| go to index of reviews | go to entry page | | go to other departments |


Larry Littany Litt

Week 2 Phoenicia Fringe Festival 2019 Reviews

"Phoenicia Fringe Festival 2019,"
Organized by Michael Koegel
Phoenicia Playhouse
Phoenicia NY

"Mind Salad,"
Written and Performed by Doug Motel
Reviewed July 12, 2019 by Larry Littany Litt

With his huge onstage presence Doug Motel meets the joys and sorrows of self-doubt. You know, that nagging voice telling “you aren’t going to get what you think you want because you don’t deserve it.” Who knew paranoia could make for a hilarious solo performance. His character vocal portrayals of larger than life-size Hollywood characters whose crazed search for success at all costs is a must see. Watch and hear his mental self-destruction evolve and then magically and whimsically reverse into a usable creative force. Motel has captured an anti-social aspect that creative people often leave behind on the therapist’s couch. A winner.

"Nazis and Me,"
Written and Performed by David Lawson
Reviewed July 12, 2019 by Larry Littany Litt

Jews are angry. Can we blame them? However some are very funny when it comes to examining the current heightened political climate of hate and anti-Semitism emboldened by Not My President Donald Trump. David Lawson puts a witty spin on a dark subject. He’s always positive that this too shall pass. Why? Because the good non-haters outnumber the bad haters. Looking at hateful acts and the sad, pathetic, lonely people who commit them isn’t usually entertaining. In Lawson’s high energy hands the ‘incels’ (short for involuntary celibates) get their due observations. Often these racist and neo-nazi weirdos blame their hatred on women who won’t sleep with them. Alas, good things come to those who wait. There is a happy ending. Here’s a hint: bow ties and short hair. One of the best of The Phoenicia Fringe. A winner.

"The Piece,"
Written and Performed by Rich Templeton
Reviewed July 13, 2019 by Larry Littany Litt

Chairs are set in rows on the Phoenicia Playhouse’s intimate stage. There are various props scattered around. Rich Templeton greets each audience member with a welcoming smile, a handshake then offers each a glow stick. “This is in case you decide you don’t want to participate. Just put it in front of your face and ‘The Artist’ will go away. It your choice.” When the entire audience is seated the lights go dark. Rich disappears. Within minutes the front doors of the theater open. A dark figure walks down the center aisle repeatedly shouting, “Silencio Pleasio! Silencio Pleasio.” Who is this mysterious figure hushing the audience? Why is he asking for silence? What does he want? I know from the start this is an audience participation show using prepared props and improvisation. However “The Artist” told us to be quiet. In fact he responded to any noise from us with a shouting command for “Silencio Pleasio!” By the time ‘The Artist’ reveals himself to be Templeton I believe most of the audience was prepared to be observers. The bizarre prop work went well as can be expected from an unprepared audience. Some members went along with it better than others. If reaction to prop shock is the point of this comedy than Templeton needs to first give the audience permission to play along with him. As one audience member asked during the post show Q&A, “What the Hell?” “It’s an ongoing experiment,” replied Templeton. And it is.

Written and Performed by Lauren Bone Noble
Directed by Bria Walker
Choreography by Dee Kelly and Lauren Bone Noble
Makeup by Mia van Moyland
Sound design by Natalie Margaret Houle
Reviewed July 13, 2019 by Larry Littany Litt

For lovers of Greek mythology any and all adaptations are a worthy intellectual indulgence. One of the most powerful mythic figures is Medea, the sorceress from Colchis who falls in love with Jason when his ship the Argo lands on her island. His goal is to steal the Golden Fleece. Medea helps him with her magical powers. Then a chain of horrific murderous events begins with enough blood and gore for a Quentin Tarrantino movie. Lauren Bone Noble has created a wonderfully demonic clown faced and costumed sorceress who tells the Medea and Jason story in an enchanted dark but appropriately spicy and witty monologue. She uses several audience members, however I didn’t think they were necessary. What is intriguing is the way Ms Bone Noble turns her brilliant engrossing telling of Medea’s gory legend into a commentary on current child abuse and political betrayal of families. A winner.

Written and Performed by Richard Cardillo
Directed by David Lawson
Reviewed July 14, 2019 by Larry Littany Litt

Much more than a coming out as a gay man story, Cardillo’s international saga of religious dedication, humanitarian compassion, irony and triumph in an unforgiving world won me over from the start. It’s not a theatrical experiment. There weren’t props or costumes. Cardillo’s incredibly warm personality and storytelling skills kept me listening with a kind of ‘I met a guy in a bar with an real honest story to tell” magic. His perceptions of himself and others are deeply felt. He’s a man who loves people. There’s much to be learned from him. A Winner.

"Shadow Queens Rising,"
Written and Performed by Victoria Ford
Reviewed July 14, 2019 by Larry Littany Litt

I don’t often have anything to say about a performance. However Victoria Ford’s female ethnic stereotypes and man bashing don’t interest me enough to analyze her motives. I couldn’t empathize nor sympathize with the characters she created. Tis a pity, as she puts out much energy to achieve these ends.

| home | reviews | cue-to-cue | discounts | welcome | | museums |
| recordings | coupons | publications | classified |