The end is in sight for my Fringe Odyssey: Twenty-three plays down, seven to go. Here’s hoping the final seven are more like the dreamy Waltz than the incomprehensible Bud Hunter!
In order to give you a taste of how bad Bud Hunter: Not Plugged In actually is, I’ve decided to write this review in the talk show style of the show, with me in the role of the stuffed lion—-yes, stuffed lion—-that does the interviewing.
Me (crackly and pre-recorded): So Bud, what makes you return to the Fringe after receiving lukewarm reviews for your last show and crushing reviews for your 2007 show?
Bud (mumbling from back stage): Well, I love attention, especially if it’s negative. I only charge three bucks so (The pre-recorded voice cuts him off, as it does over and over throughout the “interview”.)
Me: Three bucks and forty-five precious minutes. The price is too high for this crap,
Bud (mumbles incoherently for a moment): Well, the audience is trapped here now. I can ramble on at will. I do not need to make sense. I am (Bud mistimes his speech again. The interviewer cuts him off.)
Me: I’ll stay to the bitter end, because I’m polite, but if I had any guts at all, I’d walk out on you. Maybe if I stick this pencil in my eye, I’ll be distracted from your drivel. Ya, sounds like a plan…
One of the exciting things about the Fringe is that it can be an introduction to unfamiliar actors, playwrights and plays. Waltz No. 6 is a work by celebrated Brazilian playwright Nelson Rodrigues who described his own writings as “theatre of the unpleasant” because it so often dealt with insanity, murder and unsavoury sexual situations. While all these themes are touched on in Waltz, the play is more mysterious than horrific. Sarah Vanasse is riveting as a young girl who finds herself alone in unknown place with only scattered memories from her past. As she relates what she remembers of her story, she becomes her younger, more innocent self, her repressed mother, her domineering father, the creepy Dr. Junqueira and the mysterious Paulo. The girl is haunted by Chopin’s playful Waltz No. 6, and the reason is revealed in the dramatic conclusion of the play.