The Philip Experiment by The Importance of Being Fotis
This show is reminiscent of In the Time of Spies, Ferrari McSpeedy's Fringe show this year, with spies and international intrigue and such, but it's less of a comedy spoof and more of a psychological thriller. The experiment involves a fictional character named Philip who has become real. "The Agency" now wants Philip destroyed, and tasks three agents with the job. But they're not quite sure where they are, how they got there, or what's going to happen next. We also see a few warped scenes from the agents' lives before the experiment, and how it all fits together is an intriguing puzzle that I didn't quite fit together, but enjoyed nonetheless. Not being a fan of gore, I was happy not to see any blood, and in fact the cool black, white, and gray color scheme was chilling in its own way. Unfortunately I can't find the credits online and was not given a program, so I can't credit everyone involved, but I did recognize some of the talented cast (Debra Berger, Heather Meyer, Joe Bozic, and Mike Fotis), and I assume some combination thereof is to be credited for writing an engaging, intriguing, chilling, and funny show.
Ubu for President by Four Humors Theater
This show doesn't really fit into the horror genre, except that it's about what happens when a horrible person becomes president, in which case it's the most horrorific show imaginable. #vote. Ubu (Brant Miller) has risen to power thanks to his friends in money (Matt Spring), war (Ryan Lear), and religion (Jason Ballweber). But once he's president, he finds that he does want "the ball" that he promised he never would (insert any number of issues here). And that's all the news can talk about (the show incorporates video clips in a fun and interesting way), no matter how many people he kills. While I usually love Four Humors, I didn't love this show. Their shows are usually so smart and clever, but this one is not up to their usual standards of cleverness. The humor is a bit too crass for my taste (then again, so is this election cycle). Pedophilia jokes wear thin pretty quickly for me, and I'm not sure some of the things they do the American flag are legal. But if you enjoy gross potty humor, and poking fun at every institution in this country, you might enjoy it.
TCHFV continues through this weekend, so there's still time to check out the eerily decorated Southern Theater. To read more about each of the shows, check out Minnesota Theater Love's awesome roundup of not only their reviews, but also other theater writers' reviews. And visit the TCHF website for the full schedule and to purchase tickets.
|scenes from the Southern (Instagram @cherryandspoon)|