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Eleven days! Fifty-five shows! 

Day 1 of my Atlantic Fringe binge

click to enlarge Roller derby takes Nancy Kenny from zero to hero - RICHARD GILMORE
  • Roller derby takes Nancy Kenny from zero to hero
  • Richard Gilmore

It's here! It's here! (I'm excited. Can you tell?)

The 23rd annual Atlantic Fringe Festival opened its doors (Its many, many doors. There are 11 venues, doncha know.) last night, and I eased into my fifty-five play odyssey by knocking just one off my list.

You heard me correctly. I'm attempting to see, review and judge all of this year's offerings.

Crazy? Yes! Exciting? Yes! But when you consider the hundreds upon hundreds on man-hours that Festival Director Thom Fitzgerald, the board of directors and the dozens of volunteers have put into making this festival fly, my fringe binge effort pales by comparison.

The chair of the Atlantic Fringe, Kevin Kindred, mapped out a schedule for the festival judges on his aptly-dubbed "white board of doom". The schedule, my guiding light for the next eleven days, directed me to the Museum of Natural History for last night's offering:

Roller Derby Saved My Soul
by Nancy Kenny

The comparative ease of mounting one-man shows makes them a staple at fringe festivals. And frankly, without a powerful hook, a show can begin to blur into a mass of other somewhat self-indulgent soul-barings.

Well, Roller Derby Saved My Soul has a great hook.

Amy is a thirty-year-old under-achiever, obsessed with Buffy and stuck in a dead-end job. Her life takes a turn for the better when she stumbles (ha!) into the world of roller derby.

It's the roller derby angle that makes this show stand out. Actor/writer Nancy Kenny manages to pack a lot of information on its mechanics into the show in a perfectly natural way. I came out with a new-found admiration for a sport that I'd never even considered as a sport.

There are gentle laughs throughout the show, and over-all message about female empowerment and acceptance that spoke to me.

Definitely the perfect show for launching anyone's fringe journey.

Museum of Natural History, 60 minutes, $10

August 30 @ 8:15 PM
August 31 @ 7:10 PM
September 1 @ 9:30 PM
September 2 @ 7:00 PM
September 5 @ 8:15 PM
September 6 @ 7:00 PM
September 7 @ 3:00 PM
September 8 @ 3:00 PM


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