A Beast/A Burden

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

world premiere
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Review by ELIZABETH COOK

June 04, 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 voice of this piece was pretty unique. there are moments that border on goofy but somehow it all makes sense together, and the ending just breaks your heart in all the best ways, particularly if youre someone who creates. the lead actor who plays chris burden is phenomenal and brings such a bizarre mix of mannerisms to the role that you sometimes wonder whether or not he’s performing or is just that bizarre in real life. after hearing him conversing with people outside, i realized he was perfectly normal, which made me appreciate the performance even more. i also quite enjoyed the ensemble, particularly the woman who portrayed the television host – a nice subdued performance amidst all the insanity. but everyone has a chance to shine here and they all do quite well with already strong material.

What I didn't like

while i understand it’s part of the piece, i really didn’t know what was part of the show and what wasn’t. i can’t say that’s a critique but it was something that made me uneasy in a way i wasn’t certain i enjoyed. id also love to see the stage utilized in more intriguing ways – its a bare bones show, of course, and the projection does help elevate the material, but i felt as if sometimes the actors werent recognizing the entirety of the space they were in.

My overall impression

third fringe show ive seen and first one ive felt compelled to write a review for. surprisingly touching piece of theatre that starts off as one thing and ends up something entirely different. is it a comedy? is it a drama? is it an art piece? its sort of all of those things, each one handled in artful and unexpected ways. i immediately went home and looked up more about chris burden, as i was unfamiliar with his work. i stayed up till 2am watching videos. looking forward to seeing the show again now that i know more about him. but, whether you know anything about him or not, this is top level theatre on a modest scale.

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