The Gypsy and the General

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by Phillip Andrew Bennett Low • July 28, 2008 • Here’s a production that absolutely delivers on the promise of its show description – a “physically daring ensemble-created show” – in spades. It has singing and dancing. It has falls and leaps and rolls. It has a catchy soundtrack and countless object manipulations.

Womb With a View is the blog of Phillip Andrew Bennett Low, one of five bloggers covering the Minnesota Fringe Festival for the Daily Planet.

Some of these are very cool, and very tightly-plotted: others feel aimless, emerging from nothing and dissolving into nothing. There were at least a few sequences where I was watching objects moving through space and had no sense what was going on. They’re all unquestionably physically impressive, and it feels a bit churlish to pick apart a performance that’s working so aggressively to entertain you.

Some people are going to call this a masterpiece, and I don’t think that it is: there’s really not much more to it than a kind of generalized ridicule of militarism, a sort of live-action political cartoon. But it has the frenetic, kinetic energy of a cartoon; it turns around and continually surprises you; there are several moments that merited gasps and applause. It’s very possibly the most consistently entertaining hour in the Fringe, and that’s not nothing.

Phillip Andrew Bennett Low (maximumverbosityonline@gmail.com) is a playwright and poet, storyteller and mime, theatre critic and libertarian activist, who lurks ominously in the desert wilds of St. Louis Park, feasting upon the hygienically-prepared flesh of the once-living. His main claim to fame is probably as co-founder of the Rockstar Storytellers, and as founder/producer of Maximum Verbosity, a garage-band-like theatre troupe that is in a state of constantly re-defining itself.