- Reporters Desk
By John Farrell, Curtain Call Writer
If you love theater, there is no better place to be through the end of the week than Hollywood.
That’s where the annual Hollywood Fringe Festival is taking place, and there is something for every taste, from serious plays to one-man (or -woman) shows, from magic to musicals, and from Shakespearean parodies to small theatrical productions that are experimental and that you’ll want to see when they find a bigger home.
They are cheap, too. You can see several plays on June 28, 29 and 30, and still have change left for a cocktail at Fringe Central. Fringe Central is one of more than 20 venues in Hollywood — or nearby —that are presenting these productions. This is the fourth annual Hollywood Fringe Festival, modeled after the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, which has spawned copycats in New York, San Francisco, Minnesota and cities worldwide.
The “fringe” is about new ideas and smaller plays that are produced alongside the annual Edinburgh Festival. In Hollywood there are literally more plays than time. No matter how hard you try you cannot see everything. But you can have fun trying. The festival has already been in production for almost two weeks, but there is plenty to see.
Mike Schlitt’s Jesus Ride is a one-man show that mixes a writer’s life with 33 film clips from as many Jesus movies.
Schlitt begins his show with a prayer and the “Who’s on First” routine from Abbott and Costello. He also hands out popcorn before he begins his narrative with film clips and plenty of humor. One more performance is scheduled June 30 at 2 p.m.
Shakespeare’s King Phycus mixes Julius Caesar, Richard III, Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet in a farrago that includes six actors in many roles, a Shakespearean version of “Rock Island Line” from The Music Man and another version of “Who’s om First,” done as Shakespeare might (or probably wouldn’t have) done it.
One performance remains June 28 at 11 p.m.
Natalie Portman, the Musical! has Samuel L. Jackson as narrator in a charming musical that tells Portman’s life story. (We didn’t know anything about her: now we know more than we needed to.) It’s fluff, but funny. The final performance is June 29 at 10 p.m.
Four Clowns presents Me Rich You Learn is the most recent Four Clowns presentation at the Fringe. The two performances are June 28 at 11 p.m. and June 29 at 10 p.m. They have won three Hollywood Fringe Physical Theatre Awards and this two-man show should be awesome.
You’ll need a computer to see everything that is on offer. Go and enjoy some of the best new theater around. Tickets are all around $12.
Venue: Fourth Annual Hollywood Fringe Festival
Location: 6209 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles