Hollywood Fringe Festival 2012: 'Fool for Love' and 'Lost Moon Radio'

During our latest trip to the Hollywood Fringe Festival, we took in a couple shows that deal with the sort of weirdness that only happens late at night. Lost Moon Radio, a comedy, and Fool for Love, a dramatic unthinkable love story, certainly sit at the far ends of the theatrical spectrum from one another, but yet, they both capture that warming, nocturnal adrenaline rush of eccentricity that seems to only make it self known during the shortened nights of summertime.

Lost Moon Radio
After an award winning stint at the 2011 Hollywood Fringe, Lost Moon Radio is back again with Lost Moon Radio: Episode 12. The large ensemble of musicians and actors breeze through quirky comedic sketches unified and presented as tracks on Jupiter Jack's overnight radio show. The comedic writing swings from being absolutely brilliant, to kind of typical, to utterly icky (as is the case with their antebellum calypso bit), but the cast executes the production so well that is it hard not to love the Lost Moon Radio folks. The performers stylishly execute the pseudo radio show with an endearing local slant and perfect, engaged comedic timing that it utterly energizing. We think we'll be laughing at Dan Oster's performance as a texting, bad-ass cowboy for years to come.

Lost Moon Radio is playing at Open Fist Theatre through June 23 as part of the Hollywood Fringe Festival. Tickets are $13 and available online.

Fool for Love
Playwright Sam Shepard is no stranger in Hollywood. His dark, salt-of-the-earth motifs regularly grace our theatrical stages and his works have even found their way onto the silver screen. Vespertine Productions has brought Shepard's Fool for Love to Hollywood Fringe, but with an experimental twist — the role of the ghostly Old Man (played by Ed Beardsley) is cast not with a live performer, but by a projected image that the rest of the live cast interacts with.

Fool for Love depicts May and Eddie, an estranged couple with a disturbing back story. When May and Eddie meet again one night in a cheap motel room, their encounter is fraught with violence, yelling, drunken outbursts, jealousy, and an inability to overcome a taboo romantic relationship as freaked-out innocent bystander Martin gets roped into their uncomfortable mess.

The cast members of Fool for Love — Chelsea Reynolds (May), Jordan Randall (Martin), and Casey Campbell (Eddie) — are capable, effective, and fluidly directed by Melody Rahbari. Campbell gives an impassioned, standout performance where he fully infuses his role with vulnerable machismo, uncertainty, and imposing frankness. Rahbari's direction captures multitudes of interpersonal nuance that gives the production a familiar, realistic quality. Beardsley injects the Old Man role with pretentious liveliness that sits in stark contrast with his ghostly, lost-grip paternal role. The costuming, set design, and lighting elements come together beautifully to foster that special down-home ethereal quality that is so prevalent in Shepard's work.

Fool for Love is playing at Open Space through June 23 as part of the Hollywood Fringe Festival. Tickets are $15 and available online.

Tickets, packages, schedules, and show information for all Hollywood Fringe Festival 2012 productions are available online.