By Kelly Luck
Fans of Forrest Attaway’s Fringe offerings were surprised this weekend when the first two performances of “Outta Beer and Outta Hell”, the long-awaited sequel to his “Outta Beer and Outta Space,” were cancelled with no explanation. Tonight, however, the show went on, with the explanation that he had lost his cast and, scrambling to put something together, and created a sort of hybrid show to make up for it. This we got the first taste of tonight.
In short, it consists of two parts: the first is an abbreviated version of the first play, done with (of all things) puppets. Then, an improv group, who has been watching along with the audience, comes on to the stage and performs their idea of how the sequel should go. The result is interesting to say the least.
The first part is pretty chaotic, but amusing. Attaway’s material still holds up even in this abbreviated form. The puppets (syncing to a recording of the performance) actually work pretty well with the script, and blend in with the whole madcap feel of the production. The second part is shorter, and follows standard improv structures. How you feel about it will more or less depend on your attitude toward improvisation. We understand he intends to have different troupes for each of the remaining performances.
Forrest Attaway has over the years garnered a reputation for always surprising people with his Fringe offerings, and this year is definitely no exception. Indeed, it is fair to say he’s as surprised as the rest of us. Still, things like this are all part of the glorious chaos that is Fringe.