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‘Born to be Wild’ at IndyFringe

August 20, 2012

Born to be Wild at IndyFringe

IndyFringe is back for its 8th season.  It’s a great event for Indianapolis and the Mass Ave. corridor and one of many examples of how progressive this city is as it continues to develop its credibility as a place for the arts and cultural events.  Yes, Indianapolis is not just a sports town.

One of the greatest aspects of IndyFringe is that it offers such a vast amount of theatrical diversity.  There is truly something for everyone.  From burlesque to magic, one man/woman shows to ensembles, and adult content to family fair, IndyFringe has something you’ll like on one of the seven downtown stages.  And if you don’t like the show you chose, don’t worry, it will be over in about an hour and you can cleanse your dramatic palette with something more delectable.

As I scanned the catalog of shows, I was in the mood for something tame, so I chose to see Born to be Wild.  And it did not disappoint as a show that was suitable for all ages.

Born to be Wild by Bryan Starchman is a series of sketches featuring possible interactions among animals.  Each sketch offers a little insight into what cats say to dogs, spiders to flies, or female praying mantises to their doomed counterpart.  While the concept is not particularly innovative (the personification of animals), the performance is still entertaining thanks to the actors embracing their animal characters with enthusiasm and filling the small stage at Theatre on the Square with energy.

Like many Fringe shows, I knew very little about my selection, which is why the warning labels and descriptions for all the shows are very important.  Born to be Wild was labeled as a family friendly comedy, so I felt safe in  making that my choice.  When I read the warning which said, “You may laugh yourself to death!” I was ready for the life threatening challenge.  Of course, the use us such hyperbole may be counteractive to the desired result because creating such high humor expectations will most likely lead to disappointment.  And considering that I am now writing this post, I did not, “laugh myself to death.”  For this show, I would suggest labeling the warning as “amuse yourself to somewhere not remotely near death” because I did find it amusing and occasionally laughed out loud.  However, at no point during the show was my life in danger. Better yet, I would suggest keeping the warning within the animal theme such as, “You’ll laugh so hard, you’ll embarrass hyenas,” or “May cause snort inducing laughter.”

If you’re looking for a fun and simple laugh that won’t offend any of your senses, then Born to be Wild is a great choice.  There was nothing offensive about the show, yet there was also nothing cutting edge either.  It was just straight forward theater.  I give it two and a half oinks.


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