Luv Doc Recommends: FronteraFest Short Fringe “Best of the Week”

Hyde Park Theatre, Saturday, January 22, 2005

“If thine eye offend thee, pluck it out.” No, that’s not some deranged, sadistic Old Testament rant, but a paraphrase (what else could it be, really?) straight out the relatively light reading of the New Testament – from of the Gospels of Matt and Mark, respectively. It’s a wonderful thing that it is generally assumed Jesus spoke in parables, or there would be millions of red staters sporting empty eye sockets after last year’s Super Bowl halftime show. Now that would truly be the health care crisis the Democrats were mewling about in the last election. “I’m sorry Mr. Biblethumper, but it appears your HMO doesn’t cover vision care. The good news – the Gospel, if you will – is that you have a good chance of entering the Kingdom of Heaven because hell appears to be chock-full of evil, detached eyeballs.” If only Janet Jackson’s pierced nipple weren’t just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. There is so much to be offended by these days it’s hard to know where to begin: low-rise jeans? NBA scuffles? Porn spam? Botox injections? Scott Peterson? The Swan? George W.’s inability to pronounce the word “nuclear”? As Ashlee Simpson, Kid Rock, and Paris and Nicole have proven unequivocally, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. It’s also safe to say that America – maybe even Western civilization in general – is no longer easily amused. Maybe we’re sinking into the same sort of existential ennui and cultural degeneracy that led our European forebears to invent things like shuttlecock, Riverdancing, and gerbiling (if you’re easily offended, don’t look that last one up). Fortunately, we are all endowed with an impressive tool that allows us to assimilate and segregate the ever-increasing shitstorm of stimuli raining down on us every day: the brain. Of course, the slackers and simpletons will always choose the easy course and recoil from life’s brilliant complexity, but those with the sense to evolve embrace it. This Saturday, you can embrace some of life’s brilliant complexity at Hyde Park Theatre’s annual FronteraFest Short Fringe “Best of the Week” show. The FronteraFest Short Fringe is a competition of (sometimes mercifully) short theatrical pieces (plays, comedy, dance, multimedia) no more than 25 minutes in length. The “Best of the Week” show features the standout performances chosen from the previous week. Traditionally FronteraFest is the grist from which some of Austin’s finer theatrical pieces are milled. As an active participant in Austin’s cultural evolution, you should be there to grind it, but if thine eye offend thee, by all means, just close the lid.

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