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Friday, June 3, 2011

Review: EDGES: A Song Cycle (Fringe 2011)

Reviewed by Gaëtan L. Charlebois

Fringe success is about setting the bar at exactly the right height. Too high and you look foolish, too low and you look like amateurs. Processed Theatre, The Edges company set the bar just right in terms of music (with some key problems sometimes), dance and performance. This is a series of songs about young people dealing with - forgive me - the zeitgeist and because the four performers are fresh and talented the show is often very funny and very touching. Shayne Gryn's accompaniment is generous to the mic-less singers, and cognizant of the hall.

But the hall...

The way the director, Nichole Carlone, decided to present the show - in this hideous space with no stage lighting (indeed, under ugly fluorescents) - wrecks everything. Though intimacy with the audience seems the goal, that is precisely what goes lacking as we are always distracted by the rest of the audience, the uncomfortable chairs and the ugly hall itself. We are never completely pulled in, even when - in one heartbreaking moment, a woman sings to a leaving boyfriend "I'll be perfect" over and over again. The actual piece merits a solid four-charpie rating...but...

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