Week one of the Capital Fringe Festival has come to a close, and we’ve reviewed 35 shows and counting on the Fringe & Purge blog. There have been some gems, but there has also been some, well, crap. As you head into a weekend packed with more theater than the frickin’ City Dionysia, here’s a smattering of the best and worst Fringe offerings we’ve seen thus far:

7(x1) Samurai
Trey Graham says:
See it if: You grok that, far from being an outdated discipline to sneer at, the rich nonverbal language that is mime informs contemporary entertainments from Broadway’s Lion King to Pixar’s Wall-E.
Skip it if: You’ve got better things to do than be charmed by a witty concept and a first-rate performer.

The Chalk Boy
Glen Weldon says:
See it if: Um… you have a pulse? Look, I got nothing: Just see it, is all.
Skip it if: You were totally on your high school’s Spirit Week Committee, and Crazy Hat Day? Your idea.

I say:
See it if: You’re bored; you’re excited; you’re sad; you’re silly; you’re angry; you’re happy; you’re rich; you’re poor; you’re communist; you’re magical realist; you’re on the verge of death; you’re a newborn; you’re sick; you’re sullen; you’re sullied; you’re Santa Claus….
Skip it if: dadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadadada.

Mothers of Invention
Tabitha Kenlon says:
See it if: You still have nightmares about Olestra.
Skip it if: The stuff George Jetson ate always looked good to you.

Black Jew Dialogues
Sheffy Gordon says:
See it if: You liked Avenue Q but didn’t understand that the “monsters” were people of color… or if you want to learn how to wear a yarmulke on a Fro.
Skip it if: You’ve got something else so important that you can’t take an hour from your busy schedule…I’m not your mother so I can’t tell you what to do, but you’re only hurting yourself (and you’ll be haunted by Jewish guilt for the rest of your life).

After the jump, the stuff you may want to avoid.

Power House: The Disco Energy Dance Along Show
Dan Owen says:
See it if: You need somewhere on 14th street to hide out or doss down for a snooze.
Skip it if: Anything else critical matters to you.

METRO: In the State of Mind
Chris Swanson says:
See it if: You’re one of those people for whom hope springs eternal.
Skip it if: You have a low threshold for production screw-ups.

Abe Lincoln: A One-Man Show
Suzyn Smith Webb says
See it if: You’re somebody’s goofy uncle, you like anecdotal humor or you’ve got a friend or relative who matches one of those descriptions and you’d like to share the Fringe festival with that person.
Skip it if: None of the above applies, especially if you’re David Herbert Donald.