It does warrant discussing the venues of the Fringe. There are literally hundreds of venues from temporary trailers, to converted hotel conference rooms, classrooms, theaters and a variety of other strange spaces like extra rooms in a cavernous bar or restaurant. I’ll try a better job of taking pictures of the venues.
Friday was a more relaxed double show day. The first show, Daddy wears a skirt” was a delightful dialog by a 23 year old recounting her childhood with her Daddy who is a she.
She related a humorous coming to terms with her Daddy wearing a skirt but completely felt at home mixing dad and she in the same descriptor. Her dad had divorced her mom early on and has a sex change. All that was taken for granted and apparently happened very early in her life. Her monologue was aided by a large bin of costumes she changed into to signify her growing older. She did about 10 short vignettes with each reflecting a year in her development. She was very charming and funny. Eli was a little disappointed that it wasn’t told from the viewpoint of the father, as he expected, but this was done with such love and sensitivity he said it was better than he expected.
Our next show wasn’t until after dinner so we each took a little down time and wandered the city on our own. Eli walked down the downtown area, I walked over to the Scottish Parliament building and saw the World Press Photo exhibit. Its an annual exhibit of very dramatic photos that supposedly represent the best photo-journalism in the past year.
The second show we saw, A Gay Dad, was a very interesting comparison with the morning show. Both shows were personal experiences and personal development stories. But that is where the difference ends. In the morning, the actress— Maria Telnikoff— prepared a stage, a sense of spacing, an abstract but effective wardrobe for each of her segments. There was a recognizable thread, pacing and a script that was written, rehearsed and performed.
The evening show: A Gay Dad, the actor “FitXander” had an improvised monologue that he divided up into 20 segments. His delivery was haltings and unsteady. His change in wardrobe consisted of peeling away clothes until by the end he was in his gay-flag themed boxer shorts. There was no balance in humor and emotional reveal—though there was some but very little and usually not relevant to the title A Gay Dad. He spent surprisingly little time, just 4 of the 20 segments on his adopted son. The rest of the segments were salvos at religion, homophobia, etc. but they were peppered with poorly timed jokes, that many could not tell were jokes or were patently offensive (well two of them) so that 2 people (20% of the audience) walked out. Still his halting ramblings were very interesting and he had a unique and interesting perspective but it was pretty raw and undeveloped. Eli found it “chaotic but it showed how his life was going realistically and he was very funny.”