Red Bastard – theater review for Hollywood Fringe Fest – HFF 2012

Less a solo-performance, more an exercise in terrorizing the audience, Cirque du Soleil clown Eric Davis coyly emerges from behind a curtain upstage to reveal an exaggeratedly bulbous and lumpen form clad in stretchy red spandex. Red-hooded, bare-footed and strutting like a chicken, Davis takes to the empty stage and for the course of his 80-minute, one act show proceeds to interrogate audience members, aggressively insisting on participation and extracting private hopes, dreams, details such as where they work and if they like their job. He grimaces at us, glaring with demonic eyes, rimmed with red eye shadow. This audience interaction forms the sum total of this unusual “performance” – confessional at times and confrontational and challenging at others.

And somehow it’s really raucously funny.

“Welcome to the theater of life,” he announces. “Something interesting must happen every 10 seconds!” Davis is intent on playing with audience’s expectations of immediate entertainment. At one point he impels the audience to jump up and swap seats – chaos ensues – and later incites an exciting competition between the two sides of the house.

With Red Bastard Davis brings a salacious, lip-smacking, profane, punk-rock (“bouffon”) style to his clowning, increasingly pushing the limits of what makes you, the audience member, uncomfortable.

As he reminds us, theater is “the only medium where you get to be with the performer when they create their art,” and Davis exposes himself in the most honest and raw way at the same time as harassing his audience.

It’s a sobering reminder of how far theater can go.

Eric Davis is currently appearing in Cirque du Soleil’s Hollywood spectacle Iris.

 

Red Bastard

By Eric Davis.

***Adults only***

At Artworks Theater, Hollywood, first Monday of every month, 8 p.m.

Resumes from August through Dec. 3, 2012 (check site for info.)

 

Artworks Theatre & Studios

6569 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, 323-871-1912

For more information on all Hollywood Fringe Festival plays, visit their official site.

 

Here’s an updated show list of my full length reviews. Click on the active links in the play’s title to go to its review page.

ArtsBeatLA HIT LIST:

FRIDAY, June 8

ANACONDA

SATURDAY, June 9

NO WAY AROUND BUT THROUGH – Falcon Theater, Toluca Lake

DOC FAUSTUS

 

SUNDAY, June 10

JENNIFER ANISTON STOLE MY LIFE – unreviewed

FRENCH CABARET – CARPE NOCTEM

 

Tuesday, June 12

BEFORE THE RED TREES COME 916A Formosa

 

FRIDAY June 15

MIXED PERSONALITY DISORDERS – Theatre Asylum

POOL (NO WATER) – Flight Theatre at The Complex

FILTHY LIARS – The Complex – East Theater

 

SATURDAY June 16

FOUR CLOWNS: THAT BEAUTIFUL LAUGH – Open Fist Theater

 

Coming up:

TUESDAY, June 19

MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET – Pantages (not Fringe)

THE NEW ELECTRIC BALLROOM – Rogue Machine (not Fringe)

WHERE THE GREAT ONES RUN – Rogue Machine (not Fringe)

 

FRIDAY June 22

ALTARCATIONS

LOST MOON RADIO

TAPE

 

SATURDAY June 23

GUMSHOE

NINA VARIATIONS

DOOMSDAY CABARET

BUTTON VARIATIONS

MISSION TO MATE

JITNEY (not Fringe)

 

What the other critics are saying:

Sharon Perlmutter over at TALKIN BROADWAY.COM, has reviewed a handful of shows so far. Click on this link to see her reviews of The Secret of Sherlock Holmes, The God Particle Complex, Speed Merchant (of Venice) and Tape.

Dany Margolies.

 

 

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Comments

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