BY LINDSAY HARRIS-FRIEL FRINGE CORRESPONDENT FATEBOOK: Avoiding Catastrophe One Party at a Time is a party and a show and a maze and a puzzle. Be prepared to walk. New Paradise Laboratories has created a show that forces you to negotiate plot as you negotiate space. As you travel the maze of projection screens, you follow different characters in an attempt to solve a murder mystery. Or maybe you’re witnessing a theft, participating in a drug deal, or a story of ideal romantic love. You’ll notice yourself multi-tasking and processing text and images as one, listening for sounds you hadn’t noticed before, talking with the characters as you go. This beautiful, energetic young cast communicates physically and virtually, on Facebook and Twitter, not only during the performances but also around it. This ensemble fits together like stitches in a perfectly-knit sweater, complementing, strengthening and softening each other. Neither the characters nor their missions make the show but how we pay attention and what we take for granted that drives this remarkable conception. The images and actors are distracting as precious gems, but watch the structure and keep your eyes tuned to the shadows and corners. Eventually, the show goes from virtual reality to frightening, heartbreaking realism, and what you can see on the screens will leave you dissatisfied with your own eyes. You might not be satisfied with electronic media ever again. Click HERE for show schedule.

FRINGE PREVIEW: Tongue & Groove 

tongue.jpgBY LINDSAY HARRIS-FRIEL FRINGE CORRESPONDENT Picasso said that art is the lie that tells the truth. Tongue and Groove is the troupe of actors who take the things you lie about and spins them into art.This group of acting veterans makes spontaneously created theatre out of the audience’s secrets, very anonymously jotted on 3×5 cards before the performance begins. Sounds suspiciously like a support group’s role-playing game, or, more frightening still, improv? Let Bobbi Block and her crew steer you straight. Though it’s true that the action and dialogue are spontaneously created onstage, this carefully crafted procedure will explode your expectations about what improvisation can be. Block has assembled a cabal of performers who, yes, are funny, and masters of timing, but they dig deep into human behavior and motivation. You’ll see more of human experience, raw, painful, smart, sharp and beautiful, than you will in an entire year of reality television. The structure is a delicious interlocking puzzle of near-chaos that will delight even those with OCD. And you’ll laugh till you get a head rush. Performances are at The PlayGround at The Adrienne, 2030 Sansom Street. Tickets are $10 at the door, or order online at See it on the following dates and times:

Tongue & Groove Spontaneous Theater from Fred Andersen on Vimeo.

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