FRINGE REVIEW: Show Must Go On Is Must See

BY AARON STELLA FRINGE CORRESPONDENT The stage is dark. Two soundtracks have played their course, and still no sign of the dancers. Finally, in the middle of the third song, the lights flicker on, and the dancers, who look quite pedestrian, saunter on stage and are met with thunderous applause. What!?! They haven’t even done anything—wait, I’m applauding too—and now they’re just staring at us. What’s going on? Why is the audience having such a grand old time? Hmm. Now the fourth song has switched on: it’s “I like to move it. Move it.” After the first showmustgoon.jpg“Move it!” the dancers, broke into a frenzy, each performing a single repetitive motion —let’s just say that (ahem) they weren’t all dance moves: one girl was jiggling one of her breasts to the beat; another guy, simulates masturbation (inside his pants); one shimmy-shook her hips; and the list gets zanier from there on. The audience is in absolute stitches; and even more madcap performances are yet to come. But in the duration, what seemed to be the point, if you will, of Jerome Bel’s The Show Must Go On, is when the house lights cut, and John Lennon’s “Imagine” began playing over the speakers. Silence and darkness, at first—then, the glow of a cell phone light began to wave above its owners head; then another; and another; until the whole house was lit with imposter Zippo lighters brandished in the dark. Once the song concluded, the audience broke out into yet another round of applause. Social commentary, or audience etiquette experiments perhaps? Well, whatever it was, it worked like a charm. Bel’s seems to be asking what is the relationship between the audience and their entertainers, and, is there really much difference between them at all? I’m not one for superlatives, but I have to say that this is the best fringe show I’ve seen the whole festival.

What’s Good: The dancers; the music; the staring; the Fringe crowds (LOVE em’!).

What’s Bad: If anything, you have to have some patience and faith in the first 15 minutes of the show. But trust me, the pay off is sweet.


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