Fringe Festival 2008 Reviews!

Missing Man, Ariel View, Keep Your Eyes Open, and more

Rosenthal may mean for her remarks to comment on the federal government's response to the disaster, but there's never a discernable connection, and thus our initial amusement gives way to an attitude often felt by those suffering adversity: patient endurance. ANDY PROPST

The Fabulous Kane Sisters in "Box Office Poison"

Box Office Poison is exactly the sort of show that would gestate in the mind of an embittered, cross-dressing, vaudeville-obsessed director who was sick and bloody tired of tangling with half-assed scripts. Said director would sit in an empty theater (in something

silky), thinking up punny one-liners and giggling, waiting for the day when he could write, direct, and star in his own play, with no one to fuck things up.

Krapp, 39
photo by Dixie Sheridan
Krapp, 39

Based on his Fringe offering, Marc Geller seems to be that director. Set in 1956 (with distinct 1930s overtones), his drag spectacular is a theater nerd’s dream—two mouthy, middle-aged broads (the Fabulous Kane sisters, played by Geller and co-writer Bill Roulet) become the headlining act in a floundering vaudeville show full of deliciously old-school theater-types. An endless string of murders begins, but that doesn’t stop Lana and Nova Kane (ha! ha!) from seducing their costars, cracking wise, and making self-congratulatingly obscure theater references.

Geller (who has truly beautiful legs) gets points for being a canny director who has coaxed his entire talented cast to fever pitch, sculpting an energetic and seamlessly stylized production. Clever quips fly like shrapnel, and they occasionally hit the mark: When a balding Romeo moans, “Call me but love!” (butt love!), most theatergoers can’t help but giggle. But when Lana greets a mystic in a turban by crowing, “Oh! A happy medium!” it’s only the beginning of a slew of hammy lines that beg to be followed by two drum beats and a cymbal crash. And that kind of onanistic humor is wearing. RUTH McCANN

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