Indy Fringe 2011 part 1: A pair of gender benders

August 20, 2011
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

I truly had no idea which of the more than 50 shows I was going to see when I arrived on Mass Ave. Friday evening. And that’s okay at a festival where every 90 minutes there are seven choices.

Yes, I know, in my capacity here at IBJ I should be more deliberate about my picks. But one of the pleasures of Indy Fringe can be not knowing what you are about to experience. In this case, a conversation with friends I ran into at the Indy Fringe tent at Mass and College Aves continued as they walked toward the Phoenix Theatre for the 9:00 performance of “How to Kill.”

But not being in a particularly murderous mood, I parted ways with them in the lobby and, instead of going to the Phoenix mainstage, detoured to the Basile Theatre downstairs for “No Gender Left Behind.”

The program promised the story of a teacher fired from her job for being a transgendered woman and an exploration of the way gender roles are taught in America. Chicagoan Rebecca Kling, the teacher in question, proved a reasonably compelling speaker—although her story really concerned the loss of a short-term freelance gig and not what I thought had been a full-time job. Not that I don’t sympathize and believe based on the info provided that the termination was wrong, it’s just not the more dramatic story the program led me to expect.

The teaching tale is only part of King’s multi-faceted program. But the provocative questions and some startling statistical information got muddied with dystopian monologues about a “No Gender Left Behind Act” and an amusing-at-first screening of yesteryear’s black and white educational films and old Barbie commercials. Interesting, it was during some technical glitches that King shined brightest, suggesting that her talking points may have been more successfully delivered conversationally rather than in scripted form (I didn’t stay for the talk-back afterwards).

Gender is handled in a very different way in “Screw You Review: Déjà vu,” the 10:30 show at the Indy Fringe Building. Imagine a geriatric Archie Bunker not realizing his trophy gal pal (who has great legs) is really a dude who isn’t afraid to sing a little Kurt Weill.  Then mix in jokes that would make Lisa Lampanelli blush and you still may not be prepared for Wayburn Sassy and Didi Panache.  The pair had great fun mocking the air conditioning (or lack thereof), in the Fringe Building and nearly out-Ricklesed Don Rickles in their hilarious humiliation of audience members in a show that felt less structured and with fewer creatively turned put-downs than last year’s visit. Still, for the right audience, this is comedic heaven. Expect big crowds as the festival continues.

The Indy Fringe festival runs through Aug. 28. Details here. (Full disclosure: A play I penned is part of this year’s non-juried fest. I won’t be writing about it here.)

More soon.

Your thoughts?

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this blog

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
  1. Only half a million TV Viewers? And thats an increase? I knew Indycar was struggling but I didn't know it was that bad. Hell, if NASCAR hits 5 Million viewers everyone starts freaking out saying its going down hill. It has a long way to before Indycar even hits NASCAR's bad days.

  2. IU has been talking that line for years with no real progress even with the last Dean, Dr. Brater. Why will an outsider, Dr. Hess, make a difference? With no proof of additional resources (cash in the bank), and a concrete plan to move an academic model that has been outdated for decades with a faculty complacent with tenure and inertia, I can count on IU to remain the same during the tenure of Dr. Hess. One ought to look to Purdue and Notre Dame for change and innovation. It is just too bad that both of those schools do not have their own medical school. Competition might wake up IU. My guess is, that even with those additions to our State, IU will remain in its own little world squandering our State's tax dollars. Why would any donor want to contribute to IU with its track record? What is its strategy to deal with the physician shortage for our State? New leadership will not be enough for us to expect any change.

  3. How do you think the Bridges got approved? I spent a couple days researching PAC's and individual contributions to some city council members during that time. My printouts were inches thick on the two I concentrated on. Finally gave up. Was disgusted with all the donations, and who they were from. Would have taken me days and days to compile a complete list. Tried to give it to the Star reporter, but he thought it was all just fine. (and apparently he was treated well himself) He ended up being laid off or fired though. And then of course, there was land donated to the dad's club, or city, as a partial payoff. All done in the shining example of "charity." No, none of these contributions are a coincidence.

  4. I agree what kind of help or if any will be there for Dr. Ley's patients. I was a patient myself.

  5. What about the hundreds of patients who sought this doctor for the right reasons, to quit drugs. what option do these patients now have, experience horrible withdrawl or return to heroin?? those are the choices. what about the children of these former addicts who's parent(s) WILL not b able to maintain their job, for @ least 2 weeks.. There needs to b an emergency clinic opened for these patients.

ADVERTISEMENT