Though it may make those of us on the fringe cringe, there is a new voice in town that is straight from the hip and pulls absolutely no punches.
Jenna Sherer, writing for the Weekly Dig, reminds me of Brendan Kiley of The Stranger in Seattle. Love them or hate them, at least they take the fringe theatre companies up on their offers and promises.
Sherer goes to see the fringey productions with great hope, often to have it dashed right in front of our reading eyes.
She is horrible, but, in a sick way, surprisingly supportive. Anybody familiar with Kiley's quips about some of the Seattle productions he has seen, will immediately recognize the attitude. Here is Sherer reviewing a show this past summer:
Queer Soup’s production is symptomatic of a larger disease afflicting theatre today: mediocrity. It’s the reason no one under the age of 45 (save a few acting students and Broadway geeks) goes to the theatre anymore. Alas, My Yolanda Love, announced as an unorthodox new play by a ceiling-smashing up-and-comer, turns out to be just as shitty as the shit that was shitty a decade ago.
Yikes. It certainly lives up to some of Kiley's best quips:
"After pointing out the emergency exits and reminding us about cell phones, the dutiful curtain speaker always says, "If you liked the show, please tell your friends. Word of mouth is the best advertising." It is, at least, the most accurate. And a little more honesty in the marketing strategies ("A lackluster comedy—for friends of the cast only!") might improve the art form, restore some integrity, and woo back the confidence of an already wary public."