does it’ll be right in here somewhere.
So Dave’s been busy, eh? Bar crawls, video interviews, a bibulous evening with the woman who brought you the term “latchkey kid.” (Confession: I was at the Warehouse that night and met Lynette Long, and I meant to blog about her but didn’t. So I’m glad the Nutco staff did.)
Dr. Long and I actually had a really interesting conversation: She’s only recently started writing plays, so at first she was only mildly excited about the fact that an award she won a few weeks back came not just with a cash prize, but with the promise of a fully staged production, too.
Now, Dr. Long was too new to the game to know that plenty of playwrights write for years and never meet anybody who believes enough in their work to commit to a full production. For an unproven playwright, an award is an honor. An award with a cash prize attached? That’s a high honor.
But the fact that a bunch of people in another state — people who aren’t related to you, people who don’t need your sign-off on their departmental budget, people whose hands you didn’t catch in some government till — the fact that these people are spending time and money building sets, renting a hall, assembling costumes, and memorizing the words you put on paper? That’s a damn gift.
It was fun — no, it was actually really moving — to see this woman, who’s so accomplished in one field, begin to believe that what she’s accomplished in this other, avocational field turns out to mean something to somebody else, too.
That’s kinda what Fringe is all about. There are some big companies involved this year — more than last time around (and more on that later this week) — but there are a lot of people you’ve never heard of, too. People I’ve never heard of, and I’ve been seeing 4 shows a week or so in this town for the last 15 years. They’ve put up their own money, and they’ve put themselves waaaay out there, hoping what they’ve got to say will make sense to somebody. It’s a brave thing they’re doing.
Anyway: Here I am, late to the party. (Hey, I’ve got a day job this year. Also: I am now officially 39, which means I may very possibly be getting too old for this Fringe-blogging nonsense.) Starting today, I’ll be checking in at least once a day (at least I hope so) with notes from the Fringe.
For now, I’d just like to extend my thanks to all y’all Fringe participants. For your energy, for your creativity, for the 9,000 come-see-my-show e-mails I’ve been getting since, I dunno, January. I’m delighted that you love me, and I promise, I’ve read every missive with care and love. Especially the duplicates.
I’d also like to observe that it wouldn’t be Fringe if someone’s production weren’t melting down at the last minute. Last year it was the whores of La Corbiere, who got kicked out of Malcolm X park a week before their show was set to open. This year, it’s a “Fringe Emergency-Light/Sound board op needed” — at least according to the traffic yesterday on one local theater listserv — for a solo show called My Friend Hitler. (To be fair, somebody had a death in the family.)
And I’d like to leave you with one final observation — though I’ll frame it as a question, so as not to seem too severely judgmental.
That question is: What the bleeding Jesus was going on in the minds of the 19-odd people who’ve decided to stage clown Hamlets, all-female Much Ados, movement-based sonnet evenings and other Shakespeare-derived shows at Capital Fringe — which, if I may just point out here, opens just as a six-month-long orgy of iambic pentameter has finally wound down?
I mean, no offense, but no way am I signing up for y’all’s shows. And if I accidentally wander into a Fringe venue and hear somebody speaking verse, blank or otherwise, I’m going to quit taking notes and use my pen to puncture my damn eardrums.
I’ll make an exception for Cordelia’s Fool, the Lear-based show from Wyckham Avery, but only because she was gonna stage it last year’s Fringe, and got sick at the last minute. But otherwise: Swear to God, I’ve had enough!
Nah, not really. Me and the Bard, we’re tight. More tomorrow. Meanwhile: See you on the Fringe, y’all.