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The Edinburgh Fringe, day 2: Friday

August 21, 2010

Yesterday, after a morning rehearsal for Sylvia (if by morning you mean noon, and I do), it was time to head into town for more shows! Here’s what we saw:

{Extinguish.} by Ezra LeBank – a one-man show about the nature of death. In one hour, the performer embodies 27 different lives (according to the flier – I’m not sure I counted that many, but his versatility is certainly astounding). Through a combination of movement and original spoken word, he conveys the perspective of the dead and the dying. It is definitely a concept worth exploring given that it is a first-person perspective that the living are never privy to in our lifetimes. Pain, joy, fear, gratitude, revenge – from a lynching in Waco, Texas to one of the 9/11 hijackers, from suicide to accident to old age, from seeing the light to getting lost in the dark, the show does have some elements of pretension but for the most part brings dignity and humor to the last situation any of us will butt heads with. LeBank grounds the performance, capably moving between characters through accents and movement quality. Definitely a show worth seeing, but for the most part you’ll have to check your sense of irony at the door.

The Harmonics
– I almost didn’t go to this show, but because my friend has a friend who is the girlfriend of one of the band members, I tagged along – and I’m so glad I did. The first musical act I’ve attended at the Fringe, the four-piece band delivers cool, jazzy renditions of just about anything. From “Moondance” to the Jungle Book their humor, adroit original arrangements and amazing harmonies made the show fresh and enjoyable. Their linen suits made me feel like I should be in the sunshine sipping champagne instead of a stuffy basement venue, but given the packed room, you’ll be lucky to score a ticket.

Quarantine – a comedy for the modern age. Spoofing on plotlines such as “Outbreak” and “28 Days Later,” Quarantine plays on the fears of the masses in the post-swine flu internet age. The writing is good, the pacing is even, the jokes are funny – even the tagline, “It’s ‘House’ meets ‘Jurassic Park’ … with a ukelele!”, is surprisingly accurate. It definitely delivers, so if you’re looking to see a show about dino-flu, this is the one.

This morning we were able to have a dress rehearsal in the venue, which was excellent given that people will be coming to watch our show tomorrow! Fliering on the mile this afternoon, and then more rehearsing and more shows to come!

Things to get overly excited about: ginger beer, quiche, ticket sales, homemade challah and comic books.

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