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Hollywood Fringe 2014 experience Day Five (part one)

The True Life Adventures of Barbie and GI Joe is the latest from the mind and experiences of Bill Ratner
The True Life Adventures of Barbie and GI Joe is the latest from the mind and experiences of Bill Ratner, used by permission

My fifth day at the Hollywood Fringe Festival began and ended with a lot of fun at Fringe Central. In between I attended an opening night performance of a Fringe veteran, watched a hilarious retelling of a classic story, and was reminded that even someone who routinely sits idly by and doesn't stop an injustice can be pushed to the breaking point.

After another great Fringeship session with Ezra Buzzington and others at Fringe Central, Ezra and I headed across the street to the Complex Theatres for the opening night performance of Bill Ratner's latest Fringe endeavor, The True Life Adventures of Barbie and GI Joe.

I have been a fan of Ratner since I first met him three years ago. He has been a voice over artist for 45 years and his past two offerings at Fringe have been smashing successes. Obviously, I had high hopes and expectations for his latest production. Sadly, it did not deliver.

Ratner is a true storyteller and is at his best when he is delivering a monologue. Unfortunately, he is not an actor in the traditional sense. The performance was rough, and I don't feel it was entirely due to opening night jitters.

While Ratner's performance was rough, the performance of his co-star, Clay Wilcox was simply dreadful. Wilcox could not remember his lines, and looked out of place on the stage. For that part, Ratner also had problems with his lines, and therein lies the dilemma. Ratner is at his peak when he is simply telling a story. It looked like having to remember "lines," hitting his marks and waiting for another person to deliver their lines took a toll on what was an interesting storyline. Hopefully having opening night behind him will allow the real Bill Ratner to rise to the surface and slay it. I wish I could come back later in the run to check it out.

In the meantime, Ratner's show is worth checking out. His remaining performances are June 19, 20, 25, 26 and 27 at 7:30 p.m. and June 21 and 28 at 9:15 p.m.

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