Bloomsday event – a staged reading of Joyce’s “Exiles” at the Hammer
May 31, 2017
Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg’s “Tchaikovsky” – at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion
June 12, 2017

Comediennes take on The Fringe

Ellyn Daniels – Emotional Terrorism.

The Hollywood Fringe Festival is underway with preview shows.

The Opening Night Gala party is happening on Wednesday June 7th at Fringe Central (ArtWorks Theatre & Studios, 6569 Santa Monica Blvd.)

Go to the official site for more information.

ArtsBeatLA interviewed a handful of performers bringing their outrageous and unique comedy shows to the Fringe:

Ellyn Daniels – Emotional Terrorism 

What’s your show about?

Emotional Terrorism is about fear, fashion, bulimia, herpes, Hollywood, big dreams, big disappointments and redemption.

What was the inspiration for it?

The voices in my head, and discovering where they came from.

Will this be the first time you are performing this show?

Yes

What is it about the Fringe that is so conducive to presenting solo shows?

I suppose when people come to see Fringe shows they are expecting something edgy, different and raw and solo shows tend to contain all of those elements.

Solo shows can be a tricky undertaking — what makes them so challenging to develop and to perform?

The challenge is to write something that’s not only meaningful to you but will translate to the audience as an interesting story. It’s also challenging to not make the material selfpitying or self-aggrandizing.

What’s great / remarkable / unique / special about your show?!

A lot of the characters are incredibly unique people with paranoias you’ve likely never witnessed before.

When shaping a solo show, do you think comedy is an essential element? Why?

Yes, I do. I think it’s important not to take yourself too seriously; in solo shows or in life.

What do you hope audiences to gain from your show?

I hope they will come away hopeful and inspired to treat each other and themselves more lovingly.

Go here to the Hollywood Fringe Festival site for showtimes for Emotional Terrorism.

Jennie Fahn – Under the Jello Mold.

Jennie Fahn – Under the Jello Mold

 

What’s your show about?

It’s a comedy about the dealing with my mom at the end of her life, and discovering that she had a secret hidden along with her post-mortem instructions. 

What was the inspiration for it?

I did a one-woman show called YOU MUTHA! A ONE-MOTHER SHOW, 12 years ago, and people had been asking me to do it again. My mom was a featured character in that show. It wasn’t quite right to simply revive it; I considered a sequel, but it kind of morphed into this show solely about my mom. 

Will this be the first time you are performing this show? 

Yes.

What is it about the Fringe that is so conducive to presenting solo shows? 

It’s an affordable way to produce a show in a supportive environment that offers a lot of platforms from which to launch your show. The Fringe Festival itself helps guide you along the production path so you aren’t a ship sailing on your own – you have assistance all the way through: workshops, town halls, people to turn to – it’s great! And the Fringe community itself becomes a wonderful network of friends and ultimately, a big part of your audience as well. 

Solo shows can be a tricky undertaking — what makes them so challenging to develop and to perform? 

You do need a compelling reason why a show should be a “solo” show and not a traditional format – so usually there needs to be something unique or compelling about your show that presents itself and screams – this is YOU. And since it can get boring to just watch one person on stage for a long period of time, it’s important to have an outside eye to guide the show to make sure you are not going to be boring to watch! 

What’s great / remarkable / unique / special about your show?! 

Even though this is a very personal story, it is extremely relate-able. Everyone has a mom (or someone important in their life) who has passed away. And everyone has a crazy story about someone who had a secret, or something they were hiding. There’s a universality to it that people are going to relate to – and there’s a lot of laughs in it, even though it may seem like it’s about something sad. It’s a comedy. My mom was a real character. 

When shaping a solo show, do you think comedy is an essential element? Why? 

In my show, comedy is definitely a must. But I suppose every show is unique – that’s why some people like vanilla and some people like chocolate. But some sprinkles never hurt on anything, so I think comedy injected into drama is usually a good thing, too. 

What do you hope audiences to gain from your show?

 I’d love for my audiences to have a wonderful time, laugh a lot, shed a few tears, and maybe pick up a piece of trash off the ground the next time they see it. 

Go here to the Hollywood Fringe Festival site for showtimes for Under the jello mold 

 

Gabriella DeMarco – Lovesick.

Gabriella DeMarco – Lovesick

What’s your show about?

Lovesick is an unromantic comedy about my struggle with grief, self-hatred and love addiction. Serving as a catalyst for my story, is a full chronicle of my relationships with cats.

What was the inspiration for it?

I had been writing a self-help book about love addiction which had been set aside. When my deepest love,Sophie, who was a cat, passed away, I found the grief unbearable and I set out immediately to fill the void by contacting a fellow named Josh on Craigslist. The mania that followed, most people found hysterical, so it seemed fitting to share and I combined the two. 

