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Crime and Punishment
Live Action Set has constructed far and away the most intricate and multifaceted show in many years of the Fringe. This is really an art installation in the basement of the Soap Factory. It’s a village with dirty corners, tawdry dancers, shabby homes and an ominous interrogation room. If you squint in the darkness (behind the plastic mask each audience member must wear) you can catch a fleeting glimpse of the story, but this experience is all about atmosphere and actors mixing in with patrons. It’s cool, but after half an hour, you feel you’ve seen it all.
(8:30 & 10 p.m. Sat., 8:30 p.m. Sun., 8:30 p.m. Thu., 8:30 & 10 p.m. Fri., 8:30 & 10 p.m. Sat., Soap Factory, 514 2nd St. SE)
This series of vignettes performed by four inexplicably barefoot actors is self-indulgent theater at its most annoying. Inspired by the psychological after-effects of a harrowing real-life car accident experienced by co-writer and cast member Sara Pillatzki-Warzeha, the sketches depict problems ranging from minor (being taller than all the other girls) to major (infertility, a classmate’s suicide). But getting all shouty and histrionic where subtlety is called for is the shortest route to audience alienation. The basic rule for compelling performance is the same as for writing: Show, don’t tell. And put some shoes on.
(10 p.m. Sun., 8:30 p.m. Tue., 5:30 p.m. Fri., 7 p.m. next Sun.; Rarig Arena, 330 21st Av. S.)