EMAV Review: Fringe-Aversary! Part two.

Fringe (adjective), not part of the mainstream, unconventional, peripheral or extreme.

It’s day two of the 10th Anniversary of the Vegas Fringe Festival at Las Vegas Little Theatre (LVLT) and things have heated up. Fringe is always a mixed bag, a potpourri, and that is what I love about this annual event. Just when you think it a bit hum-drum, a surprise comes to smack you in the face.

That said, let’s dare to approach the edge again….

“23 and We”

Resilient Entertainment Group with BMG Unlimited Entertainment

★★★★★ - Irresistible

Written by Adia Bell, Adriane McLean, Destiny Faith, Sabrina Colfield, and Theresa Deveaux, based on a concept by Adriane McLean, the play addresses questions which arise when one of those readily-available DNA tests reveals close relatives you didn’t know you had.

Step into Rocko’s Karaoke Bar and be amazed. Typically, sets for fringe plays are minimal, but these folks bring the bar to life in the small Fischer Black Box venue. They go so far as projecting the song lyrics on a wall; drinks, empty glasses and half-empty glasses scatter the tables; the DJ table and equipment are there. The entire space is used – even the center aisle of the house.

Julie (Adriane McLean) finds Kiesha (Atiya Mariama) and Lisa (Theresa Deveaux) whooping it up in a bar, and one of them is Julie’s sister. It’s not just the atmosphere pulling you in. Let me tell you, these girls have it going on. They suck you in the moment the lights come up and take you for a ride through to the bittersweet, happy end. Even Adia Bell, the director, who stepped in at the last minute as the Announcer, hits all the right notes with attitude to spare.

The entire cast stays on point, every movement motivated by character. Extra kudos for the perfect handling of late-comers walking into the theatre. Not a beat was missed in welcoming them into Rocko’s and helping them find seats.

If you were on the fence about venturing over, “23 and We” alone is worth making the trip.