One Girl, Two Cities

Fringe Review: Ray Bradbury’s Kaleidescope

kaleidescope minnesota fringe festival

A meteor has shattered your rocket leaving your final tie to humanity as the radio signals you send and receive while falling through space. What would you remember? What would you say? Would it be enough?

Admittedly, I added Ray Bradbury’s Kaleidescope by Wayward Theatre to my Fringe schedule because of convenience. I was already planning to be in Uptown for a couple other shows, and this one sounded “okay” to me. That being said, I’m so glad I saw this piece.

Kaleidescope starts off with a little humor which is long forgotten by the end. After a poetic roll call, a meteor strikes the astronauts’ shuttle and they each go hurling apart in space. It’s a large cast for Huge’s tiny little stage, so I appreciate that Wayward keeps things basic with minimal set and intelligent use of lighting as they simulate the collision.

Once the crew scatters, the lights go out, and they each have 2 small LED lights to illuminate their faces so all you pretty much see are floating heads on stage. This effect serves well to allow you to picture each of them alone in the vastness of outer space.

As you can imagine, the intensity of the story grows rather quickly as we experience each person’s attempt to comprehend their imminent death.

Now take a moment to think about how you might react in this situation.

Each member of the cast responds so differently, but it’s also how I feel one person would react as they process what’s about to happen. The freak out. Coping through humor. Recalling happy memories with loved ones. Philosophizing what life really means. Denial. Acceptance.

Kaleidescope packs a lot of story into 50 minutes (although funnily enough a couple scenes feel a little too drawn out), and with all the craziness that’s going on in the world right now, it’s a good reminder to take time to consider what really matters in life. When you’re coming to your end, what did your life mean?

*Note that there is some strobe light use during this show. I didn’t find it bothersome (nothing shines directly into your face), but a fellow audience member felt otherwise.

The Minnesota Fringe Festival runs August 4-14, 2016 in Minneapolis. See Ray Bradbury’s Kaleidescope by Wayward Theatre Company August 5, 7 ,8, 11 and 13 at HUGE. Click here to purchase tickets.

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