The Austin Chronicle

Singled Out

Eight solo performances to watch out for in FronteraFest 2012

By Dan Solomon, January 13, 2012, Arts

Historically, solo performances have accounted for many of FronteraFest's most outstanding works. Here are eight of this year's offerings that may well make history. All Long Fringe performances (LF) are at the Blue Theatre, 916 Springdale, and Salvage Vanguard Theater, 2803 Manor Rd. All Short Fringe performances (SF) are at Hyde Park Theatre, 511 W. 43rd. For more information, visit

1) "Sunset" by April Matthis and Elizabeth Doss (SF) Tuesday, Jan. 17

Playwright Doss (Hillcountry Underbelly) takes the experimental aspect of FronteraFest to heart with her re-creation of Matthis' 2000 solo piece. Doss pays tribute to Matthis paying tribute to Bryan Ferry – what else is the Short Fringe for?

2) Drawing a Paycheck by Annie La Ganga (LF, Blue) Thursday, Jan. 26, 7pm; Saturday, Jan. 28, 5pm; Monday, Jan. 30, 7:30pm; Thursday, Feb. 2, 8:45pm

Comedian and storyteller La Ganga (see "Alone in the Lab") sketches and paints portraits of her audience while improvising stories about the things she's done to pay her rent as an artist.

3) Don't Go in the House by Lowell Bartholomee and Dan Dietz (The Dirigo Group) (LF, Salvage) Friday, Jan. 27, 7pm; Sunday, Jan. 29, 4:45pm; Monday, Jan. 30, 7:30pm; Thursday, Feb. 2, 8:30pm

Playwright-actor Bartholomee (Blah Blah Blah) presents three short plays, including a revival of the 2011 Best of the Fest piece, "They're Coming To Get You!," starring Robert Fisher, along with Deitz's Heideman Award-winning "Lobster Boy," performed by Chronicle Arts Editor Robert Faires.

4) "The Ex-Girlfriend Show" by Keith Ruckus (SF) Friday, Feb. 3

A spoken-word poetry piece titled "The Ex-Girlfriend Show" proclaiming its focus on failed relationships doesn't sound great on paper, but Ruckus, the vice slam master of the Austin Poetry Slam, should bring a sense of humor to the endeavor.

5) "Idol Worship" by Joe Hartman (SF) Friday, Feb. 3

Singer and actor Hartman (MilkMilkLemonade) promises "a hilarious look at divas and the gays who love 'em" in a piece that pays tribute to the fabulous trifecta of Carol Burnett, Judy Garland, and Miss Piggy.

6) "Fundamental Principles of Immanual Kant's 'A Metaphysic of Morals'" by Hank Schwemmer (SF) Tuesday, Feb. 7

Schwemmer has a strong track record of offering clever monologues and scripted pieces with polysyllabic titles in the Short Fringe, and this time, he'll bridge the divide between the philosophical and the socially acceptable.

7) "Lovely Lincoln Lumps: The Story of Slutty Abraham Lincoln" by Stefany Wood (SF) Wednesday, Feb. 8

Expect to see a beard, a stovepipe hat, and a corset as comedian Wood's Black Eyed Peas-baiting Short Fringe piece finds her exploring the friskier side of the Great Emancipator.

8) "Ben Prager" by Ben Prager (SF) Friday, Feb. 10

Once more into the FronteraFest breach, Prager (see "Alone in the Lab") is back with a Short Fringe performance that includes "a mix of me talking, then going into character."

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