Each act was given exactly sixty seconds to introduce themselves before a klaxon and the jeers of the crowd cut them off. Emcee Amanda Pintore kept the crowd excited in between groups of artists while StLou Fringe founder Em Piro enforced the one minute rule. The tweet-length introductions forced the artists to flex their creative muscles, and flex they did. The most creative introductions utilized video, tinny music piped from laptop and cell phone speakers, rapid-fire monologues, skits and, in one case, outright titillation.
Some of the standouts included the Osuwa Taiko drum group, who certainly had the most percussive introduction, plays such as “Asperger’s a High Functioning Musical,” by Highly Distracted Productions and “No Stopping No Warping No Dying” by 1UP Productions, which is set inside a giant NES. Comedy groups like “Phat Beethoven” and “Gun Club” promised to bring yuks and chortles. There were too many wonderful acts to list all by name here, but rest assured the line up is eccentric, eclectic and more than a little fringe-y.
This year’s Fringe Festival is brimming with potential and promises to be a great addition to St. Louis's summer cultural events. The format and fast pace of the teaser presentation has generated a lot of excitement for this reviewer. Stay tuned to this page and OnSTL for more fringe facts, news and reviews. You can find more information, a list of events and artists at stlfringe.com.
All photos courtesy of Tammi Cooks