1 RAW IMAGINATION
Drawing on the darkly comical energy of Tim Burton's 1997 book of illustrated verse by the same title, Oyster Boy makes its stateside debut at the San Diego Fringe Festival from Friday, July 5, through Sunday, July 7.
The London-based Haste Theatre brings this oddly provocative set of tales to life through storytelling, live music, puppetry and clown performance. The world of Oyster Boy promises a stylized landscape of melancholic emotions twisted with humor.
"Oyster Boy is primarily a story about love, but also about rejection and difference," said troupe member Elly Beaman-Brinklow, via e-mail. "Although we create a bizarre and surreal world, brought to life through physical storytelling and a few choice props, the heart of it is touching and human."
The story, set in 1950s America, pulls aesthetically from a wide variety of influences, including David Lynch's 1980 film The Elephant Man, the photos of Diane Arbus and barbershop-quartet music.
The members of the young, international, six-woman troupe—Beaman-Brinklow, Sophie Grace Taylor, Anna Plasberg-Hill, Jesse Dupré, Elena Costanzi and Valeria Compagnoni—all recently graduated from a master's program in physical theatre at St. Mary's University College, Twickenham in London. The group has dates set in Europe and the United States.
"San Diego has a great artistic vibe, which we are excited to be involved in," Beaman-Brinklow said. "Everyone we have met so far has been very supportive and welcoming. The Fringe Festival is a great platform to show our work and to see how it is received by an American audience. We are really looking forward to meeting and exchanging with a wide range of other artists."
Performances will be held at Space 4 Art (325 15th St. in East Village) on an outdoor stage at 6:30 p.m. Friday July 5; 9:30 p.m. Saturday, July 6; and 5 p.m. Sunday, July 7. sdfringe.org, hastetheatre.wordpress.com
2 IT DOESN'T MATTER
"What's the point?" seems to be the mating call of disaffected youth. Despite an apathetic title, artist Morgan Manduley hopes to spark some interest with The Futility of Trying, his first solo art exhibition opening at 6 p.m. Saturday, July 6, at Helmuth Projects (1827 Fifth Ave., Downtown). The show will feature paintings, video, sculptures and objects that cynically depict the false hope clung to by those trying to make it in this harsh world. Find a job? Good luck, hipster scum. One of Manduley's plaid-flannel shirts, for instance, serves as a canvas. Written across it in bleach is the phrase "Gone Fishin." That attitude and ironic sense of hopelessness will be pervasive. Have some drinks and commiserate. It'll be on view through July 24. helmuth-projects.com
3 DANCE EVOLUTION
The title's intriguing enough: Si Soy de Aca y no Me Gusta el Tomate (translation: Yes, I'm from there, and I don't like tomatoes). The description for Lux Boreal's Fringe Festival performance at the 10th Avenue Theatre (930 10th Ave., Downtown) is equally provocative: It's a "metaphor for and an expression of our identities; our self exposure in a One-Way society and our drive to experiment, break and evolve the perception of the norm." The Tijuana-based dance company's been getting international attention for its edgy, multilayered performances that poke at the part of your brain that loves trying to make sense of things. Check them out at one of three performances: 2 p.m. Friday, July 5; 11 a.m. Saturday, July 6; and 8 p.m. Sunday, July 7. $10. sdfringe.org, luxboreal.org