Don’t be fooled – Chart Toppers of 1349! is not what you think it is going to be. While this humble reviewer cannot really know what you, the potential audience member, is thinking- rest assured, you are probably wrong.
Chart Toppers of 1349! is Tim Ereneta, a California based storyteller. No technical elements to speak of , no set besides a ladder back chair and a human skull – just Mr. Ereneta in a primary colored velvet jerkin. And he told us stories – stories about princes and kings, wizards in iron castles, a woman who marries a snake, and a giant turnip. These stories are framed by the fictional “ Annual Story Tellers Conference of 1349”, and while many of the evening’s laughs came from these segues and transitions, it is in the stories themselves that Ereneta really shines. Some of the stories- especially the shorter ones – fall flat or don’t seem to end, but Ereneta is always engaging and a few of the longer stories are very compelling.
Chart Toppers of 1349! is interesting, fun, and I have certainly never seen anything like it at Fringe. However, it’s not for everyone; Ereneta is really just a storyteller telling folk tales, which is great if that is your particular cup of tea. I can say (and I do mean this as a compliment) that I feel as if I have been to the best school assembly of my entire life.
See It: You are in the mood to try something new. You love humor about the plague and the papacy.
Skip It: You want to see a “ real play”. You insist on spectacle, multiple actors, and plot.
Chart Toppers of 1349
Written and performed by Tim Ereneta
Reviewed by Jessica Pearson
Running time: 1 hour
Read all the reviews and check out the full Capital Fringe schedule here.
Did you see the show? What did you think?