Woody vs. Mia vs. Gwyneth vs. Coldplay

There’s a moment in this show when Daniel Glenn, as Woody Allen, tries some “new jokes” by using a box-cutter as an imaginary microphone. If only the entire show was as sharp as that prop.

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There’s a moment in this show when Daniel Glenn, as Woody Allen, tries some “new jokes” by using a box-cutter as an imaginary microphone. If only the entire show was as sharp as that prop.It’s not a bad show, but I’m not sure it’s a relevant one. Focusing on the relationships between Woody Allen and Mia Farrow and Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin, the lead singer of Coldplay, the piece feels dated. The production is scripted, but sprinkled throughout are improv games that the actors play with one another — with little explanation. There’s also little audience participation during these segments, but on opening night there were only about 14 people watching. Perhaps with more attendance there will be more interaction. The show would probably benefit.Glenn plays Allen as a sexually frustrated maniac, while Jamie Agnello portrays Farrow as a sympathetic nut. She keeps relapsing from polio and is filled with bitter rage, yet tries to be the sweetheart remembered from her films. The problem, though, is that very few in the Fringe target demographic are going to recall Farrow’s movies. Audience members around me seemed confused and uncomfortable.The highlight of the show is the performance of Devon Hales as the self-indulgent Paltrow. Her comic timing and acutely engaged portrayal of the famous movie star is inspired at times. It’s also quite vulgar. In fact, so is much of the show. It’s rated PG-13 by the Fringe producers, but that seems quite generous given how many mentions of sex acts, body parts and graphic toilet humor are present. It’s very adult.There’s a strange technical element where Kendal Lotze, who looks nothing like Chris Martin, appears on a video screen and interacts with the cast. It’s hard to hear and confusing, especially given that Lotze walks onstage moments later. The sound system in the venue (Coffee Emporium) muffled some of the announcements, making the show difficult to understand at first. The overall conceptual elements need more explanation, but that would put the run time over its allotted 60 minutes.Woody vs. Mia vs. Gwyneth vs. Coldplay does feature some really interesting performances and very funny lines. With better energy in the room, the improv aspect could be tons of fun. But I just didn’t get it.

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