Expect the unexpected when going to see, An Evening with Alli Jordan, at The Fishtank Theater during the Kansas City Fringe Festival in a show produced by Heidi Van and directed by Bryan Moses.
Unlike most Fringe shows, An Evening with Alli Jordan, is more of a play reading session with the author present. Her show, An Evening with Alli Jordan, started in a summer series of playwrights having a script in hand reading of their work in front of an audience. This allowed the playwright to hear his or her words, watch the audiences reach actions, and then listen to audience comments and feedback after each performance.
As playwright Alli Jordan said, the play she chose was a work in progress and is still in progress until it reaches a final polished state where it can be performed in different venues. An evening with Alli Jordan created a line for tickets far exceeding the capacity of The Fishtank for its initial performance at 10:30 PM. Probably 20 or more persons were not able to secure seats. The show obviously creates attention and draws crowds wanting to experience this event.
“It was the scariest and most artistically invigorating 35 minutes of my career,” Bryan Moses, director, said of the piece.
Playwright Alli Jordan said at the beginning that audience reaction is the most important part of the evening for her. It helps her to understand how the words work and how audiences will respond, and after all, she said, every play is about audience appreciation.
Jordan said her play continues to change, and she said good plays change even after they are considered finished and produced. Such is her approach to An Evening with Alli Jordan, and the plays she chooses to present.
For the initial performance, Jordan chose to short pieces, that featured her as the narrator and also The Fishtank summer interns taking on parts in the play reading. Due to a time conflict, one scheduled actor could not attend the performance, so at the last minute, a replacement stepped in to read the fresh, unknown piece brought by Jordan.
Most of the pieces presented in a Fringe Festival are edgy. So too, Jordan’s piece can push the boundaries. Be aware of this and know that the show contains adult content and strong adult language. The show is not appropriate for children or persons with a narrow mind.
The best theater entertains the audience, makes the audience think, and makes the audience learn something. A great piece does all three. An good piece fulfills two. An average piece does one of the three. An evening with Alli Jordan fulfills all three of the necessary elements of a successful production.
Yes, you will laugh. Yes, you will be asked to think. And yes, you will be surprised and you will learn something.
Tickets for remaining shows will be a hot commodity, so persons interested are encouraged to go online to purchase at kcfringe.org. Three shows remain and the line for the first performance at 10:30 on a Monday indicate the popularity of the show.