Reviews for FronteraFest Performances

Review: Cardigan by FronteraFest

Review: Cardigan by FronteraFest

by Michael Meigs
Published on January 29, 2011

Are we in a classroom or in a fantasy world? The setting is inconsistent, probably intended as ironic, but ultimately unsatisfying.

Maybe a playwright shouldn't act in his own play.  Unless, of course, he's one of those comedy yuksters who speaks directly to the audience and makes smartass observations about his own life exeriences and surroundings.

 

Trey Deason, the playwright, plays the lead character in Cardigan, a piece expanded from a well-received 2010 Short Fringe offering.  His assumption of that identity may be disconcerting to those who have run into him in ...

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Review: Howl by FronteraFest

Review: Howl by FronteraFest

by Michael Meigs
Published on January 27, 2011

Dark-eyed with her throaty voice and long mane of dark hair, Harrison could have been one of those beat babes back in the 1950's.

She calls it Howl, after Ginsberg's 1955 poem, but Teresa Harrison greeted her opening night audience with quiet confidentiality, joking and wrestling with a microphone stand as her accompanist Mark Williams caressed his great bass fiddle, painted in 1960's psychedelica.  She'd set up a cardboard triptych of quotations out in the lobby, witty or gnomic remarks from Charlie Parker, Mae West, Sartre, Keith Richards and many others, a bartlett's of ...

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Review: A Samuel Beckett Cabaret by FronteraFest

Review: A Samuel Beckett Cabaret by FronteraFest

by Michael Meigs
Published on January 22, 2011

A Samuel Beckett Cabaret is a nerve-straining, delicious, in-your-face examination of memory, human fraility and theatre itself.

With no particular fanfare, Rick Roemer is offering you the chance to understand the stretch and diversity of the art of the professional actor.  But just for a brief shining moment, so check your agenda.

 

Roemer appears in these stark pieces by Samuel Beckett this afternoon, Tuesday evening the 25th and Sunday afternoon the 30th.  As the complement, you can appreciate his appearance as the haughty, comic Lady Bracknell in The Importance ...

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Review: Seamstress by FronteraFest

Review: Seamstress by FronteraFest

by Michael Meigs
Published on January 29, 2010

Melanie Dean is charming and reassuring, as she's fretting with notions both visible and invisible. Fussing about the shop ,she chats to the spectators, stand-ins for the apparently silent client.

Is it ethical for a theatre journalist to accept a cookie from an actress in mid-performance?How about if everyone in the audience has a chance at the home baked goods, because Melanie Dean has handed front-row spectators two big plastic bowls filled with cookies?There were lots left when the bowl came along the third row. I dipped in without compunction, happy to trust in Melanie's persona as the garrulous small-town Texas widow ...

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Review: Moving' Melvin Brown by FronteraFest

Review: Moving' Melvin Brown by FronteraFest

by Michael Meigs
Published on January 24, 2010

We clapped along, we swayed, we shouted and applauded. Movin' Melvin will tell you the story of his life and give you a "highlights" show that will leave you wanting more.

Melvin Brown is a big, serene tornado, a walkin', talkin', singin' and tap dancin' history of rhythm and blues, soul and entertainment. He comes from Cincinnati but traveled all over the country and abroad on the entertainment circuits, then settled near Austin after a long and eventful career. This man has a vital energy and irrepressible joy in life. He's 65 years old but he is strong, fast, funny and attractive. He's got a ...

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Review: Things in Life by FronteraFest

Review: Things in Life by FronteraFest

by Michael Meigs
Published on February 03, 2009

Imagine, if you can, this very very Anglo looking guy converting himself into a 63-year-old black man who ran a hotdog concession at a ball park for years. When he started to go there despite our age of political correctness, I almost held my breath.

Ben Prager's Long Fringe presentation carried the title "Things in Life," sufficiently enigmatic to cover just about anything that he might have wanted to do. The fest blurb advised only, "Actor/playwright Ben Prager uses a series of monologues to portray with unblinking realism a half dozen familiar types in various stages of life."He deserved his artistic license, considering that he has written seven shows of monologues and his "Four Monologues" was ...

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