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Gig review: Rogue Festival 2011, week one
Week one of the Rogue Festival: Survived.
Birds & Bees, 2:30 p.m., March 5@Dianna's
Ten. That's how many people I guessed show up to a Rogue show based purely on happenstance. Maybe they're intrigued by blub in the Rogue book. Maybe they're already at the venue so they just stay for the next show. Whatever the reason, that's the number of people who would show even if you did zero advance publicity. Ten.
My guess was slightly off. There were six-ish people at our 2:30 show and two of them were friends.
This was a "secret" show at Dianna's. By secret, I mean booked last minute at a different (larger) venue and not part of our publicty (and not listed on the website). We rolled with it pretty well and the show went off whichout a hitch, save for a few nervous moments. The audience seemed appreciative and attentive and the tech crew was wonderful. A good run-through for sure.
It was a happy-ending show.
Big Show or Bust, 8:30 p.m., March 5@Starline
While Birds & Bees is an intimate sort of affair, funny, but in an up-close-and-personal kind of way, Big Show or Bust is the opposite. It's an over-the-top musical where the characters (at least mine) are a bit outrageous. It's also at the Rogue's largest venue, the Starline. A sold-out crowd would be an awesome thing. We did not sell out, but the place was full and boisterous. By the end the audience was up and dancing and singing and having a good old time. There were some technical problems with the mic system, but nothing that hampered our (or the audience's) enjoyment of the show.
Birds & Bees, 10 p.m., March 5@Broken Leg Theater
Our first performance at our normal venue was to an almost sold-out audience. There may have been three or four seats left on the side of the stage. Performance wise, we were on it. The show works mostly on the chemisty between Jamie and I, and the audience really helped that. Until you run a show in front of a large group, you can't tell if things really click. What if all that stuff that made us crack up totally fallsl flat? So, the best sound in the world was that first laugh from the audience and it came early on. From that point, I knew the rest of the show would be OK.
Again, it was pretty much a resoundingly happy-ending show.
Big Show or Bust, 5:30 p.m., March 6
The crowd was smaller than the night before, but they were riled up. I got my share of boos and hisses (and rightfully so) and Blake and Co. go their share of bravos. Things I learned: 1.) sparklers are hard to put out in beer cans. 2.) my aim with a tennis ball is terrible. 3.) it's hard to strike a rock star pose with two wome pawing at your legs.
And so I don't make this all about me, I'll link back to my must-see picks from a few weeks ago, and add one more: Marcel Nunis' Lies My Father Told Me. Marcel essentially rogued the Rogue, staging this performance at the City Arts Gallery during the festival. It's not offically a Rogue event. The show is pay-what-you want, so you can see the show before you decide what it was worth. It's also the kick-off to his next project (SPOILER ALERT: a year-long documentary on his journey to become an American citizen). The last of the three-show run will be 10 p.m. Thursday.