“There needs to be a sense of gargoyles …”

—-from the opening stage directions of birds.

Rorschach Theatre put up a reading of Jennifer Maisel‘s “urban fairy tale” (wait, didn’t Rorschach just do one of those?) at 2 o’clock today. I lasted through the longish first act, then fled.

Not because I didn’t want to find out whether Maisel’s stockbroker Prince Charming (James Denvil) would survive the downward spiral he seemed to be starting.

And not because I didn’t wanna know whether the show’s Cinderella-with-a-past (Lindsay Haynes) would successfully transform the strangely knowing homeless guy (Jason Linkins) from frog-stinky to Wall Street-worthy.

Mostly I left because I was freezing my ass off in the Kennedy Center Family Theater. (And I have to say, Maisel was taking her sweet time with the rising action.)

And because out on the Millennium Stage, Synetic Theater (you remember, the Georgian lot with the movement thing) had started an open rehearsal of its upcoming Frankenstein adaptation. (It launches Synetic’s season later this month, upstairs at the Terrace Theater. Which reminds me that Rorschach’s doing a Frankenstein adaptation this fall, too—Neal Bell’s Monster, which opens at Halloween.)

So I parachuted into the Synetic thing just as the cast was doing vocal warm-ups: Theophilus Thistle, the famous thistle-sifter, thrust three thousand thistles through the thick of his thumb. Or words to that effect. And so on, before a quick run through an opening ballroom-dance sequence and the through-the-icebergs passage.

Director Paata Tsikurishvili sat with a script at on onstage table while production manager Anna Lane filled the near-capacity crowd in on Synetic’s mime-and-dance-infused style, and described some of the sets (a stage-wide wire curtain) and props they weren’t seeing—not least the electric chair Victor will be using to bring the monster to life.

Meanwhile at the other end of the KenCen’s long grand foyer, a lone aerialist with the hair of Boticelli’s Venus spun silently above the stage — warming up for Taffety Punk‘s take on Shakespeare’s The Phoenix and Turtle, maybe? The velvet ropes were up, so I couldn’t find out for sure.

There’s more here tonight — Venus Theatre, Art Riot, Washington Improv, and the Bouncing Ball troops (that’s the bunch who brought you Lunch at Capital Fringe), among others.

But you’re on your own for those: We’re off to get a little food, and then I’ve gotta go review the world’s longest play about a whistle-blower. See ya tomorrow…