A Beast/A Burden

glass half productions · Ages 18+ · United States of America

world premiere
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June 03, 2018
IMPORTANT NOTE: We cannot certify this reviewer attended a performances of this show because no ticket was purchased through this website or the producer has not verified they attended.

What I liked

The multimedia elements were a standout, something I can’t say 90% of the time they are used in theatre. The lighting design was a step above most Fringe productions I’ve seen, but still simple enough to not detract from the storytelling. The gentleman playing Chris Burden delivered a knockout performance, filled with great wit and depth. At some point, I really lost touch of what I knew of Chris Burden and just bought the actor as him. A lot of bravery in that performance. The remainder of the ensemble was equally strong – very natural performances and relationships, even when the material called for a more theatrical presentation. And the writing was clear, crisp, and engaging throughout. This certainly seemed like a writer who had the audience in mind when curating these pieces.

What I didn't like

There were a couple of scenes that could have used some tightening, and a few line flubs that are expected on an opening performance. And I would have loved to have seen possibly a bit more of a narrative thrust in the final act, but that’s probably not what the playwright wanted, so it’s basically just a big fan finding small quibbles so this review doesn’t seem one-sided. But then again, I absolutely loved this project. Bravo!

My overall impression

I knew next to nothing about this production going into it other than it dealt with an artist of whom I am extremely fond, Chris Burden. I went in with low expectations, as I’ve been burned on Fringe shows in the past. This, however, was not your average Fringe show. From the very beginning of the show, the audience is thrust into this realm of uncertainty where you don’t quite know what is part of the show and what is real. Then you’re led on this exploration of Burden’s works – some touching, some humorous – that relate you to the artist through his relationships with other, random characters. By the ending of the piece (which is best left unspoiled for the viewer), I felt connected to Burden in ways I certainly hadn’t imagined when I entered the space.

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