Like me, you may enjoy watching young people have fun. There’s your one reason to see Hello, You Assholes!.
You may also like for theatre to “make sense” or have a “point.” This is not a reason to see Hello, You Assholes.
A vibrant young cast emerges from all sides of The Shop at Fort Fringe, erupting in a campy march to welcome the audience to their show. “Hello, You Assholes,” they belt. I feel welcome.
Next, we have “Picture Me,” a lovelorn Southern-rock ballad starring Joshua McCreary as a small-time rocker whose girlfriend left him for a clown. “If you can’t picture me as your lover,” he croons, “picture me as your clown.” I feel laughter.
The subsequent numbers are mostly country-western songs, with the occasional intrusion of early 60s doo-wop. I feel confused. Nothing about the dialogue, set, costumes, nor playbill indicates that I have signed on for a country-western musical. Occasionally, I feel like line dancing. But mostly I feel confused.
I enjoy watching the lively young cast of Hello, You Assholes! frolic around the black box, having a good time. The actors are present, playful, and energetic. At times, these kids are veritably adorable.
Hello, You Assholes!
by Dan Sperling
at Fort Fringe – The Shop
607 New York Ave NW
Washington, DC, 20001
Details and tickets
A few of them can sing. Ruthie Rado is arresting and loveable as the kooky girl Wanda, whose favorite hobbies are crouching and flicking her tongue like a snake. Collin Riley charms us with his inexhaustible smile as a Footloose-esque guy who would always “rather be dancin'”. Cathryn Benson’s direction and Tracey Warr’s choreography engages every cranny, platform, and pole of The Shop.
Hello, You Assholes! is a self-referential, meta-theatrical, non-linear, hallucinatory/night-marish, non-sensical musical. The book is peppered with some charming dialogue, but is (deliberately?) void of plot. The musical is structureless, erratic and more than a bit too long, but the cast is always smiling and always moving.
If you like happy young people, country-western line dances, and being confused… Hello, You Assholes! may be just the Fringe show for you.