FRINGE 2022 DAY 5: MeSSeS and Wuthering
Posted On June 10, 2022
By Liz Eichler
MeSSeS by Janoah…any good jokes?
This show will make you smile. Janoah is sweet and childlike, sharing his prodigious skills with a unicycle, juggling, and balance. But there is more. He shares some life observations, which may make you think differently about the learning process, and how important it is to develop ambidexterity. You’ll see the 8-year old in all of us trying to clean up a room, but not in an “adult” straight-forward way, but in a way that shows some brains work differently.
See this if you want to learn to juggle scarves and get some life lessons on the way.
Wuthering:A Musical on the Moors by Hannah Gregory and Caitlin McWethy: Highly Recommended
This is a show that has some legs and I would love to see where it can go.
Based on the gothic novel “Wuthering Heights” by Emily Bronte, it is set in the late 1700’s, and is the story of a number of complicated unlikeable characters. Heathcliff is an orphan with a dark side, found then raised in Wuthering Heights, a lonely house on the moor. He is befriended and loved by the wild Cathy, and they grow up together in the lonely house. He knows he can never marry her due to his low social standing, so he goes away, makes his fortune and returns to see Cathy married to a neighbor, so he vindictively marries the neighbor’s sister. All remain unhappy.
This moody musical with book, music and lyrics by Hannah Gregory, compacts the story in the style of “Spring Awakening.” Maddie Vaughn’s Cathy is appealing and interesting, well matched with Ryan-Chavez Richmond’s strong Heathcliff. Vaughn has an amazing voice and we feel her passion, frustration, and anger, especially as she sings the refrain “take my hand.” Patrick Earl Phillips is an appropriate Edgar. Ellyn Broderick is an amusing Isabella. Phillips and Broderick are part of the four-piece musical ensemble led by Cary Davenport which also includes Carroll Wallace on viola.
Another thing that sets this apart is the direction by Caitlin WcWethy and the clever use of minimal scenery. There is a sophistication and attention to every movement. Fight Direction (Patrick Earl Phillips) and Intimacy (Angelique Archer) add richness. You notice the tenderness in Cathy and Heathcliff’s touch which makes you care about their relationship.
Not perfect, the show is hobbled by sound balance/mic issues which make the first two songs the least effective. But like Cathy, recovers, so you’ll ultimately see the show is intriguing, well performed, a bit creepy, but with great potential that you’d like to see it rise again.