by Georgia Perry on Jul 11, 2012
Open Source Theater Project presents, "Flesh" at Motiv (Photo by Rebecca Stark)
This Friday marks the first day of the ten-day long Santa Cruz Fringe Festival, a celebration of offbeat, anything-goes artistic performance. All week the artists have been preparing their shows for performance and generally fluttering around town in a haze of excitement and stage makeup. Santa Cruz Weekly was able to sneak preview some of the 42 shows and noticed several buzz-worthy performers we can’t wait to see in full Fringe regalia. Below is a run-down of some extra-special shows we implore you to check out:
Daniel Mollner Film
July 14 at 6pm, Louden Nelson Auditorium & July 22 at 11am, Center Stage
Mollner’s year-long dance/film project produces a different 3-5 minute video every week for the entire year of 2012 (well, until the world ends, anyway) in an “artistic and creative marathon.” Check out examples of the inspiring project on Mollner's YouTube channel. This screening will feature all of the films from the second quarter of the project plus never-before-seen outtakes, interviews and bloopers. (Bloopers!)
60 Grit Theater Company
Engel the Elder’s Shaxpere After Midnight
July 13, 14, 20 & 22 at midnight, The 418 Project
“With over 400 years of experience reciting thee works of the Bard, Will Shaxpere, Engel performs Shaxperian magic, sings and raps Shaxpere – along with other delights.” From where we’re sitting, this performance features some of the best acting in the whole festival. Plus it’s magic, and it’s late night, and the guy playing Engel has really cool facial hair. Grab a goblet of mead beforehand and head to the show, prepared to be amazed.
Santa Cruz Sirens Burlesque
July 14 at 11pm, 19 at 7:30pm, 21 at 4pm and 10:30pm, & 22 at 5pm, The 418 Project
Santa Cruz’s newest burlesque troupe, The Sirens, couple traditional burlesque performance and modern dance with the aim of delving deep into the many elements of feminine sexuality. And, might we say, they look damn good doing it. Each performer embodies a different character, providing an overall mosaic of strength, demure, classical beauty, and sex, sex, sex. Director Laina Copley in particular smolders with fearlessness and a commitment to her craft, proving the time-tested adage that confidence is the sexiest thing of all.
Scientist Turned Comedian
July 19 at 9pm, 20 at 7:30pm, 21 at 2pm and 10pm, & 22 at 4:30pm, Center Stage
This Ph.D scientist (yes, really, in real life) delivers a subdued blend of college lecture material and hilarious observations about the world and its inhabitants. You’ll laugh, you’ll be surprised, and you’ll even get some learnin’ in. This isn't actually a college lecture, though, so leave the pajama pants and bratty 'tude at home.
The Pretty Smart Circus Cabaret
July 14 at 6:30pm, 15 at 5:30pm, 20 at 6pm and 10:30pm, & 22 at 8pm, The 418 Project
Olivia Lehrman’s endearing portrayal of misfit vaudeville performer Pretty Smart is physical comedy executed with just the right amount of crassness and heart, though Lehrman’s vast catalogue of facial expressions is what truly makes her a star. If Steve Martin and Kristin Wiig had a child it would be Olivia Lehrman.
Open Source Theater Project
July 14 at 8pm, 15 at 8pm, 17 at 8pm, 21 at 6pm, & 22 at 8pm, Motiv
Flesh brings up one of the most troubling of all end-of-world scenarios: what if your final moments were spent with that annoying stranger at the bar who won’t stop talking to you? Bottoms up, buttercup! The zombie apocalypse is here, and it’s happening right around you. Held outside of the traditional festival venues, this show at Motiv is 21 and over, and audience members are encouraged to eat and drink before, during and after the performance.
July 14 at 5pm, 18 at 7:30pm, & 21 at 7:30pm, The 418 Project
This show, inspired by Scottish tales of shape-shifting seals, will either be very beautiful or very awkward—we don’t know yet, and that’s precisely why we’re intrigued. Took-Zozaya’s bold move to incorporate disabled performers in her dance theater piece aims to draw attention to present-day challenges experienced by able-bodied and disabled people across the globe. Pairing the actors as Took-Zozaya does could create a striking mural of varied yet shared experience, or it could resemble a prom fantasy sequence from Glee.
July 12 from 6-9pm, Abbott Square by the Museum of Art and History
Don’t like our list? Well it doesn’t like you! JUST KIDDING. Jeez, cool off. Either way, head to this kick-off event for a chance to schmooze with the 40 artists/groups who are part of the festival and sample a bunch of impromptu performances that will no doubt leave you ready to create your own list of must-see shows. Bring a notebook!