Dirty Barbie: Happy Preview Day One

Ray says… Good day one preview.

Well, we were working the Royal Mile, papering the house a bit, when we got a phone call from the Press Office that the Scotsman (the top newspaper in Scotland) wanted to send a reviewer today.  Dee and I thought we should say yes, even though we hadn’t had time for a run in tech (long repair on damaged projector — damn you Air France.)

At bottom of page, another delightful surprise.  (fringe top tips)

And the show when great.  Dee Dee was a pro from day one.  And we were just over half full, including a man who graduated from UVA some 25 years ago (and his family).  So here’s a bit of the excitement after a successful, out of the gates running, first preview:

Oh, so and then, someone on the street tells us that Dirty Barbie was a top pick of the Daily Record — maybe the top pick. Read the article here:

So, see it was a good day.

Five More Shows: Theatre at Traverse

Well, we just wrapped the Charlottesville shows – and each one was Sold Out.

Dee Dee, Chris Baumer, and I spent Sunday morning cleaning out the theatre, reception room, and rooftop patio at Live Art where last night we hosted a very special night — made even lovelier by Kathy Doby and all her wonderful catering vision.   If you missed it, you missed it.

Any way….

The next chance to see Dirty Barbie before Scotland is in NYC at the 59E59 East to Edinburgh festival.

This is part of a festival that only features show that are confirmed to go to Edinburgh.

  • $15 (59E59 MEMBERS $10.50)
  • July 10, 11, 12, 14 at 9

Now, let’s take a look a what The Traverse Theatre has on in August in Edinburgh.  Why focus on one theatre.  Well, the Traverse Theatre, a permanent Edinburgh theatre, has proven over the years to be the best collection of Theatre.  See, there are many categories of performance at the Fringe: Theatre, Comedy, Physical Theatre, Musical, Solo, Verbatim, etc.  And for really good theatre, a great place to start is The Traverse Theatre:


This is the tale of Jonah, Sophie, and a fox called Scruffilitis. It’s a love story. A dysfunctional, voyeuristic and darkly funny love story, but a love story all the same. A new play by Bruntwood Playwriting Prize winner Phil Porter, Blink is an exciting collaboration between Soho Theatre – London’s most vibrant venue for new writing, comedy and cabaret – and internationally acclaimed, Fringe First winners Nabokov.

As of 1.52pm GMT on Friday April 27th 2012, This Show Has No Title.

Another Show by Daniel Kitson?  I know, you know, but he’s just a lovely story teller/performer/comedian, so maybe I have a little crush, but I bet the show will be worth putting on your list.


A stunt so dangerous Houdini refused to attempt it, the Bullet Catch has claimed the lives of at least 12 illusionists, assistants and spectators since its conception in 1613. Now, with a little help from his audience, modern-day marvel William Wonder presents a unique theatrical magic show featuring storytelling, mind reading, levitation, games of chance and, if you’re brave enough to stay for it, the most notorious finale in show business. ‘Profound … hugely entertaining.’ **** (Herald). **** (Scotsman).


One of the great things about the Fringe is the overwhelming abundance of World Premieres.Here’s one from Lyric in London:The end of summer. Two friends about to go their separate ways. But they will always share that one moment. A moment changed them forever.

The world premier of a dark new coming of age play by acclaimed playwright Simon Stephens (Pornography, Sea Wall, Punk Rock); Lyric Hammersmith Artistic Director Sean Holmes (the Olivier award winning Blasted, Saved, Ghost Stories) and performed by the Lyric Young Company.


Good title, nice image and the description of this show from Belgium contains a reference to “Barbies.”

 In Once And For All, she burned Barbie dolls and analysed what others were thinking. In Teenage Riot she gave tips to become like a bag of bones and looked at adults as caged animals. Koba Ryckewaert is now eighteen and she knows all sorts of things are wrong in the world. She just needs to get a grip on them. She’s better at writing than at talking, so she draws. On the floor. Starting with herself. No lover, so: Lonely. Loneliness brings boredom. Being bored can be solved with money, e.g. for a better computer. But the money’s not there: mother unemployed, due to: economic crisis. And what could she do to resolve it? Neither everything, nor nothing. In All That Is Wrong, Koba faces things alone. But she makes choices. Only to stick to them.

Wellllll….. there’s 5 more to see at the Festival.   But the best thing to do is go to the site, go grab a Fringe Guide, page through and take a chance on something that to you looks good.

Getting ready, getting excited,


Five More Shows to See

Hiya again, Ray here.

