Sunday, August 9, 2015

Fringe Festival 2015: "The Falling Up of Shel Silverstein"

Day: 8

Show: 33

Category: Something Different

By: Jelly Bean Sheldon

Created by: Jelly Bean Sheldon

Location: U of M Rarig Center Xperimental

Summary: An absurdist dive into the world of poet/cartoonist Shel Silverstein.

Highlights: This show is a little like following Alice into Wonderland. But in this case we're following Shel Silverstein into the world of his imagination, which includes a backwards cowboy, a man peddling heads on the street, and a skin-stealer. The young eight-person cast is so enthusiastic and committed to telling this story that you can't help be swept away on the journey. The story is non-linear and imaginative, told in a series of odd little vignettes, with great use of music (blues guitar, fiddle, drum, etc.). I don't know much about Silverstein other than vague memories of his books Where the Sidewalk Ends and A Light in the Attic, but this piece, while it doesn't tell a clear story of his life, conveys a sense of who he is that makes me curious to know more about his life.