Fringe Top 10 2008—#3: The Drollery

Print

by Matthew A. Everett • July 28, 2008 • “Why bother? It’s gonna hurt me.
It’s gonna kill when you desert me…”

(and this is a sample of the lyric for a bouncy, upbeat production number)

The Drollery – Watthen Wherenow – A Pinkerton Tribute

Single White Fringe Geek (and Mom) is the blog of Matthew A. Everett, one of five bloggers covering the Minnesota Fringe Festival for the Daily Planet.

“A big-time city boy walks into a small-town bar and orders a drink. Mixing it up and singing with the locals, he catches the eye of the barmaid. When in Watthen, While at Wherenow, What with who now”

2007 – Blonde On Blonde

Honestly? I have no friggin’ idea.

Well, after the Fringe-For-All preview (video clip here along with the other ones on the Fringe’s YouTube page), I guess I have some idea.

The town is Watthen

The bar is Wherenow

The routine is classic “Who’s On First?” comedy territory – I can’t believe I need to link that, but I’m old, so I’m sure I do…

“Suppose you mess with everyone like that.”
“It’s something we do.”

So why am I suggesting these folks? Simple. They subjected me to some of the most nerve-wracking, peculiar comedy I experienced in the Fringe last year. It was really funny, and really bleak, often at the same time. And it still sticks with me, long after a lot of other more agreeable but forgettable shows have faded from memory. Those are people you want to watch (if only, sometimes, just to keep an eye on them).

Watthen Wherenow – A Pinkerton Tribute seems to be headed in a more light-hearted direction – though, with The Drollery, light-hearted is relative (and that’s a good thing, by the way).

And they’re thick-skinned enough to post most of their negative feedback on their show page for this year’s production, including…

“The sordid lives of two optimistic losers are presented in excruciating detail.” – 2 stars

“You guys can do better” – 3 stars

and my personal favorite (and I’d wager to say theirs…)

“Smug and smart-ass, the show is essentially the work of two slackers. Ben Ecklund, who resembles Napoleon Dynamite and Matt Alto are responsible for this shapeless waste of time.” – 0.5 stars

So when I learned this year’s show was also going to be a musical, my first thought was…

“Those guys? A musical? Seriously? Hell, I gotta see *that*.”

But of course, a musical with adult language and sexual content – it is still The Drollery, after all.

I also stand by what they quoted from me about last year’s show

“Watching it you’re sometimes tempted to think, ‘Boy, these guys are stupid.’ But no one stupid makes a show this smart. Someone once said, ‘Life is a comedy to those who think, and a tragedy to those who feel.’ The Drollery is thinking. You may be feeling. It’s a testament to this odd little piece of work that it works no matter which direction you’re going with it. These guys are on to something. Just what that is, is still anybody’s guess. But I wouldn’t say no to more of it.” – Highly Recommended, 4 stars

This year? Let’s make that Very Highly Recommended, shall we? And see what the heck happens next…

Location, dates and times, and ticket information available here

Entering his sixth year of blogging about the Minnesota Fringe Festival (and bringing Mom along for the ride as a guest reviewer), Matthew A. Everett is also a local playwright and three-time recipient of grant support from the Minnesota State Arts Board. Information on Matthew and his plays can be found at matthewaeverett.com.