Come one, come all. Step right up and see Freakshow, and enter a world of wonderment, showmanship and, most of all, deformities both visible and hidden.
Amalia the Human Torso (Allyson Harkey) acts as our host, giving us an uncensored glimpse into the inner workings of a second rate traveling freak show, where all the freaks are real. AquaBoy, The Human Salamander(Lauren Linn), The Pin Head (Edward Daniels), and Judith The (retired) Dogface Gir l(Karen Lange) round out the company of Mr. Flip’s (Andrew Mitakides) Traveling Freakshow. The script is light on plot, but that is not a detriment. Freakshow functions gloriously as a character study- a run of the mill series of loves, losses, and financial hardships are made unique by the fascinating and complex characters. I was especially impressed by Lange’s subtle and detailed performance as a retired freak who could not fully shed her past, and although Harkey’s opening monologue was a little lackluster, she soon opened up into a truly lovely performance that carried the entire show.
The production team for this show also deserves recognition. John Shryock ( Scenic Design), Josh Taylor ( Sound Design), Scott L. Hammar ( Costume Designer) managed to make a fringe show in a tent feel like a detailed, full production.
If you fringe-goers out there do make it to Freakshow, try and see an evening performance. The bright summer sun shining in through the tent walls at the 2pm show I saw did not seem fitting for the greasy underbelly of a pack of traveling oddities. And perhaps it was that summer sun, or the general dull feeling many matinees get, but there was something lacking. Although this was a very good production, it fell just short of greatness. The script offers so much, and I feel they only just tapped into the wealth of emotions the characters offer.
However, in the end, falling just short of greatness is nothing to sneeze at, and that is why I still gave this show a top rated 5-Pick of the Fringe. Despite its minor failings, I still feel that it will be one of the best of the festival, and is definitely worth your precious time and money.
See it: You want an escape from the camp and sparkle of most Fringe shows into a show with some great characters and some true emotion.
Skip it: Don’t.
by Pinky-Swear Productions
Reviewed by Jessica Pearson