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By Legba Carrefour

For the last several years, Capital Fringe has provided theater critics and anyone who walks up an opportunity to see condensed four-minute versions of 20 selections out of the 130-odd Fringe productions. We got to check out last night’s iteration (most of it, at any rate).

Checking it out mostly means we stood in the cheap seats and strained to hear anything over the din of performers swapping flyers, opening beer, drinking beer, and inhabiting that kind of nervous energy that led at least one person dressed as a ninja to suddenly fart near the entrance, proclaiming, “Butterflies in your stomach make you fart, it’s a thing.”

Meantime, we kept straining so we could bring you our first impressions of Fringe’s curated preview selection. We’re not evaluating based on plot, performance talent, concept or anything like that–just raw aesthetics (also because, again, no one could hear anything).

Tango, Cabaret, Love!

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The name seems to indicate that the love in this instance is a verb, not a noun. Which is good as there are three ladies and a piano on stage definitely being verbs. A lot of people showed up in costume, but they’re clearly winning it with these matching black and white polka dot dresses. You can hear them, which is a pretty good reflection on their pipes.

Love Song to Miss Kitty

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We have no idea who Miss Kitty is and this doesn’t seem like a love song, but there are four performers on stage, including a lady wearing a hat, waving her arms frantically, as everyone else yells. Now there’s a lot of pushing and pulling, followed by someone grabbing someone and shaking them. There’s a fifth guy now who would look pretty awesome without a shirt on.

The Interpersonal Underworld

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We think we get the title reference. It might be about the guy who developed a test to see if you and your friends are borderline psychopaths in your small group interactions. Anyway, there are two women dancing with fairly violent, sweeping gestures as they sort of nimbly negotiate around each other. A man in a tie is reading something that sounds philosophical but could be his laundry list.

Ten Principles

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The Ten Principles refer to the principles of Burning Man. Note that none of the ten include that one principle of Fight Club, which is to never talk to about Fight Club. Haha, no that was a cheap shot. Burning Man is fine. There’s a guy on stage simply informing the audience that the money will be spent on something Burner related. Our vote is for more drugs, but, being serious, it’s refreshing to hear exactly where the money is going from a show.

I Fücked Your Country

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There’s a lady in a dirndl, which is sort of jarring (also, your reviewer knows what a dirndl is). Ah, she’s demonstrating how to use a condom. Apparently, the entire audience failed the number one thing one should do when using a condom, which is to check the expiration date. Most of us yelled, “Open it with your teeth!” (Don’t actually do that). There’s a guy standing in the audience, dressed as Muammar al-Gaddafi, who is quite vocally upset about the suggestion that the woman on stage had actual sexual intercourse with various nation-states. Can’t tell if he’s in character, but we shudder to think about the number of adults in the audience who would actually fail sex ed.

Tour de Farce

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There’s two men and a stationary bike, one has a Lance Armstrong shaved head thing going, which makes sense given the context. We have no clue what’s going on otherwise. They each have ridden the bike and spoken.

The Big A: Scenes from a Vanishing Landscape

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There’s two men on a telephone, seated, with their backs to one another. One is older and seems distraught, the other seems a bit resigned to the whole thing. An audience member nearby suggests it’s a rendition of Waiting for Godot. The older man is yelling a great deal and I can make out quite clearly the words, “I will go to the bathroom and wash myself.”

Districtland

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This is about white millennials who move here for work and have certain insane behavior patterns. You can tell because the selected scene is a lady on her cellphone commuting in her car and screaming both at the road and at the person on the other end of the line, who is standing next to her on stage. “Why don’t you just live in Arlington like everyone else?,” is the only thing we could hear but it seems like a pretty legit joke on white people who live in Arlington.

Killer Quack

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There is a man on the mic with a shoulderbag doing what we assume is stand-up. He’s talking about Fringe and he just advised the audience to shut the fuck up (or at least he said “Shut the fuck up!”). There’s a lot of discussion about cocaine addicted doctors and stuffing bodies in suitcases. Bet this guy is great to hang out with IRL.

INTERMISSION! There’s a double rainbow outside! There’s a lady on a chair who appears to be crying and a Fringe staffer walked up and asked her if she needed a hug and the lady says back, “I’m in character!” This is what we will say from now on anytime asks us the annoying question of “Why aren’t you smiling?” or some such hippie-creeper claptrap. Fuck hugs! INTERMISSION OVER!

Uniform

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Is that a dead cop on the floor? That looks like a dead cop on the floor. Our favorite punk band was Millions of Dead Cops, so this is off to a great start. There are people on stage arguing, presumably over the whole dead cop on the floor thing. Guys, get a barrel, fill it with a mixture of lye and water, boil that shit in a field for three days, dump it into a sewer, smash the remaining bits with a hammer. Shit! The cop is alive and has a gun! Oop, he just got conked on the head.

Córiolanas

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We went for a pee and came back and there are god damn ninjas on stage, wielding automatic rifles. In fact, we are pretty sure the ninja who farted on us is up there. He might have just gotten killed though. Wrestling, kicking, punching, straight-up choking, and someone just pulled off a ninja mask to reveal themselves as someone quite dramatic. We think everyone might be dead at the end but we’re not sure. Neat.

Martin, Love, Sex & Rhythm

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There are two groups of men, one to the back, one to the front. The front group is talking about making their relationship open. The groups have shifted and there seems to be dissension about this adventure into polyamory. Now there’s dancing. Hello, male ballet dancers. Please continue to discuss your sex lives and prance about.

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