comedy · bill ratner · Ages 8+ · United States

family friendly world premiere
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ANNA MARIE PIERSIMONI certified reviewer June 24, 2014
I haven't had this much fun with Barbie since the days(Junior High, I believe)that I hot-glued steel wool to her armpits and pelvis-central, then switched her head with Ken's. But these guys are not just playin'around. In an engaging performance as sibling rivals in a family toy merchandising enterprise, Ratner and Wilcox embody the plasticity of these iconic figures in all their male v female glory. In 1993, the Barbie Liberation Organization(BLO)staged a gender-bending voice-box switcheroo upon these innocent toys in department stores, making "Barbie talk tough while GI Joe went shopping." (Firestone, David, NY Times,Dec 12 1993). Just as the BLO punctuates this performance like a Wagnerian chorus, so does this true life theatrical advent... full review
MARIANA WILLIAMS certified reviewer June 26, 2014
This show is not what I expected, in that--it's all grown up. I thought it would be light and silly, but the dolls give you something to think about beyond playtime on the floor. The Bill Ratner and Clay Wilcox are all-in commiting to their characters in this true story. Don't miss the drama, comedy and fun the two "brothers" bring to the stage. Congrats to Bill Ratner's skill as a writer, researcher and actor. ... full review
SEA GLASSMAN certified reviewer June 27, 2014
Ratner always brings such committment and joy to whatever he's doing. This time it's a personal peek at the weird world of Barbie and G.I. Joe and a couple of brothers whose lives were marked by the tall, beautiful dolls. An exploration of the human psyche as played out in projections on to its doll counterparts. A fictitious brother scenario is the back drop for some really cool facts about the history of the dolls, the advertising market and how these two formed the blooming sexualities of generations.... full review
SHEILA MCCOY certified reviewer June 28, 2014
Marvelously creative. Anchored in the story of two brothers (and family) we see what dolls mean to us when we are young and we age. But not any dolls, examples of what we would like to be: beautiful, carefree, sexy girls and brave,honorable men. But there is another layer: how did marketing set the stage. The way Bill Ratner tells the story, it vibrates the day after and probably for quite awhile, It is unreal but still real. ... full review
MARC CASHMAN certified reviewer June 29, 2014
This was a fun, thought-provoking show that was nuanced, silly and poignant. Thoroughly enjoyable, with a passionate cast.... full review
YUICHI OHI certified reviewer June 29, 2014
Bill Ratner! Omg that guy has such a distinctive voice, and what a performance from someone who usually sits behind a microphone. ... full review
SANDY MANSSON certified reviewer June 18, 2014
Go and see The True Life Advnentures of Barbie and G.I.Joe and you wil find out what happens when you let boys play with dolls...or shall we say "action figures"? It is masterfully performed by VO artist Bill Ratner and actor Clay Wilcox, who play brothers Louie and Bobby, owners of a doll company. There is also a cute number which they do as Barbie and Ken. Enjoy!... full review
BOB LEGGETT certified reviewer June 19, 2014
I have been a fan of Ratner since I first met him three years ago. He has been a voice over artist for 45 years and his past two offerings at Fringe have been smashing successes. Obviously, I had high hopes and expectations for his latest production. Sadly, it did not deliver. Check out the rest of the review at ... full review
TODD SEGAL certified reviewer June 21, 2014
Sound typical? No and that's also why it's so good. Bill Ratner's script could be an essay in a weekly publication but there is so much life to it that it easily makes the jump onto the stage with the chops, talent and tenderness of Clay Wilcox and Bill himself. Who knew that learning about the history of these two dolls/action figures could also be engaging, funny and brilliant.... full review
BRAD SCHREIBER certified reviewer June 28, 2014
My brilliant pal Bill Ratner has a wonderfully outrageous play in the Fringe and I just saw it tonight and it rocks! Everything you ever wanted to know about G.I. Joe, Barbie and their relationship to psychoanalysis. Go melt your mind and laugh it up. ONE MORE NIGHT.... full review