Author: Stanford Friedman

Bayside! The Musical!

Unlike the educationally challenged students of Bayside High, the cast and creative team behind this production, now entering its third year of off and on performances, are a group of dedicated over-achievers.

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Smoke is a difficult play on many levels. The characters are gripping, but not at all likable. There is humor, at times, but it’s the kind that leads to uncomfortable laughter. And the storyline subverts audience expectation at nearly every turn.

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Confessions of Old Lady #2

FringeNYC turned 18 this year, a mere child compared to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe which has been around since 1947. But this year’s efforts on the Lower East Side seem quite mature nonetheless, with new features like on-the-fly mobile ticketing, performances that have begun and ended on schedule, and comfortable spaces where the air conditioning actually works. It is fitting, then, that one of its final productions for 2014 is a tribute to growing up while trying to stay vital. Indeed, Confessions of Old Lady #2 is nothing if not a lesson on aging well while on the outskirts...

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Interior: Panic

The works of Tennessee Williams can be sorted into three distinct categories: A) The great plays, B) the awful plays, and C) the obscure plays, several of which were merely fragmented interludes that would later be transformed into his great or awful plays. As an obvious precursor to A Streetcar Named Desire, the 1946 one-act, Interior:Panic, presented by the Hedgepig Ensemble Theatre at FringeNYC, clearly falls into this last category. For those who know nothing of Streetcar beyond Marlon Brando’s moody ballyhooing of “Hey Stella!,”  there may not be enough meat on the bones of this half-hour psychodrama to appreciate it...

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The Imbible: A Spirited History of Drinking

Cold, dark and full of spice. No, that is not a summation of The Imbible: A Spirited History of Drinking. Rather, those are the qualities of a Rusty Ale, a cocktail made with Drambuie and beer. Audience members, over the age of 21, are treated to a healthy 8-ounce glassful of the tasty quaff as they enter the Celebration of Whimsy theater down on Clinton Street, amid the happy clatter of ice being scooped. Additionally, over the course of this 90 minute lecture cum barbershop quartet, they are also served a gin and tonic, and a Drambuie Old Fashioned...

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