On the second day of the 2008 Indianapolis Fringe Festival, after I had blogged about the previous day’s shows, I drove back downtown for a marathon day of show-seeing. I planned to see and write about seven shows on Saturday.
On the way from my parking spot to the theatre, I ran into actor Dane Rogers and director Ty Stover. They were “carding” pedestrians with postcards about Stover’s Fringe show, “The Time Machine.” Rogers is helping him set up and tear down for each performance. (Each show has less than 30 minutes in which to do this!)
Rogers told me that he had seen Jared Sherlock’s show in the Fringe Next portion of the festival two years ago. Fringe Next is a selection of shows created and produced by young (high school and college) artists. Rogers said he had enjoyed Sherlock’s show because “he is very genuine.”
We had both seen Sherlock’s preview snippet of his new, “main Fringe” show at the opening night preview party this past Thursday night. I fell in love with Sherlock’s arms then (more about these in a moment) and decided his show was a must-see for me.
Sherlock is very genuine, very wholesome, but with a dash of unexpected, maybe usually forbidden, special treat. When one of his tricks involved chocolate milk I thought, “That’s it! He is the chocolate milk of magicians!”
His showmanship and magic techniques are flawless, but the most appealing element of his show is his down-to-earth, trust-generating rapport with his all-ages audience. This is a completely family-friendly show that adults on their own will enjoy, too.
The second most appealing element of his show is the behind-the-scenes look at how TV magicians catch bullets in their teeth. For this trick, he is joined by his “techies,” Patrick Vollmer and John Pittman. They are all dressed in black, as if they have been running things back stage. In real life, they are pals of his from high school who now work as improv actors at the ComedySportz Arena down the street. “They are my inspiration!” Sherlock told me after the show.
When the two actors and Sherlock and a volunteer from the audience show in slow motion how the bullet trick “really” works, it is pee-your-pants funny. Seriously: get ready to clench.
But I also loved The Arms. Sherlock tells how he got stopped by police at the airport for carrying arms. Then he pulls out two long, wooden arms with gloved hands on the ends and holds them so that they appear to be his own. His story grows more and more visually hilarious as he tells it.
And then he pulls out a third arm and begins to juggle them.
Hope Baugh – www.IndyTheatreHabit.com