Elgin Fringe 2022 Reviews

Elgin Short Film Festival

"This small collection of short films showcases something for everyone, from foreign period pieces to oddball analyses of modern connection. These digestible and timely works offer a snapshot into what small filmmakers have to offer."

"Four short films were show to us, and they all left me wanting more! From their well directed shots, and actors who truly cared. The short stories that told a lot in so little time. I wish these shortly lived worlds had more time to grow. I will never forget the seconds of a struggling man looking at the eyes of a chicken suit. No words needed to be exchanged. We all knew the feeling. And that’s the beauty of a short film. I was truly inspired to make my own short film one day."

 

GrannyFixIt

"GrannyFixIt puts on a show that is all at once homegrown, heartwarming, and healing. She gives guests a small taste of the Ozarks, disclosing both it's beautiful and dark moments. A surprising and necessary departure from the expected, a night with Granny is like receiving advice from your own kin."

"I can genuinely say I had a smile on my face the whole time. From lessons on natural cures, and birthing techniques. To tales of love and love lost. Being in tears during “Nobody’s song.” Will be the highlight of my night. I will never forget Granny’s wise words, and the way her voice filled the room. I only wish I received this wisdom sooner. Thank you Granny :) "

 

 

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Holy Inappropriate:

"Tune in after-dark for this biting satire on the Christian girl's coming-of-age. Raunchy and at the same time educational, Holy Inappropriate is a comical rethinking of "the talk". Think: RBG meets the holy trinity."

"During this performance the actresses truly gave so much passion, and life to the story. Because of this almost instantaneously we entered their world. You do not want to miss any of their inappropriate wittiness. This is an absolute must see performance."

Lady M

"A wild dance with what was (or wasn't) meant to be...

Thoughtful work to mull over for a few days."

World's Greatest Dad

"Jimmy Carrane is an unassuming comedian. With his dry, sarcastic humor, he evokes more "Woody Allen" than his Chicago contemporaries from the 90s. But for all of his negative tendencies, Carrane allows us to see the softness that grew in him after having a child. "World's Greatest Dad" is just as much a chronicle of death and rebirth as it is stand-up. He shines in his vulnerability, even if he resists it."

Life Line

"Sarah Street Collective’s production of Life Line took place Friday night of Elgin’s 2022
Fringe Festival at the Martini Room. This part play, part improv, part gameshow was an overall
good time that had the audience both laughing and rooting for the contestants of this twisted
game show.

 

The “gameshow” was hosted by Mr. Alt, played by Gunner Bradley, a Mr. Beast-isk
character who wants to give away his lottery winnings via a game show. The contestants consist of an array of over-the-top characters such as a former beauty queen, a man who was abducted by aliens, a washed-up professor, and a woman possessed by the ghost of a victorian child. The
game show starts with the contestants answering standard pop cultural questions to quickly
having to answer embarrassing questions about themselves, posing the question how far would you embarrass yourselves for half a million dollars.


What sold this wacky gameshow was the hilarious performance of these bizarre
characters. Each character was so odd, but the actors performed them with such relatability that the audience couldn't help but root for them to win and feel bad for them when their personal lives were exposed on a “live” stream. Life Line perfectly combined a hilariously original idea with the commentary that we may not be who we say we are online."

Mad About Me

"DC comedian Kevin Seefried hit the stage with a lot of energy for his Thursday night
performance for the 2022 Elgin Fringe Festival. He created an open and welcoming space with
the small crowd at Side Street Studio Arts’ Backspace.

 

Seefried kept the crowd engaged during his stand-up routine by covering various topics,
from overbearing parents to life in DC to mental health. Seefried's fast-paced, chaotic delivery of his relatable life experiences produced non-stop laughs throughout the crowd. Whether he was talking about familiar topics like Netflix cheating on your partner or the unique experience of having the same name as a US terrorist, Seefried makes it feel like you are speaking with that one friend who drinks a little too much coffee. His set was a hilarious way to kick off Fringe Fest weekend."

Pillow Fight

"Pillow Fight, written by Eileen Mitchell and directed by Stephen Pickering, kicked off the 2022 Elgin Fringe Festival’s weekend of performances with a show at the Backspace theater at Side Street Studio Arts. The eight-person cast put on a hilarious performance with no set and limited props, just six microphones, and a whole lot of charisma.

Rodger, a down-on-his-luck Broadway manager, tries to put on the musical Pillow Fight casting the former broadway stars and ex-lovers Dee Martin and Brick Dash. The cast of characters spends the whole play trying to get Dee and Brick to work together again despite Dee insisting that Brick had an affair, hoping to solve all of their finical troubles.

The props and set design are minimal, letting the acting of the performers really shine through. The over-the-top and expressive acting really fit the 50s rom-com that inspired Mitchell's script. The plot was simple yet dramatic and funny, the perfect combination that always makes a heartwarming rom-com like this such a joy to watch."

Greetings

"One of the last performances on Thursday night for the Fringe Festival was the one-act play Greetings by Zack Peercy put on by the Possibilities Theatre Company at the Elgin Art Show Case. This dark comedy had a small cast of only two actors and little to no set designs or props, but that didn't stop the actors from putting on an emotional and captivating performance.
 

The play follows friends and ex-partners Amy, played by Effie Rose, and Caroline, played by Liv McDaniels, who reunite for the funeral of Amy’s brother Mike after the girls separated for college. The girls sit on a park bench and discuss old memories and new experiences and come to terms that they are both in different places in their lives despite lingering feelings. The second half of the first and only act jumps six years later, where the girls reunite, this time at a diner. Once again, revisiting old memories and realizing how different their lives have become from one another. The play ends with the audience wondering if these two people could ever find their way back to one another.
 

Peercy’s funny yet heart-wrenching script flowed effortlessly, thanks to the fantastic performances of Rose and McDaniels. Rose and McDaniels switch between letting the dialogue flow naturally to allowing an awkward silence to hang in the air for an uncomfortable amount of time. Rose gave a sorrowful performance as Amy as she struggled to find the words to express her love to Caroline, yet she displayed every emotion on her face. McDaniels acted with her whole body, letting the space close between Amy and Caroline when they were reminiscing about old times, then quickly drift apart from each other when the unfamiliarity set in,
 

Greeting perfectly captured the experience of drifting apart from old friends and lovers as your life inevitably changes in your 20s. It makes the audience think about friends they see once every few years or only keep up with via social media; they want to go back to the old memories and say the things they never had the courage to in that moment."