Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Fringe: Velvet Scratch: Voyage of No Return

Photo/Evangelos Koulouris

The Nightmare Before Christmas's Halloween Town seemed like a "cheerie" place to stay, but the Velvet Town of Velvet Scratch: Voyage of No Return is a dreary deathtrap. Margot (Anastasi Revi), the cackling narrator of these unhappily ever afters, sets up each scene, and her cohorts, Laura Morgan and Alexandra Dyranis-Mounis, enact the gruesome effects. Some of these are derivative, like Edward Gorey hosting The Twilight Zone: a ballet dancer chops off her toes so that her feet will fit into some new slippers; an avid reader breaks her only pair of glasses while trying to reach the beautiful books on the top shelf of the library. But when Revi sticks to the fantastic, the show picks up: a cannibalistic cook transforms her doting sister into a bed and sleeps on her; her sister, so happy to finally be useful to her sister, hugs her . . . to death. The show is unfortunately a mixed bag, more tricks than treats, and the redundancy of Revi's thick foreign accent drag down the light nuances of the pantomime that would show us the beatific beneath all that is bestial. On a scale from 1 to 5, with 1 being "A very slow death" and 5 being "Dead is the new alive," Velvet Scratch: Voyage of No Return gets a 2.

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