One of the best things about this wonderful festival we are going to in August, The Edinburgh Festival Fringe, AKA THE FRINGE, is that over 2000 shows play each and every day.  The shows are from all over the world.  Therefore it is a chance to take a chance on shows you’ve never seen before and likely will never have a chance to see anywhere else.

Here’s five I know nothing, or very little, about; have not seen before, but am willing to take a chance on this August.
First, as a regular beet, I’ll tell you where you can next see:
DIRTY BARBIE AND OTHER GIRLHOOD TALES — which is this week at Live Arts.

Live Arts Theatre, Charlottesville, VA

Dirty Barbie and other girlhood tales

Live Arts, Charlottesville Virginia
123 East Water Street
June 20-23: 8PM
And there are still tickets available for the super, fancy pants, benefit — the way to see the show, have free drinks, have it catered, have a dance party and see for the first time, 20 minutes of new work by the creator/performer of Dirty Barbie, Dee Dee Stewart.
So, now five more to take a calculated risk on at THE FRINGE:


Hi Kick from Korean at the Fringe

From Korea.  But tell me this, when is the next time you get to see a comedy dance troupe from Korea?   Never.

So, I’d say this by the mere fact of wow, I’ll never have another chance to see comedy dancers and football (soccer) on the same stage — and have the troupe be from Korea — that this is one thing worth the time and the pounds (dollars).
And speaking of dance/physical theatre…

Africa Calling

Africa Calling at the Edinburgh FringeI didn’t get a a chance to take a chance on this troupe last year — they sold out their shows before I could get a ticket. This show says, “The grassroots are back following the success of their sell-out show at the Fringe 2011. Traditional Zimbabwean dance, music, rhythm and song – the greetings reaffirming friendship and warmth of community. In Africa everyone is almost related to someone, and meeting family is a cause for celebration! Grassroots brings a vibrant fusion of irresistible movement and beautiful melodies, giving a life-enhancing experience of the culture and exuberance of Zimbabwe. Grassroots is a theatre-for-development company from Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, specializing in using dance, drama and music for positive change, aiming to reduce poverty through education.”
So while I’m dancing….


Cadillac from Poland at the Edinburgh FringeFrom Poland.  Which I have a soft spot for, having great-grandparents from the motherland, and having never seen a bad show at the Fringe that was from Poland.  I don’t think this will be the first.
Read about it: “The performance is a lottery show, similar to the Wheel Of Fortune, where you can win the main prize. The rules are simple – everyone who buys a ticket and takes part in the lottery has a chance to win the Cadillac. Is this a fair game? Would you ask such questions when there is a priceless and attractive Cadillac within your grasp? Cadillac is a performance about the blind lust for wealth, love, power and other attributes associated with happiness. A work about the ‘money-grabbers’ who know how to generate this demand and use it to serve their own purposes.”
Maybe next week I’ll feature all shows from/about Poland. But for now let’s stick with dance/physical theatre….

Hang Man

Hangman at the Edinburgh Festival FringeI saw these cats in 2007 on the recommendation of John Gibson, a Fringe/Theatre guru.  This may be my first choice for dance/physical theatre since I was blown away by their performance then.
“The legendary Do-Theatre, one of the most influential experimental theatre companies to emerge from post-Communist Russia, returns with one of the must see Fringe First winners from 2007. Hangman is a game and the personage in one. A trinity of the damned – the blind, deaf and dumb – performs a dance macabre of crime and punishment where the roles of victim and executioner are constantly swapped. It’s a fusion of theatrical and dance form, combines elements from the Theatre of the Absurd and contemporary dance. The naivety of clown farce is enriched by the charming use of Black Humour.”
Well, one last recommendation today, and that leaves dance and goes to puppetry.

Sammy J and Randy — The Inheritance.

Sammy J and Randy with the Inheritance at the FringeThese two have become over the years, Fringe perennial favorites.   Funny irreverent multi media ventriloquism.
“Now, a brand new adventure from everyone’s favourite multi award-winning, toe-tapping, song-singing, Hep-C-riddled duo! When Randy discovers he is heir to an enormous fortune, he seeks to reclaim his rightful throne. Will Sammy J stand in his way? Probably. Winners of Best Show at the Melbourne Comedy Festival. Creators of the 2011 Fringe hit Ricketts Lane. ‘The best skinny-man purple puppet double act in the world right now’ (FringeReview.co.uk). ‘Sammy J and Heath McIvor are fiendishly talented writers and performers’ (Scotsman)”
Well, that’s 5.  A few chances.  A few promises.  Check them out.  Of course after scheduling your trip to see Dirty Barbie at Assembly Hall.
More choice choices next week.

