Self-aware. Self conscious. Self induced.

Day 2 (posted on Day 3)

Today is Saturday (when I wrote this, which is not today), which means that yesterday was the Grand Opening of the Fringe Festival!

Nothing really marks the beginning – I mean – shows start. They go down. Another show goes up. I don’t know what they could do – fireworks? Yes, I think pyrotechnics would be a perfect addition to Steve, Carole, and Carole’s collective plate. They don’t have enough to do.

Steve, incidentally, is the Fringe Director. He founded the Fringe. Carole (depending on which one you’re talking about) is either his co-producer or his mother, who likes to say that she produced the producer. In other words, without her, there’s no Fringe, and Steve and Carole (the other one) are only following some kind of destined path.

That’s right. Fringe is destiny. I said it.

And if you think you’re confused reading this, you should have seen Andy’s face trying to put it all together.

We saw only two shows yesterday. My initial inclination was to see EVERYTHING, but then I thought that might be dumb on the first day, and maybe I should let myself be nervous on day 1. So we did our show, then saw Bruce, then the Stephen Frost Impro Allstars.

The Dutch guy doing Bruce set himself a CRAZY high bar. He emulates Lenny Bruce not in terms of performing him, but performing like him – mannerisms and dress are easy enough, and the little I know of Bruce he seemed pretty good. The hard part was telling the kinds of jokes, getting you to laugh while being horrified at him, or his content, or at your reaction. But Lenny Bruce didn’t happen overnight, and Valentijn van Hall (said Dutch guy) only had an hour of our time. Sadly, when he asked us if we knew who Lenny Bruce is and there was a smattering of “yeahs,” he said, “okay, well, there’s ten minutes of material.” AAAGH! You’re the expert! Tell us tell us tell us! A mixed bag, in other words.

The second show was fun for all kinds of reasons. It started off as fun because the four guys on stage are all improv professionals. In fact, two of them used to appear regularly on the original (British) version of Whose Line Is It Anyway. The second reason it was fun is that Andy grew up watching them . He got all cute and gushing at the after party.

Our opening was really solid. I was picked to be the dog again (Kurt 4, Andy 0), so we sped through it all, got laughs throughout, a decent crowd of 20-plus people. My falls were apparently quite spectacular, and even Kelly thought I’d hurt myself. Not yet, is the answer.

We all went to the after party and marinated in beer and smoke in Rubín, which is an underground bar/theater (another Fringe venue), that functions like a literal echo chamber, or a Dutch oven if we’re going to stick with the marinating metaphor. Andy and I cleared out a little before 2am. As soon as we were gone, two of the Impro Allstars joined Lale and Kelly and bought them drinks.

First day. Very good, very fun.


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