Theater Review: Antarctica and Beware of Plastics at Out of the Loop Fringe Festival

Location

OOTL @ WaterTower Theatre 15650 Addison Rd. Addison, TX 75001

Antarctica.

Billed as an “absurdist fairy tale on growing up,” Brooklyn-based  Carolyn Raship’s quick and quick-witted play concerns two teenage insta-besties who go on what can only be a magic mushroom-induced vision quest to Antarctica. The duo set out to become the first American girls to reach the South Pole, but just as in life, there is much that can happen along the way to separate a pair of girlhood soul mates. Like talking, geographically-displaced polar bears and a sort of Frog Prince scenario.

Magda (Jessica Cavanaugh) and Winnie (Marianne Galloway, Risk Theater Initiative’s artistic director, who also directs) complement each other—Magda is measured, precocious, and determined, while Winnie is flighty and prone to both spastic nosebleeds and distraction.

When the polar bear wanders into their lives with a warning and also a strange proposition, Magda and Winnie make the choice that alters their future and their adventure.

Galloway has an expressive face and snappy comedic timing, and the spare set, classic ’90s pop soundtrack, and tongue-in-cheek signage keep things moving at an amusing clip—the production is 45 minutes with no intermission. Both artists look like they’re having a great time. Perhaps it’s the return of RTI after a six year producing hiatus. If so, the play’s message is a fitting one: you grow up, grow apart, and occasionally, come back together again. It might not be the same. It might even be better.

See it? Yes.

Studio Theatre, repeats Mar. 14, 7:30 p.m. and Mar. 16, 5 p.m.

Beware of Plastics.

It’s difficult to critique this one, considering it’s a loosely-linked series of monologues written and performed by the seven young ladies in the show using only folding chairs and their own expressive selves. It’s a lot to do with celebrating uniqueness, eschewing labels, and seeking inner beauty—very nice, positive, occasionally Jesus-inclined sentiments steeped that might resonate with fellow tweens and teens. Congrats to these ladies for telling their stories. And for maybe having watched Mean Girls, even though Tina Fey’s seminal cautionary tale came out more than 10 years ago.

See it? If you have a teenage girl. Or are one. Or really want to relive what that’s like.

Stone Cottage, repeats Mar. 8,  8:00 pm and Mar. 9, 5:00 pm.

Robert’s Eternal Goldfish.

Speaking of stories, here’s a funny story about this play, put on by Audacity Theatre Lab. Thought we had a 15 minute intermission. Returned eight minutes later (I timed myself on my phone, in case you’re wondering). Door was shut, show was in progress. It’s too bad, really, because I mostly hate fish and I was looking forward to having some sort of epiphany.

See it? Heck if I know.

Stone Cottage. Repeats Mar. 8,  8:00 pm and Mar. 9, 5:00 pm.