What to See When Your Seeing Shows


This is Ray here, and I want to start telling you about some great shows to see (5 shows at a time – other than, of course the show you must see, Dirty Barbie) as we work our way through the summer toward August in Edinburgh.

Amy Smackhouse - SuperClaw

Well, wait, not 5 shows: 6 shows, and a fundraiser.  Because before you do anything else, you need to buy a ticket to the First Ever Nation Ladies Arm Wrestling Championship:  SUPER CLAW.  It all started here in Charlottesville, Jennifer Hoyt Tidwell and a cast of crazy, talented, artistic, community leading women.


Well, first, I know that not everyone can make it to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe – the worlds largest theatre festival with over 22-Hundred shows to see each day.
Selection can be tough; opportunity cost can be high.  So, why not catch Dirty Barbie as she prepares to go to Scotland.   Next lucky dates/times/places are:

Live Arts Theatre, Charlottesville, VA

Dirty Barbie and other girlhood tales

Live Arts, Charlottesville Virginia
123 East Water Street
June 20-23: 8PM

Well, while we’re on Live Arts, here’s other show number 1 to check out:

Jane Scatena and Strickly Taboo

1. Jane Scatena and the Big Band, Strictly Taboo

What’s great about this show?  Well, Jane and the Band to name two.  Jane played Drowsy, in the Virginia premiere of The Drowsy Chaperon and was fantastic.   Her big band swings like mad cats.  AND, with your ticket you get a FREE Swing Dance Lesson from the best Swing Dance Teacher in Charlottesville, Kristin Wenger.  Just go to the link above for more info.
OK on to the Fringe.

Camille O'Sullivan, Fringe 2012

2. Camille O’Sullivan: Channeling

I have seen Camille the past three years at the Fringe and she is fantastic.  Last year she was performing right beside us.  (Of course we were in one of the smallest theatres and she was in one of the biggest).  Camille brings a sultry vampy Kurt Weil meets Kurt Cobain energy to her show.  She’s a wonderful singer who turns it, and the audience, on.

Daniel Kitson3. Daniel Kitson: Where Once Was Wonder by Daniel-Kitson

Daniel Kitson is likely one of the best writer/story tellers of our generation.   I have seen his new show yet, but you know I will.  He’s a stand up comedian, yes.  He’s a man of passion, yes.  He’s got life’s big picture and life’s small nuance, yes.   In each of his previous shows I have laughed out load with the entire audience and left truly move by his words.
Speaking of Laughing, you want to laugh?

Jason Byrne - People's Puppeteer4. Jason Byrne: People’s Puppeteer

Jason Byrne is an Irish comedian who I have only seen live twice.  He packs the house – often very big houses – and somehow manages to make the audience feel at home, like it’s just a small show in your living room.  He’s funny, cause he talking to a new group each night.  Promise you laugh.
And why not stick with funny men who handle themselves on stage so professionally.

Jimmy Carr5. Jimmy Carr: Gagging Order

Jimmy looks and acts like a complete gentleman, and he has also told the most offensive joke in history.  You’ll have to Google it to find out, unless they have removed it.  He’s funny, and if you’re from England you know, but if like me you’re from America, you likely haven’t heard of him.  Well, it’s a Google world, so find out for your self and go see Jimmy.
Well, there are shows to see.  5 more next Sunday.  And, even though I love comedy, and Denise’s show is very funny.  Next week: Something different.
See you in the theatre.

Three Weeks Loves Cry of the Mountain

Three Weeks is a key source for honest theatre reviews from the Fringe. They gave Cry of the Mountain, the top rating of 5 stars. And, the reviewer came to the show twice.

Here’s the link:  http://www.threeweeks.co.uk/article/ed2011-theatre-review-cry-of-the-mountain-whole-theatre/

Here’s the review:

Sunday August 14th, 2011 22:34

ED2011 Theatre Review: Cry of the Mountain (Whole Theatre)

Three Weeks - The biggest reviewer at the Edinburgh Festival
Three Weeks - The biggest reviewer at the Edinburgh Festival

The mountains of Appalachia are vanishing into rubble. Adelind Horan brilliantly takes the stories of twelve real people whose lives have in some way been affected by mountaintop removal mining, and turns it into a mesmerisingly emotional piece of theatre.

