Check out the following shows, I can't wait to see!
It is the month of June here in Hollywood California, which can only mean one thing. Fringe is here! The annual month-long, open-access, community-derived art festival is celebrating its tenth year, and with over four-hundred different shows to choose from this year is sure to be one the best yet. This will be my third time being involved as a participant for the Festival, but I am very excited to be for the first year providing official press coverage via this platform. Please remember to follow mike-check all month long where I will be posting my reviews and updates.
I am currently scheduled to attend 36 shows, with hopefully time for a few more. Without further ado, here are the ten shows, I can't wait to check out at this year's Festival.
1. THE BULLY PROBLEM
Bullies. Nerds. Semi-functional robots. A schoolwide rebellion.An all-ages musical adventure from the author of A Feast of Snacks (HFF 2016 nominee for Best Musical) and co-author of Super Sidekick: The Musical (award-winner at both Hollywood and NY Fringes). One of two musicals included in the 2018 ASCAP Musical Theatre Workshop presided over by Stephen Schwartz. Learn More at thebullyproblem.com
An electric musical, composed by Fringe Veteran Michael Gordon Shapiro, that tackles one of the most important social issues today? Count me in.
2. THE SAME ROOM
“It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity…” well, not quite. Thyma and Aspid find themselves trapped- in a barren room with two locked doors, but where are they? What sets them free? And most importantly, what happens after this? The Same Room explores human compassion in a new light and begs the question- What becomes of us when we refuse to heal?
Returning once again to the Hollywood Fringe, Playwright/Actor Kelly Pierre alongside newcomer Sam Sheeks The Same Room is an existential production that explores themes of human compassion and is guided by experienced director and Fringe veteran Scott Golden.
3. PAPER TRAILS
Hard as we try to bury the truth… sometimes it emerges in unexpected ways. Three funny and poignant short plays explore the records we keep and the stories they tell.
I am excited to see these three short plays come together and remind us how vital records our to our lives and culture.
4. OLIVIA WILDE DOES NOT SURVIVE THE APOCALYPSE
A hack director and a snooty actress stumble 300 years into the future. America has been taken over by a fascist government, which believes that entertainment is the key to control. As the only remaining people on earth with any artistic talent the director and actress are forced to put on a play. But if they fail to entertain the masses they will be executed on live television. Learn More at rfmp.net
Red Flag Media Productions returns to the Hollywood Fringe with their absurdist Post-Apologetic Comedy, Writer Matthew Robinson is set to knock this one out of the park.
5. LET’S WRITE A MUSICAL
Inspirational. Funny. Poignant.
David Hamilton decides to write a romantic musical comedy with his wife after he is diagnosed with cancer. It was the perfect remedy.
While the couple deals with the ups and downs of their cancer journey, so are the characters in their musical on a rollercoaster ride.
Their romantic comedy, based in the 50’s, is the story of Olive and Blake, who are smitten after their first date but a friend meddles in their romance and shenanigans ensue.
Based on real-life events, writer/composer Lawrie Chiaro Smylie is set to leave it all on the table in this heartwarming musical. I am prepared to laugh, cry, and smile throughout the production.
6. LINCOLN 2020
Like a lot of people today, jaded campaign manager Tess Baker (think Jessica Jones meets Josh Lyman) is sick of politics. She’s just about ready to throw in the towel when somebody wakes up a candidate she can work with – Abraham Lincoln. Will he be a good President in 2020 America? Will he even win? You decide – the play has two endings and your vote counts! Learn More at lincoln2020play.com
In today's, current geopolitical climate Lincoln 2020 explores what would happen when the 16th president of the United States and one of America's most influential Politicians is brought back to life and decides to run for office in 2020. I am excited to see how Honest Abe does in today's political landscape.
Prodigy is a full length play and follows the young life of Jin-hee Song, a gifted Korean girl growing up in America. Jin-hee is bright, odd, and fearless, with that ever hopeful spark within all kid champions and dreamers. She loves her piano and her deepest desire is to make her father proud, but her light is challenged as she faces ostracism from her peers at school, the heavy grip of her family’s expectations, and the merciless consequences of reaching for the all-encompassing, unattainable American dream.
What does it mean to grow up in America with Immigrant Parents, how about with a name that isn't considered traditional? Prodigy sets to explore living in the tension between the culture you are immersed in at school and the culture that is presented by your family to at home.
In the old British-ish kingdom of Crumpeton, a young girl turned pickpocket accidentally finds herself swept up in a criminal uprising against the Duchess, who happens to be her mother. Will she have the heart to sabotage Mum’s well-laid plans on the most important day of the year, Crumpet Day? #CheckYourPOCKETS for tickets to this fast-paced, funny, and touching period piece to find out! Another original musical comedy from Robot Teammate, creators of TIMEHEART, THUG TUNNEL & TURBULENCE! Learn More at robotteammate.com
If you have had the pleasure of seeing Robot Team Mate perform, you already know they are the gold standard of musical theatre at Fringe and possibly of all Los Angeles. The Robots are back in action at Fringe, they have produced three award-winning shows and are on the path to do so again with Pockets. They will sell out, don't tell me I didn't tell you so. I can already tell you that you are doing yourself a disservice by not seeing this show.
9. A TIME TRAVELER'S GUIDE TO THE PRESENT
With humanity’s fate on the line, a secret society of astronomers recruits volunteers for the world’s first time travel flight. We follow one traveler as he is catapulted on a journey through the cosmos. What begins as exploration of the mechanics of spacetime travel turns into a desperate hunt for connection. This is a one man show that mixes science, sci-fi, music, and storytelling to explore what it means to be worthy of love.
As a huge fan of the of all things cosmos , I am delighted to see Doug Harvey(who performs Live voiceover narration for the planetarium shows at Griffith Observatory) take us on a must see journey through time and space.
10. SAVING CAIN
A far-right, Pentecostal helicopter-mom struggles to keep her hell-raising son on the path of righteousness as he enters his first public school. When a powerful addiction takes over her son’s life, she must accept that you can’t save everyone, and that not every miracle can be left up to God. Learn More at savingcain.com
Exploring themes of Religious fanaticism and familial relationships, I am confident this visceral production is going make for a great night of Theatre.
BONUS* THE CIRCLE TABLE
The Circle Table explores several vignettes threading characters and relationships via FaceTime/phone calls and asks: How does digital communication hamper or enhance analog components of life like love, family, depression, self-exploration and fulfillment? This play attempts to find out. A formerly dorky actor reconnects with his high school crush. A friend group’s connection falters when their most thoughtful pal goes to a different college. That thoughtful pal is clinically depressed. An aspiring fashion blogger tries not to bum out her mother. A temporarily long-distance couple flubs FaceTime sex. The border between authenticity and curation blurs as our characters converse, ponder, search. Learn More at flattiretheatre.org/
*Okay, this ones is kinda cheating, I am both a member of Flat Tire Theatre and serving a producer for this production.
That being said, I am incredibly excited for us to share The Circle Table with you all, it is perhaps the most grounded human story we have ever told, and if you are anyone who has ever experienced the pain of growing up, this show is for you.
By no means is this an exhaustive list of everything I am excited to see this year. There are so many amazing shows this year, I simply can't list them all. I am cheering everyone involved and ready to step into one of my favorite times of the year.