The Gypsy and the General

Here’s a production that absolutely delivers on the promise of its show description – a “physically daring ensemble-created show” – in spades. It has singing and dancing. It has falls and leaps and rolls. It has a catchy soundtrack and countless object manipulations.

Some of these are very cool, and very tightly-plotted: others feel aimless, emerging from nothing and dissolving into nothing. There were at least a few sequences where I was watching objects moving through space and had no sense what was going on. They’re all unquestionably physically impressive, and it feels a bit churlish to pick apart a performance that’s working so aggressively to entertain you.

Some people are going to call this a masterpiece, and I don’t think that it is: there’s really not much more to it than a kind of generalized ridicule of militarism, a sort of live-action political cartoon. But it has the frenetic, kinetic energy of a cartoon; it turns around and continually surprises you; there are several moments that merited gasps and applause. It’s very possibly the most consistently entertaining hour in the Fringe, and that’s not nothing.

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