Los Angeles Theater Review: BEST OF ALBUQUERQUE FRINGE 2025 (Hollywood Fringe Festival)

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by Tony Frankel on June 29, 2015

in Theater-Los Angeles

THE WORST OF THE BEST

p_2189_i_9138108Let me say that I have no idea what I just saw. Clearly, some very clever folk have come up with the very clever idea to spoof a Fringe Festival, which Fringe Festivals certainly deserve. Two very silly and rarely believable hosts, played by Jacob Smith and Lauren Flans (the rap diva from Lost Moon Radio that I adore), introduce us to a slew of performers in a cavalcade of categories (Classic; International; Audience Award; et al) better known as the Best Of Albuquerque Fringe 2025.

But if this is what 2025 looks like, then the future doesn’t look bright. Naturally, there are some funny bits, and damn if there aren’t some truly charming performers, but a spoof of the Fringe judging process AND a spoof of Fringe participants AND a spoof of Fringe material AND a spoof of small town America (there’s more) is spinning too many plates at once. And since director Corey Lynn Howe had the backstage shenanigans played NOT like Fringe reality but rather overblown Farce (with a capitol “F”), it’s difficult to take anyone seriously. Thus, the show felt overlong by at least half of its 80-minute running time.

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I did enjoy many of the Best Musical Category spoofs (I think there were five in all), but most of the other skits never took off. I’m sure this wasn’t the intent, but it’s almost like writers Jacob Smith and Jim Blanchette were trying to spoof Saturday Night Live, in which there are repetitive jokes and every one you see, including the hosts, are always “on.” Mirroring my experience watching most SNL shows, I would laugh one minute and feel entirely deflated the next.

The most genuinely amusing, and perhaps ironic, thing about my experience came after the performance when I noticed that the publicity person who represents this show wrote a RAVE review about it on the Fringe site. Now that’s farce.

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Best Of Albuquerque Fringe 2025 
Village Idiom Productions
part of the 2015 Hollywood Fringe
The Elephant Space, 6320 Santa Monica Blvd.
clsoed on June 28, 2015
for more info, visit their Fringe page or Village Idiom

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