Flashlight Cabaret - KC Fringe Festival
Reviewed By Dan Mroz
“Flashlight Cabaret” is a collection of unrelated short performances of music, standup comedy and spoken word performed by local and out-of-town Fringe artists. A Fringe circuit favorite but for the first time in Kansas City, all performance lighting is achieved by audience use of the flashlight app on their phones. This provides an interactive experience and nice ambience.
The night’s entertainment began slowly with the “emcee” providing a standup routine to warm up the crowd. Ryan Wells (“Beers about Songs”) exhibited his versatile improv capabilities and energized the crowd with a well received-group therapy song that this reviewer will call the “F##k You Song:” an audience member would call out a subject/name/etc. meriting a "F##k You," to which the audience resoundingly responded in kind. Other show highlights included: a deep dive into the lyrical meaning of the Beetle’s “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer;” a crowd participation skit about “pegging;” a song from a dog’s perspective about losing the owner’s heart when a partner moves in (standout performance); and, a “poet” asking questions not ever previously before asked (audience participation).
A couple of the nine acts fell comparatively a short but overall the performances were solid and audience participation and appreciation was high. Ryan Hall closed the evening with a robustly sung tribute song to the out-of-town Fringe performers. This late-night event, with some adult content and a relaxed atmosphere, offered one or more home runs hit during the night for the late-night Fringe community.