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Dispatches from the festival frontlines.

FRINGE REVIEW: Rocket Sugar Factory

The Fringe Theatre Festival provides a wonderful opportunity to sample theatre genres outside our usual preferences. Though I admire the qualities of good improv artists – awareness, collaboration, enthusiasm, focus, and quick wit  - I generally select other options when “fringing”.

In true improv fashion, Jeff Banigan and Jim Libby involve the audience in identifying the broad category (for Friday afternoon it was science fiction) in addition to gathering a list of story elements (gaseous aliens, event horizons and black holes, to name only three.) Banigan and Libby skillfully constructed a few short scenes based on the various elements, then used audience applause to select scenes for a longer story. Selection, “checking back” and longer story eventually repeated the selected scenes three times, losing much of improv’s signature spontaneity and freshness.

If you enjoy improv, there’s a different show every performance, and your experience may be different from mine. If you’re unfamiliar with improv, Rocket Sugar Factory is a comfortable way to approach the genre. Arrive early to be part of the show’s design. 

Three and a half stars out of five.

more in Fringe Reviews     |     posted Aug 15th, 2010 at 7:15pm     

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