Night five was a bit nuts, bringing the audience a combination of insanity, tragedy, and King’s in-jokes on overdrive.
Though General Surgeon and The Ballad of Rob Ford were the buzz-makers on campus this week, my highlight was the night’s first show: Lily Ross-Millard’s The Little Things. A combination of overlapping monologues, disjointed dialogue and an excerpt from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the play about roommates, family, and confusion has a clever script and wonderfully abstract delivery by Ross-Millard and Miranda Jones. Only cut off at the end by an extended set change that is never concluded, the show is entrancing nearly the whole way through, shifting quickly between poignancy and hilarity.
The decision to divide the very long first half was a good one. Doing so by starting downstairs, then sending the audience on a race to seats upstairs? Not so much. The Little Things was not a site-specific show, and this transition was confusing and chaotic.
The next two shows were Flight or Fight, which I reviewed on Wednesday, and Promoted, which Jacob Baker-Kretzmar reviewed on Tuesday.
In General Surgeon the Surgeon General’s predecessor Dr. President, you understood why the entire cast was stripping. I cannot tell you why they are in the sequel. And that problem defines General Surgeon the Surgeon General. It opens well, and closes well, but there is no connection between the two. This is a talented cast, but every idea the writers had seem to have been thrown into the play, and none of them were edited out. All that said, the audience was laughing the whole time. And who doesn’t love a scene that uses “Circle of Life”?
|More reviews of Infringement Festival
Finally, The Ballad of Rob Ford. News of this show even made it to the journalism school, which means this musical by Tom Lute and Haydn Watters was really publicized and anticipated. Does it live up to the hype? For the most part. It never drags, the actors are on point (both on script and with ad-libs), and the multimedia is top-notch. It was written in five days and manages to have more than just a piano as instrumentation—there were even bagpipes. The musical ends with a rousing gospel choir sing-along of “Rob, you’re robbing us blind.” It’s a well-executed idea, and it ended the evening on a high note.
Night five, with the three top-billed shows of the week, was the second sold-out night of the festival. Tuesday through Thursday nights saw less impressive numbers, with Tuesday night selling less than a third of the house while Wednesday and Thursday managed just over half. All 50 all-access wristbands were sold by Tuesday.
Best of the Fest is tonight at 8 p.m. in the KTS Red Room. The festival projects a full house, so get there early if you want to see the show. The coordinators confirm, though its order could change, this is the line-up:
- Plato’s Glaucon (or On Hot Dogs)
- Love Knives
- No String Attached
- Improv by Eat Local
- ManCat: Revolution
- Clipped Wings: Gull’s Lesson: Yasch and Dave’s masterwork: A story brought to you by the Anti-Bullying Society of Canada: Tragedy
- The Ballad of Rob Ford: The Musical
Most of my picks got in, though I’d have loved to see Sean Mott’s Promoted and Lily Ross-Millard’s The Little Things again. Did yours?