Thursday, August 19, 2010

FRINGE: Feed The Monster

Feed The Monster starts off strong when Rita Emerson (Stephanie Ehrlich) takes the stage to perform the title song by Ehrlich, who also wrote the show, and composer Jim Keyes. She channels a psychedelic rock goddess and for that moment, it feels as though we've been transported to the 70s, but unfortunately, the rest of the show is a little dull in comparison.

Rita is playing a farewell concert for the fictitious The Village Vestibule, where she got her start as a folk singer in the 60s. The Club at La MaMa is the perfect venue for a show that takes place at a New York nightclub. She tells us about her Jewish upbringing in Brighton Beach, her beginnings as a folk singer, her move to San Francisco, and how she eventually found her way back to Brooklyn. Ehrlich is a likable narrator, but the humor often falls flat. She looks like a nice Jewish girl, so when Rita speaks about waiting for a man naked in bed, all 250 pounds of her (Ehrlich is not overweight), it's tough to believe. For a concert, she spends too much time talking and not enough time singing. Almost all the songs she performs are fragments, which is unfortunate, as she is at her most engaging when singing.

Remaining performances are Sun 22 at 5 and Thur 26 at 9:45 at The Club at La MaMa.

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