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Hollywood Fringe 2014 experience Day Seven (part two)

Jesus H is a remarkable gem at the Hollywood Fringe Festival
Jesus H is a remarkable gem at the Hollywood Fringe Festivalwww.hollywoodfringe.org, used by permission

You can find part one here.

My third show of my final day was the lovely Jesus H in the Elephant Studio at the Theatre Asylum. It is another wonderful gem that hasn't gotten a lot of attention, but is not to be missed!

Mariah Freda is in many ways your typical Italian Catholic American who just happens to be from Jersey. Her faith is very important to her, and she has 12 years of parochial school to strengthen those values. She is awesome scared to death of flying. So imagine her horror when these two elements collide when she is stuck on a six hour, cross country flight with a Jehovah's Witness seated next to her.

Freda is a gifted storyteller. She plays the story in such a way that you feel like you are right there with her. The result is a hilarious and heartfelt story that many of us can relate to. Her story jumps back and forth between the flight, her conversation with her seatmate, her family and her faith. At times it was impossible to stop laughing at her ordeal.

Freda had the entire audience in the palm of her hand, and made each of us feel like she was having a private conversation with her. She is a dynamic actress and a welcome addition to this year's Fringe. Hopefully she will return again next year with another equally enjoyable show.

She only has one remaining performance on the last day of the Fringe, June 29 at 5:30 p.m. I highly recommend this show.

Last but not least for my 2014 Fringe experience was the latest offering from Brandon Baruch, No Homo - A Bromatic Tragedy. I thought it was even better than last year's offering, Me Love Me, and like that show, this one is headed to the New York International Fringe Festival later this summer.

I had not been to the Schkapf Theatre since it was Artworks. The venue looks great, and still retains all the magic that made Artworks a great venue.

No Homo tells the story of best friends and roommates Ash (played by Jonny Rodgers) and Luke (played by Benjamin Durham). They have been best friends since college and everyone thinks they are a couple. They vehemently deny the rumour and claim to be straight - but are they?

Elizabeth Ellison plays Luke's girlfriend Babette. AJ Jones plays Ash's brother Serge. Henry McMillan plays Serge's boyfriend Kris, and Lizzie Adelman plays Luke's sister Chrissy.

The show is wonderfully written by Baruch and masterfully directed by Jessica Hanna. The incredible set was designed by David Offner.

This is an incredible ensemble effort that pays remarkable dividends. The plot has more twists and turns than an Alfred Hitchcock thriller. The entire audience was on the edge of their seats with anticipation of what would happen next. The bottom line was that we were thoroughly entertained by this show. It ran for 90 minutes but it was so much fun that the time simply flew by.

If you have ever questioned your sexuality, or just like to stir things up, you will get a kick out of this production. The remaining performances are June 23 at 7:30 p.m., June 26 at 6 p.m. and June 29 at 3 p.m. After word gets out about the show, it will probably sell out. If you don't want to miss out on this amazing show, get your tickets as soon as possible.

I am so glad that I was able to break away from planning for the ZooTown Fringe in Missoula, Montana on August 13-17 to be able to come down to Hollywood for the Fringe. I simply cannot imagine going without this event, which gives me wonderful memories for the 11 months I have to wait until the next one. I also cannot imagine not having the chance to reconnect with all the friends I have made during five years of the Fringe. Each of you make me proud that I know you. Cannot wait until next year (or maybe August?) to see you all again.

If any of these great acts want to come share your vision with the people of Missoula, please check out the website at www.zootownfringe.org. Registration deadline is July 15.