 Will this be the first time you are performing this show?

I have performed Lovesick in Solofest at The Whitefire Theatre

What is it about the Fringe that is so conducive to presenting solo shows?

I really appreciate the sense of community and the idea of comp swapping because I love to encourage my fellow artists. Solo shows can feel lonely for obvious reasons so, having a tribe walking next to you is a big help and creates a feeling of support.

Solo shows can be a tricky undertaking — what makes them so challenging to develop and to perform?

I had never played other characters in my stand up so, this was definitely new territory. Memorizing 75 minutes of dialogue would be tough for anyone and not having another actor as a security net is certainly challenging. I give major props to my director Jessica Lynn Johnson for encouraging me to develop this piece and having her as a sounding board was crucial to the completion. In my case, since my show is dialogue, as opposed to monologue, meaning I do not break the 4th wall, I am truly talking to myself. It has been a testament to all the hard work I have done in recovery that I could stay this scary course. 

When shaping a solo show, do you think comedy is an essential element? Why?

Lovesick is a multimedia extravaganza with a brisk pace, simultaneously whacky yet, very racy and tackles very delicate subject matter like child abuse, sexuality, PTSD, obsession, fear, shame and self destructive behavior. I play 35 characters which include 9 cats. It juxtaposes sadness and madness in a really hysterical way and reveals all of the shocking and traumatic things I did for love. I think it is important to use comedy when trying to help others because when a person is laughing, their heart is open to receive beneficial information.  Noone wants to feel preached to but, everyone craves growth of some sort. Also, when broaching dark topics I feel it’s helpful to take people on a rollercoaster ride or it starts to feel too heavy. Lovesick is rated Rx….that is “R” with a little bit of “X” and promises to be a prescription for those who have experienced the pain of love.   

What do you hope audiences to gain from your show?

I hope that my audience walks a way with a renewed sense of hope that self-worth and love are possible at any age, to learn how to set better boundaries,that there is always light in the darkness, how to hear the negative voices and follow their heart anyway. I did and that is how this show came to be. 

Go here to the Hollywood Fringe Festival site for showtimes for Lovesick

 

Shira Yevin – Hot Dates

What’s your show about?

My show is about memorable dates, literally and figuratively, in my lifetime- from girlhood milestones to attempted womanhood.

What was the inspiration for it?

I have always been obsessed with dates, and the concept of time. I studied performance art at UPenn with Deb Margolin, and since then have had the goal of doing a one-woman show. Last year, I took a Hollywood Fringe storytelling workshop with Deana Barone, and the dream rekindled. Being a single woman dating in LA, I meet a lot of other single ladies with similar frustrations and experiences, so this seemed like an ideal platform to broach the subject.

Will this be the first time you are performing this show?

Yes, this is a world premiere!

What is it about the Fringe that is so conducive to presenting solo shows?

The Fringe community is extremely supportive and receptive. There is also a real community vibe, it feels almost like a family.

Solo shows can be a tricky undertaking — what makes them so challenging to develop and to perform?

When it’s only 1 person onstage, you have to really strip everything down and keep it simple. For me, my show is also completely autobiographical and based on true stories, so at the same time it is incredible personal. Performing this show feels like standing naked in front of a crowd. My director asked me what stories I am afraid to tell- then insisted we tell those stories!

What’s great / remarkable / unique / special about your show?!

 I am a singer/performer, so I have weaved in my own original songs, as well as some dance and spoken words elements, peppered throughout the storytelling and comedy. I also feel like I am bringing a New York sensibility to Hollywood! My humor is extremely sarcastic and self-parodying.

When shaping a solo show, do you think comedy is an essential element? Why?

Absolutely, comedy is pivotal to solo shows- my show is autobiographical, so the saying comes to mind, you have to laugh at yourself, or else you just cry. 

What do you hope audiences to gain from your show?

In creating this show, I experienced a process of self-examination and realization. In a culture that seems to outcast a single woman in her mid-thirties, I came to the conclusion that finding inner peace is more fundamental that finding a life partner. I also wanted to express the importance of bouncing back from life challenges, and taking risks to achieve your goals. For me, creating and performing a one-woman show was one of those goals. Hopefully I can inspire some others to do the same, and take risks to achieve their own life goals.

Go here to the Hollywood Fringe Festival site for showtimes for Hot Dates.

Pauline Adamek
Pauline Adamek
Pauline Adamek is a Los Angeles-based arts enthusiast with twenty-five years' experience covering International Film Festivals and reviewing new Theatre, Film and Restaurants.

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