Sunday, July 24, 2016

Tracy dares Tony: see this ONE play at Fringe/Just Off Broadway: Phil Kinen's BEEN FINN, The story of Huckleberry Finn at age 50 meeting his bastard son

I challenge Tony to change his mind.  Fringe Festival, thru July 31, makes a terrific 'staycation'.  For $10 a ticket, (the cost of one great New York City bagel), I'm staying home and spending now thru Sunday July 31 seeing GREAT theatre in a truly great theatre town: KC.

Tony has just poopooed Fringe in the past because he saw the wrong, weaker shows.  Whereas I've invested five hours just researching your options.   This year's 108 choices include many biographies.

 Huck Finn if he were 50 meeting his bastard son.  (There is a great swordfight.)  Annie Oakley, Crazy Horse--and two one acts by Tennessee Williams.  Plus the standing-ovation receiving "Mama's Boy"--at Fishtank--the true story of Blake Friis and his mother's suicide--by a charming, talented and wise comic writer with impeccable timing and great heart.
This show is brilliant.... playwright Phil Kinen has woven in a Jungian interpretation of Huckleberry Finn...the Puer Aeternus boy who never grows up.  And when you see these two characters each do their transformations in personality it is remarkable, believable and breathtaking!

Greg Butell and Jake Leet deliver performances good enough to go straight to Broadway.  Trust me, Butell will have to fend off mega-star actors like Hugh Jackman who would covet the role Kinen wrote and Butell has created.  And Jake Leet is so perfect that he inspired Kinen to complete THIS play out of his series of five Huckleberry Finn plays just so he could co-star in it.  The Johnson County Library is so keen on these plays they pay Kinen a stipend to do monthly updated readings.  This is a big deal.  We've never had a local playwright be so supported.

Read the attached notes, and go see Been Finn.

So far, and this is early in the 11 day Fringe Festival 2016 season, 
Phil Kinen's Been Finn is the best show I've seen yet 
out of six of the 13 tickets I've purchased.  I also screened 30 teaser performances.  Email me for the rest of my picks.

Been Finn performances thru July 30, 2016:
Monday 8 p.m.; Wednesday 6:30 p.m.; Friday 11 p.m; Saturday 4:30 p.m.
And it may win a bonus performance Sunday July 31.  Check the web site.
Note!  Just Off Broadway Theater is at 3015 Penn Valley Drive--but you cannot get there direcly from 31st St.unless you rapell down the cliff.  ou must come in via Wyandotte.  
Either take 31st to Main south by the car dealership at 32nd to Wyandotte.
Or, from the south, via Linwood to Wyandotte.  Then it's behind the orange barricade!!!  But worth it.

Tickets available at the door. 
They do have snacks and they sell drinks.
Tickets are $10...available at the door since it is a large won't be sold out.
But you must have a current 2016 Fringe button: this costs $5 so if it's your first or only Fringe Festival event you have to buy the $5 button as well.  But then you can use it for other great $10 performances and "Fringe" coffeehouse benefits throughout the year.

You may also buy tix, or print out the tix you bought online, in the lower level of Union Station.  Warning, the arrogant dummies at the station turned off the 3 story escalator "to save utilities".  There is a very hidden elevator. Park in Union Station's front elliptical circle and pretend to go to the Post Office, so you don't have to pay $5 just to park and run in to print out tix. Don't get me started.

--Tracy Thomas
Former intern, National Endowment for the Arts; former art tzar of KCMO; and Doubleday co-author.

1 comment:

  1. Tony - if perchance you would be interested in seeing this, let me know. Phil Kinen


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