Sunday, August 12, 2018

Audience Reviews from the Minnesota Fringe

Here's ATL artist Brad McEntire talking about his exerience at the 2018 Minnesota Fringe Festival...

Performing Robert's Eternal Goldfish at the 2018 Minnesota Fringe
So, here's something I did not know. Here at the Minnesota Fringe, ANYONE can leave a review of your show on the festival website. I spotted the first of these reviews the other day and thought, "Huh, the arts journalists around here sure are casual..."

Then, a fellow performer told me that audience members can leave reviews and all the reviews go public on the website, right under the information about your show.

I am of two minds on this. On one side, it scares the crap out of me that just anyone can put up their opinion of the show on my official festival page. I mean, some audience members are more savvy than others. The show is not for everybody. As a performer and playwright, I know I am an acquired taste. So, this just-let-anyone-write-anything approach seems a bit dangerous, even counter-productive for getting people to the show. What if someone doesn't like it, doesn't get it and then shouts from the rooftops for others to avoid it? They probably will and two things happen. I'm out an audience, and my potential audience is out a potentially awesome theatre experience.

On the other hand, in general, I like feedback. I like interaction with my audience not just during the show, but after it as well. And a good write up is a good write up, whether it is from a capable arts journalist or not (and let's not be naive here, a really capable arts journalist reviewing the show is kind of a rarity nowadays).

So, for good or ill, I collected the reviews I recieved for my solo show Robert's Eternal Goldfish during the 2018 Minnesota Fringe. Here's what people had to say...

A ball of light
There's a lot of things I 'hate' in this world, but this is not one of them. Delightful story.
~ Ariel Leaf

Very Enjoyable
A bit of a slow start, but picks up very quickly. Great acting and enjoyable story.
~ Bernadette Hollyday

Deftly told
A personal story that makes you think about how events in our past shape how we approach situations today. Highly professionally told.
~ Beth Wegener

Believable Nightmares!
Nice job!
~ Darla Swanson

Interesting story
A good story. A bit too much anger for me at times with struggle toward resolution. Always kept my attention.
~ Gene bard

Pre-review review, I like ton review before reviews
Here's a refreshing breath of fresh air of a solo show. while it appears on the surface as a conventional memoir-based storytelling show, it cleverly shapeshifts into a fictional character study w/ smatterings of magic, fantasy, and sci-fi leanings. while the misanthropy, sarcasm, and extreme anti-social leanings of "robert" seem abrasive, it's deliciously intentional and only feeds the dark pitch black comedy. i'm recommending this show to everyone, and only wish there was a more..."theatrical" way to convey the goldfish & bowl to match the cleverness of the twisty-turny story, but come on, that's the minorest of criticisms. well done!
~ Jeremy Motz

Nice and angry
Lots of anger in this one, especially in the beginning, but it is a nicely told story, and ends on a nice note.
~ Mark Webb

McEntire takes the audience on a weird journey
Over the course of an hour, Brad McEntire takes us on the journey of a man trapped by his own anger. At times hilarious, frightening and insightful, McEntire balances the easy-going stylings of stand-up comedy with the intensity of an exorcism. Also, there's a cute cardboard goldfish! See it!
~ Phil Gonzales

Good but not stellar
I like misanthropic characters. Especially when their misanthropy is channeled into humorous tirades against the foolish conventions of society, or apoplectic fits over the seemingly trivial. While there is some of that to be seen and heard here, the "magical" aspect of the story and overall character development arc leads down a somewhat different path, which I personally both liked and disliked. When I read a review that the character Robert is like a cross between George Costanza and Lewis Black, I developed certain false expectations about the performance prior to my attendance. My advice: shed any expectations and enjoy the character for who he is rather than for who you might want him to be. Overall, good performance but I did not find myself fully absorbed in the story.
~ R D

The Carp Came Back
Initially, I was put off by the performer. He was a little too loud and too "in your face" for me. But he soon toned it down, the story progressed, and I warmed up to him. He creates a vivid character, initially mired in misanthropy and with a long and funny litany of things he hates. A chance encounter with a persistently friendly lady at a coffee shop leads to a string of strange events which gradually warm his cold, cold heart. This is a show worth seeing.
~ Reid Gagle

Original page... HERE

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