Sunday, August 7, 2016

Fringe Festival 2016: "Lewis/Clark"

Day: 3

Show: 10

Title: Lewis/Clark

Category: Something Different

By: Rhymes with Montana

Created by: Debra Berger, Emily King, and Tyler Mills (narrative playwright)

Location: Phoenix Theater

Summary: An original story of discovery, adventure, and friendship, inspired by the real-life adventures of Lewis and Clark but taking it into the territory of imagination.

Highlights: Everything that this group does (performer/creators Debra Berger and Emily King, collaborators Tyler Mills and Tyler Michaels) is indescribably lovely, funny and whimsical yet strangely moving and somehow profound. In this story, the fictional female adventurers Lewis and Clark reunite after many years apart for one more grand adventure. Lewis has found something new, and wants Clark to go with her so they can discover it together, as they have so many places before. Past hurts are revisited but their friendship endures. The story is fantastical, but incorporates actual writings as varied as "How to Skin a Rabbit"and transcripts from the moon landing. Musician Derek Trost provides a soundtrack for the story using various percussion instruments, and Debra sings an original song (with lyrics by Tyler Mills and composition by the company) about a female explorer that sounds like it was written 100 years ago. The two women also sing Stan Rogers' "Northwest Passage," with harmonies so beautiful it brought tears to my eyes. Lewis/Clark combines movement, music, historical writings, storytelling, and LaCroix sparkling water in a completely unique and innovative way. (Watch for more from the Tylers when they launch their new theater company next spring with The Gest of Robin Hood, which was part of Illusion Theater's "Fresh Ink" new works festival this year.)