Slipping effortlessly from one character to the next, Horan unveils a story of exploitation and political frustration that is breathlessly moving in its intensity. Her portrayal of Ed Wiley, a former miner turned activist, brings tears to her own eyes as well as those of the audience and it is heartbreakingly beautiful to watch the power of his story take hold of her with such passion.

‘Cry of the Mountain’ is an unmissable piece of theatre.

Pleasance Courtyard, 3 – 28 Aug, 2.15pm (3.15pm), £7.00 – £8.00, fpp251.
tw rating 5/5

Sections: by Samuel Johnston – ED2011 Theatre Reviews – tw rating 5/5



And just for fun, for those of you not on facebook, here’s Max and Lydia, pickin’ and a flyerin’ in the Courtyard before the show.


The Scotsman Loves Cry of the Mountain

Yesterday, we were delighted by a 4 star review from The Scotsman, the most reliable reveiw source, and the national paper of Scotland.  The review is linked and pasted below.  The print version listed Cry of the Mountain as a “Hot Show!”

As you will read, the show, Addie, Max, and even the cookies got a rave review.

Thanks so much, again for making this happen…


Cry of the Mountain Press Photo 001
Picture used in Scotsman review - 4 Star Review.

Theatre review: Cry of the Mountain


By David Pollock
Published: 12/8/2011
Edinburgh Festival Fringe


A DEFIANTLY low-key affair, this one-woman, multi-character verbatim piece is a textbook example of both educating without preaching and of keeping an audience absolutely gripped with just one voice onstage.

The excellent Adelind Horan speaks the words of a procession of real people from the mountains of West Virginia and Kentucky, each of them on either side of the live debate about the mining practice of mountain-top removal.

The piece has been beautifully structured, offering a dozen vignettes taken from interviews with each of the people involved. These monologues convey the original conversations with apparently documentary precision, recreating stutters, hesitations and, at one bewildering point, a man’s panicked fear that a poisonous spider has crawled inside his shirt. Horan’s impersonations are unstinting, with forthright young women, beleagured middle-aged men and wise, sad old timers, all finding themselves perfectly inhabited.

These testimonies combine empathy with balance. Ed Wiley, an ex-miner and campaigner who remembers pumping waste into underground caverns, almost breaks down with guilt when recalling his granddaughter’s illness through water contamination. Matt Landon, a volunteer organiser with United Mountain Defense, remembers what he considers his politically motivated arrest for passing an unstaffed checkpoint on a public road. Yet coal industry administrator Don Gibson points out that coal provides the majority of America’s energy needs, and that he would rather see his son go into the industry than be sent to the Middle East to fight for oil.

It all adds up to an unfailingly human portrait of the situation, punctuated by moments of crystalline emotional resonance: actress Stephanie Pistello’s description of seeing a mountain top sheared off with dynamite to claw out the coal within; housewife and retired sociologist Lynda Ewan handing out home-baked cookies (they’re very tasty) and considering that mankind’s survival might be dependent on the grassroots tendency towards democracy being stronger than that towards fascism; elderly “keeper of the mountains” Larry Gibson declaring bravely that “they gon’ get you anyway if you don’t fight back”. Soundtracked by Max Wareham’s rich live banjo playing, this wonderful and often amusing show recasts the “gap-toothed and dehumanised” stereotype of the Appalachians as a vibrant community of historic conflict and change, and an important environmental battleground on America’s doorstep.


First Day in Edinburgh

Well, we made it….

Yes, one lost bag but that was mainly the fault of JFK Airport and a day later (later that day) it was delivered to our door stop.

Addie on the Royal Mile Day One
Addie on the Royal Mile Day One

We stopped by our leasing agents friend’s art gallery to pick up the keys and made our way to our flat.

Which was nice.

And then we took a walk around Edinburgh until we were beyond tired.  I mean really tired.

Tire, but yes, we are here at the world largest theatre festival.


One Week to Edinburgh

Well, on Saturday, July 30th, we pack up our Appalachian show and take it to the world’s largest theatre festival.  And If the results are anything like the reviews of our 5 show run at the Capital Fringe Festival, we’ll be in Scottish Heaven.

Addie in the Capital Fringe Tent.  Photo by Bud Branch.
Addie in the Capital Fringe Tent. Photo by Bud Branch.

Let me post our reviews here so you can read them if you’d like:

All good.

And we closed the cap fest night on a very hot night in July, with a very hot show, and a very well deserved standing ovation for Addie (and Bud).

Thanks to all who came.

Go to the Capital Fringe.  www.captitalfringe.org

The you take the high road and I’ll take the low road….