Fringe 2009 – FFA 2 – The Nightingale


“You can smile if you want to.”

Urban Spectrum Theatre Co.

The Nightingale

The European Renaissance and the Harlem Renaissance collide in a delicious blend of cultures, and the Nightingale sings the blues! A rather pompous 16th century Italian ruler and his intelligent albeit bumbling prime minister seek out a nightingale who supposedly resides in the royal forest. Little do they know, this nightingale comes from a very faraway place, and has somehow time-traveled into the emperor’s era and forest! This is a rollicking, bawdy, delicious romp with dancing salsa birds, 1920’s-era music and the charleston, and one very saucy and talented nightingale!

The thing I liked the most about this preview was that the Nightingale (Mari Harris) was not one bit afraid to work the crowd during her song, even assuring us after one racy double-entendre “That’s as wild as I’m gonna get.” As was evident in many another Fringe preview over the last couple of weeks, that first crowd can be intimidating, even if they’re essentially friendly. This lady was not at all phased. She just came out and had a good time singing her song, and that translated out to the crowd, because she was inviting them to be a part of it.

The ditty, “I’m Wild About That Thing,” sounded like an old tin pan alley number, and was a lot of fun to listen to.

The performer who played the King, for whom the Nightingale was performing, had the most hilarious gobsmacked look on his face while he listened to her sing – getting progressively more turned on and unable to speak.

Don’t know much about the show as a whole, but if this is an example of what’s in store, then it’s liable to be a very enjoyable Fringe production. (They went out on the red light, but they didn’t waste a second of their preview time. Good on them.)

The Fringe’s YouTube page has the preview up now, so look below and see for yourself. Also…

Their website –

Their show page

Their Fringe-For-All preview…