TAGGED WITH JULIO MARTINEZ

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I'm Not From Here

Boise, Idaho-born performance/visual artist Jessie Proksa doesn’t actually begin nor end her 40-minute solo excursion within Undergound Uptown’s miniscule, item-strewn performance area. Sitting in a corner, playing a repetitive melody on her cello, Proksa indicates she is warming up. Eventually she begins interacting with the items surrounding her—a music stand, beach umbrella, seashell (doubling as a phone), three chairs, an audio-visual setup, a mandolin leaning against the wall, assorted wads of...
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The 7th Annual One-Man Show World Championships

Local stage vet Jim Hanna (writer) and Fringe Fest traveler Caitlin Rucker (director) have united to issue forth a scathing but deliciously comical send-up of the one-person show genre—embedded with a plethora of achingly familiar clichés, also inventing a slew of new ones. Guised as the ultimate monologue smackdown, the action is overseen by drippingly fawning emcee Danny Westbrook, pitting Narcissus-incarnate six-time world champ Trent “The Soul Mirror” Isaacs (Darin Toonder) against regio...
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Putnam County's Misspelling Bee

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee began life in 2004 as an improvisational play, created by Rebecca Feldman, performed by The Farm—a New York-based improv troupe. Even after Rachel Sheinkin (book) and William Finn (music and lyrics) pumped it up into a full-fledged Broadway musical, such improv elements as selecting four audience members each night to join the regular spelling bee cast and utilizing zany impromptu, “Use it in a sentence” promps, gave the show a loose-knit aura of having be...
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Tree Talk: Jerome The Tree Man: How To Save The Planet

Jerome Smith is a Certified Arborist (a tree expert). In fact he might be the only bona fide superstar arborist, having once been described as, “Tree Surgeon to the Stars.” As is readily apparent, Jerome is not doing his one man Fringe show to hopefully garner some work trimming trees. He is on a mission to help alert the world that Global Warming is a fact and The Green House Effect is an accurate description of the ongoing process of the Earth’s stratosphere being effected by the corruption of th...
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Stumbling Along

Danielle Sadd’s cabaret show, Stumbling Along, is certainly a family affair.  Mom dispenses wine in the lobby (white or red) while Dad is employed as his daughter’s “roadie.”  A returnee to Hollywood Fringe, Sadd does not lack for support—including adroit backup singers Julie Carrillo & Marie Clare Halpin, accomplished music director/pianist Scott Harlan, unimaginative but steady drummer Johnny Askar and not-so-steady Nick Gomez on woodwinds. The whole gang is over display...
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The Marriage Proposal

Anton Chekov’s 1890 three-character Russian landed-gentry farce, The Marriage Proposal, has been a production staple for this country’s theater community for almost a hundred years (usually paired with Chekov’s The Bear). LA-based TheatreFactory imbues the 40-minute one-act with such a bombardment of comedia-esque physicality, it nearly overpowers Hudson Guild’s miniscule stage area. By play’s end, no one is really happy that a bethrothal has actually been accomplished; they are all too...
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Journey of a Bombshell: The Ina Ray Hutton Story

Ina Ray Hutton (1916-1984) rose from tiny-tot tap whiz in the 1920s to revolutionizing the 1930s/40s big band swing era by fronting an all-girl orchestra, eventually headlining her own TV variety show in the mid-1950s, once again conducting an all-female ensemble. Talented singer/dancer Melissa Ritz takes on the task of chronicling Hutton’s odyssey from the wrong side of Chicago, not only portraying Hutton (who was born Odessa Cowan), but the myriad personalities, male and female, who populated the statuesque ...
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...Or Dare — Wherein Lies the Truth?

What happens when two people with opposing mindsets do not have the ability to escape one another?  Within Foundry Theatre Works’ staging of two emotion-searing one acts—Viki Boyle’s The Whole Truth and Andrea Goyan’s Cornered —precepts of truth, facts and winning, are masticated beyond recognition, let alone digestion. This is a good thing. Helmer David Robinson guides a pair of two-person ensembles through finely realized confrontations that render psyches permanently scarre...
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Seatbelts Required

Playwright Kimberly Demmary has fashioned a catharsis-laden pas de trois wherein three life-challenged adult half-sisters—Agnes (Demmary), Janet (Kathleen Bosworth) and Maggie (Julie Fergus, who also directs)—return to their childhood home to bury the mother who bore each of them by a different father. Although there are only three characters listed, Seatbelts Required is essentially a four-character play.  The persona of the Mother, a pervasive presence, despite the fact that she is now out of thei...
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Wombat Man: The Cereal Murders

Playwright Chrisi Talyn Saje has co-opted the 1970s animated “Trix Are For Kids” TV commercial, elevating it into the central dramatic throughline of Wombat Man: The Cereal Murders, an imaginative if not always adroitly executed satire of the campy 1960s Adam West-starring Batman television series, essentially a spoof on a spoof. Saje’s super hero of choice is monumentally clueless but sincere Wombat Man (Brian Cunningham), doing battle with Trix the Rabbit (Kerr Lordygan), whose maniacal desire to...