Sunday, September 17, 2017

EFF 2017 Review Roundup 9-16-17 - Part 2

EFF 2017 Review Roundup - Part 2

The Minnesota SkyVault Theatre Company presents "Skirmish of Wit: Your Imaginary Forces"
at First United Methodist Church

This was my first show on Saturday and honestly I was curious about what to expect. A cast of seven with a collection of instruments on and old proscenium stage makes up the set. That's it. No frills. Nothing fancy. Just actors and an audience. What ensued for the net 45 minutes was the most delightful, heartfelt, and charming retelling of Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing" I have ever seen. Now I know what you're thinking: "Please not another Shakespeare adaptation." But this one is different. With folksy/jazz inspired songs, played live and interspersed with contemporary and classical dialogue, you get to see this story brought refreshingly to life by a young cast that plays well beyond its years. This performance was funny, farcical, and could have kept going like that until the end, but the cast did an about face that completely changed the atmosphere in the theater. And that is why we go to shows. And that is why live theater can be the best way to communicate with your fellow human beings. Go see this show before they head back to Minnesota. The kids are alright. And these kids can play. Next show: Sun. 1:30pm. www.elginfringefestival.com.        

SPH for Elgin Walkabout


The Gay Uncle Time presents 'The Gay Uncle Explains it All to You'
at Side Street Studio Arts Theater

We are golden and we are made of stardust. So says Jeffrey Robert in his one-man show that takes on a journey about being a gay man in the 60s, 70s and 80s. With lively illustrations peppered with Robert's observations and tenderness, you get a picture of the joys and challenges he faced along with many other during that time. But this isn't a sad story. It is one that reminds you to take hold of your life and make it all work no matter how messy it can get. Or, as Robert's said at the end of his show: "It's important to know these stories. I look up in the sky. I see the stars. Take a trip to never-land. We are all stardust and we must love each other." Next show: Sun. 3pm. www.elginfringefestival.com

SPH for Elgin Walkabout


Kelly Bolton presents "As Good As Necessary"
at Side Studio Arts Theater

Kelly Bolton returns to the Elgin Fringe and brings a mostly new set of material to share with the audience. Never short of energy or the ability to engage an audience, Bolton frames her latest show as a one those 1950s styled educational videos filled with observations about what it means to be single, of a certain age, and living in the city. But before you start thinking this is some sad confessional performance, be sure to get ready for the wild ride that Bolton takes you on as she introduces a slew of characters that will have you rolling in your seat and laughing out loud. Next show: Sun. 4:30pm. www.elginfringefestival.com

SPH for Elgin Walkabout


Howard Petrick presents "Fight for 52 cents" 
At Elgin Public House 

When the past becomes the present is makes sense to listen. Howard Petrick shares an intimate story about union organizer and social leader V.R. Dunne back during a time when joining a union sometimes meant enduring physical violence or even the loss of your life. Petrick tells this story simply almost like a family member conjuring up memories from a much different time in American life. He addresses his audience directly without frills allowing truth to power. What surprises you as the story is told is how some things seem to never change in our society and how we must all fight for what is right no matter the cost.

SPH for Elgin Walkabout


Party Cops with Kelly Bolton and Vicki Kunz
at Side Studio Arts Theater

You need to hydrate. And that means beer - lots of it. This show is a series of sketches and scenes that keeps the fun up front and doesn't stop. These two have a nice chemistry that played well the night I saw. Look forward to the Train Sketch.

- SPH for Elgin Walkabout

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