From a Georgia childhood to Venice, California, Jim Loucks brings his knack for good ol' southern storytelling to Houston Fringe Fest with The Biscuiteater, September 7 and September 9.
From a Georgia childhood to Venice, California, Jim Loucks brings his knack for good ol' southern storytelling to Houston Fringe Fest with The Biscuiteater, September 7 and September 9.
Photo by Rich Prugh

Art Meets Alt at Houston Fringe Fest, Now Celebrating Its Tenth Year

It takes guts, charisma and unbridled talent to stand on a stage, alone in the spotlight, and hold audience members' rapt attention. This year's Houston Fringe Festival, now celebrating its tenth year, delivers more than a few of these one-man (or one-woman) performance pieces.

Houston theater veteran Brooke Baumer, now a West Coast gal, has found humor in motherhood; Southern boy at heart Jim Loucks draws on the characters from his Georgia childhood to tell a dark story of a small-town policeman in search of redemption; and Leesa Castaneda delivers the story of Yolanda, a fierce Latina, as she endures the ravages of Alzheimer's.

With an eye towards events in Washington, Ada Cheng explores the themes of identity, the institutionalization of aliens and the meaning of home in Not Quite: Asian American By Law, Asian Woman By Desire; while black feminist Texan Andrea Baldwin discusses race, gender and regional discourse in Lonestar Feminist.

Dance junkies will want to catch performances by jhon r. stronks, The Pilot Dance Project, the experimental choreography of The Lucky Penny in fails, and several Houston-area dance-makers. Daniela Antelo and Brenda Cruz-Wolf move through 90-yard pieces of pink fabric in what's being described as a dance-for-film titled Better on the Outside.

No festival would be complete without music, and this year's iteration includes singer, songwriter and percussionist Vivalda Dula as she fuses the culture and spirit of her native Angola; as well as alternative country singer songwriter Ryan Adam Wells with his road-tripping musical adventure, The 500 List. More somber subjects form the framework for Crawling With Monsters Now, a multimedia documentary about war-torn Reynosa, Mexico that is accompanied by live music, videos, images and other projections.

Tuesday, September 5:
7 p.m., Unforgotten, Becoming and Adura (dance and performance)
7:30 p.m. Lonestar Feminist (performance)
8:30 p.m., Remembering the Missing and Better on the Outside (choreography; dance for film)

Wednesday, September 6:
6:30 p.m., BEAUTY: A Glimpse of the Creation, Fall, and Redemption of Man (modern dance)
7 p.m., Not Quite: Asian American By Law, Asian Woman By Desire (one woman theater performance)
8 p.m., Crawling With Monsters Now (documentary performance piece)
8:30 p.m., The 500 List (music)
9:30 p.m., Sweet T: The Physical Album (dance)

Thursday, September 7:
5 p.m., BEAUTY: A Glimpse of the Creation, Fall, and Redemption of Man (modern dance)
6:30 p.m., Sweet T: The Physical Album (dance)
6:30 p.m., fails (experimental dance)
8 p.m., The Biscuiteater (one man theater performance)
8 p.m., Bonito es Mexico (ballet folklórico)
9:30 p.m., Not Quite: Asian American By Law, Asian Woman By Desire (one woman theater performance)

Singer, songwriter and percussionist Vivalda Dula presents a concert of original work in An Angola Adventure With Vivalda Dula, September 8-9.
Singer, songwriter and percussionist Vivalda Dula presents a concert of original work in An Angola Adventure With Vivalda Dula, September 8-9.
Photo courtesy of Houston Fringe Festival

Friday, September 8:
7:30 p.m., Vesper and Other Dances (dance)
8 p.m., October Baby (one woman theater performance)
8 p.m., An Angola Adventure With Vivalda Dula (music)
9 p.m., Crawling With Monsters Now (documentary performance piece)
9:30 p.m., Heavens Mr. Darcy!: Improvised Erotic Jane Austin (improvisational theater)

Saturday, September 9:
3 p.m., fails (experimental dance)
4:30 p.m., Heavens Mr. Darcy!: Improvised Erotic Jane Austin (improvisational theater)
6 p.m., The Biscuiteater (one man theater performance)
7:30 p.m., La Reina Yolanda (performance)
9 p.m., An Angola Adventure With Vivalda Dula (music)

The Pilot Dance Project presents Vesper and Other Dances during the Houston Fringe Festival, September 8 and 10.
The Pilot Dance Project presents Vesper and Other Dances during the Houston Fringe Festival, September 8 and 10.
Photo courtesy of Houston Fringe Festival

Sunday, September 10:
2 p.m., Unforgotten, Becoming and Adura (dance and performance)
3 p.m. Lonestar Feminist (performance)
3:30 p.m., Remembering the Missing and Better on the Outside (choreography; dance for film)
4:30 p.m., La Reina Yolanda (performance)
5 p.m., Vesper and Other Dances (dance)
6 p.m., October Baby (one woman theater performance)
6:30 p.m., Bonito es Mexico (ballet folklórico)
8:30 p.m., The 500 List (music)
8 p.m., Anything Goes (performance, ten minutes or less)

All performances are held September 5-10 at The MATCH, 3400 Main, 713-521-4533, matchouston.org or houstonfringefestival.org. $10 to $90.

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