Fringe review: Friendly Fire: The Art And Execution Of Friendship


FRIENDLY FIRE: THE ART AND EXECUTION OF FRIENDSHIP by the company (The League of Extraordinary People on The Gender Spectrum/Fringe). At The Robert Gill Theatre. July 6 at 1 pm, July 8 at 4:15 pm, July 10 at 7:45 pm, July 11 at 10:45 pm, July 12 at 2:45 pm, July 14 at 4 pm. See listing. Rating: NNN

This large sketch ensemble (10 performers, three more contributing writers and one onstage musical director, the talented Nicolle Byblow) has assembled a revue revolving nominally around concepts of friendship, and where lines blur between friends. This may have to do with sex and boundaries (a Grindr meet, a cottage weekend with different expectations), or fidelity (a man is visited by the “ghosts” of friends he’s bailed on, an under-performing witch points out her barriers to success to other coven members).

It’s a serviceable theme that doesn’t seem to have spurred the writers towards especially pointed critique or absurd concepts. Many of the sketches lack strong punch lines or twists, and director Kyle Dooley’s running order needs shuffling. Devan Islas and Cam Parkes are paired together in two sketches separated by just one, for example.

There are clear highlights, including a “buds for hire” infomercial featuring Kyah Green and Stephanie Malek. The latter performer also scores in a celebrity sing-off against Jenny Pullon, who boosted a sketch about group sex by committing to the bit. But it’s telling that the best line of the night came from an audience member who responded to Rob Michaels‘ attempt at fishing for compliments by saying, “you seem just like a real person.”




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