2012 Chicago Fringe Fest: Lots to see! Here's 3 of the 48 Offerings!

2012 Chicago Fringe Fest:  Lots to see!  Here's 3 of the 48 Offerings!

First taste of Chicago’s 2012 Fringe Fest…


Couple’s skate, kool-aid crack, Evangelical blonde bitches, Kelsie Huff is reminiscing.  Her you-know-what-I’m-talking-about style makes the audience also remember.  The mutual return to childhood dramas is a piss-your-pants, gut buster. Kelsie Huff is a vivid and energetic storyteller.  Her one woman show is hysterical.  I don’t know the last time I laughed so continuously out loud… emphasis on *loud*!   A big-eyed Huff engages with animated and endearing qualities.  Within the nacho cheese soaked hilarity, Huff slips in poignant, vulnerability.  A bible camp story is UNforgettable for its madcap Pontius Pilate-Jesus smackdown AND the puffy painted tent. Huff has a playful way of introducing her self-discovery as part innocence-shattered and part hooligan-unleashed.  Be warned:  it’ll make you lose your desire to ever taste the rainbow again! BRUISER: TALES FROM A TRAUMATIZED TOMBOY BY KELSIE HUFF is a fringe-licious!  There is only one more chance to LMAO with Kelsie!  Get there!

At Chicago Art Department, 1932 S. Halsted

ONLY ONE SHOW LEFT:  September 3rd at 10pm

Photograph courtesy of Mark Menet


2012 Chicago Fringe Festival presents DO-RE-MI-FA-SO-LATINO by Yes Theatre Company.

This show is *bi-culturally curious.*  It uses multi-media within a lecture/game show format to exploit stereotypes about Mexicans.  Some of it is predictable.  Some of it’s completely original.  Some of it is serious.  Some of it is tongue and cheek.  Some of it is outrageously funny.  Besides Mexicans, the show pokes fun of Republicans, drug users, gays, red necks, Catholics, heaven and more.  The two man show is comprised of Carlos Portillo and Keegan Lampert.  An adorably smiling Portillo serves as the primary narrator in a tribute to his people and his own experiences.  Lampert plays everything else from red neck to slutty Puerto Rican girl to Mrs. Romney to Lucille Ball.  A high-energy Lampert transforms into over-the-top personas for hilarious buffoonery.  The amicable duo have a camaraderie that seems genuinely respectful and trusting. Their multi-cultural friendship provides the anchor for the show.  Overall, some of the transition bits are slightly clunky.  And an eighth grade homework assignment is a clever idea not optimally executed. Still, DO-RE-MI-FA-SO-LATINO is muy bien!

At Both Sides Art Gallery, 1840 S. Halsted

ONLY ONE SHOW LEFT:  September 8th at 10pm


2012 Chicago Fringe Festival presents THE ALEMBIC by Terra Mysterium.

This is a classy act.  Exquisite costumes procured by Tom Kieffer of Columbia College.  Beautiful vocal and cello arrangements by Matthew Ellenwood and Marissa Deitz. Even the programs are slick and elegant. I want to love this Alchemical Steampunk Fantasy but I hover at *like.*  The story by Amy Christensen is intriguing.  An alchemist prays for divine intervention from the Goddess of the Celestial Sphere.  He receives it in the form of a housekeeper.  The housekeeper’s mystique endears and divides people, depending on the gold or lead in their heart.  The supernatural idea doesn’t quite execute.  The characters are one dimensional.  The pacing is sluggish.  And a pivotal seduction is lacking heat.  Some of the actors are hard to understand because they speak too softly or I just don’t get them.  Keith Green as the Alchemist stands out as a Simon Callow-type playing mad scientist.  THE ALEMBIC is definitely a work-in-progress that has the essences to become pure gold.

At Dream Theatre, 556 W. 18th Street

SHOWS LEFT:  September 2nd at 5:30pm, 3rd at 8:30pm, 7th at 10pm, 8th at 7pm, 9th at 2:30pm

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