Indy Fringe part 4: Strickland irresistible

August 27, 2011
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

 

An open letter to Paul Strickland:

Dear Paul,

I hope you don’t mind me calling you Paul. We haven’t really met except to exchange some greetings in passing through this year’s Indy Fringe Festival.

Each year, I have hopes of seeing more Indy Fringe shows than I actually do. Most of the time, the ones that get sacrificed are the one-person shows. I’ve got nothing against storytellers or stand-up comics. I am a great admirer of practitioners of both forms. I just seem to gravitate toward other options come Fringe-time.

Yet every once in a while I’m reminded of the artistry and the joy of the single-voiced arts. That happened this morning at your show, “Any Title That Works.”

The conceit of an open-letter—lifted from the structure that you use in “Any Title That Works”—allows me to \pretend I’m writing to you while actually addressing the readers. But it’s limited, since if I were actually writing a letter to you, I wouldn’t tell you the things you already know, like that the show is built on open letters to yourself at different ages. That in one story you visit Metropolis, Illinois, in search of Superman (or, at least, in search of something like the awe you once felt toward Superman as a child). That in another, you introduce us to your beloved grandfather and put us right there at his funeral. And that you actually have non-cliché things to say about caterpillars and butterflies.

I do have to say that I was thrown a little, about two thirds of the way through, when you seemed to fall back on stand-up comedy. Yes, you’ve got great lines there. But this short stretch felt like a crutch that you no longer need. And it interfered with the truthful world you had built.

You quickly brought things back, though, weaving the previous stories together beautifully into a very satisfying finish.

As I write this, you’ve got one show left on Sunday the 28th. I hope it’s a packed one. You’ve not only got a gift, but you’ve clearly worked to hone it. I bet you’re a terrific stand-up comic. I know that you are a wonderful, captivating storyteller.

With gratitude,

Lou

P.S. I did see one other show today, but I'm not going to comment on it, While I greatly admired the talent displayed, the piece didn't come together, Since today was its final performance, I'd rather just leave the fest with thoughts on "Any Title That Works." 

P.P.S: Your thoughts?

ADVERTISEMENT
  • Thank you SO much for your kind and thoughtful words, Lou.
    Lou, I really appreciate this review of my show. I hope you'll email me so I can personally thank you.

    Paul Strickland

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. A Tilted Kilt at a water park themed hotel? Who planned that one? I guess the Dad's need something to do while the kids are on the water slides.

  2. Don't come down on the fair for offering drinks. This is a craft and certainly one that belongs in agriculture due to ingredients. And for those worrying about how much you can drink. I'm sure it's more to do with liability than anything else. They don't want people suing for being over served. If you want a buzz, do a little pre-drinking before you go.

  3. I don't drink but go into this "controlled area" so my friend can drink. They have their 3 drink limit and then I give my friend my 3 drink limit. How is the fair going to control this very likely situation????

  4. I feel the conditions of the alcohol sales are a bit heavy handed, but you need to realize this is the first year in quite some time that beer & wine will be sold at the fair. They're starting off slowly to get a gauge on how it will perform this year - I would assume if everything goes fine that they relax some of the limits in the next year or couple of years. That said, I think requiring the consumption of alcohol to only occur in the beer tent is a bit much. That is going to be an awkward situation for those with minors - "Honey, I'm getting a beer... Ok, sure go ahead... Alright see you in just a min- half an hour."

  5. This might be an effort on the part of the State Fair Board to manage the risk until they get a better feel for it. However, the blanket notion that alcohol should not be served at "family oriented" events is perhaps an oversimplification. and not too realistic. For 15 years, I was a volunteer at the Indianapolis Air Show, which was as family oriented an event as it gets. We sold beer donated by Monarch Beverage Company and served by licensed and trained employees of United Package Liquors who were unpaid volunteers. And where did that money go? To central Indiana children's charities, including Riley Hospital for Children! It's all about managing the risk.

ADVERTISEMENT