Fringe Review: The Crack Rock Opera
In 2012 I named Danny Feedback's Crack Rock Opera the “Worst, Worst, Worst Anything Anywhere Anytime” that I'd seen on stage (and yes, I've seen Spider-Man: Turn Out The Dark). So I was understandably apprehensive about returning to the re-mounted show at Fringe; after all, at least the production I saw at the Parliament House allowed you to order alcohol during the show. As it turns out, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the show has been given a radical overhaul for this incarnation. It may never rise to the level of “good,” but this makeover elevated it from “utterly abominable” up to “intermittently interesting among the awfulness.”
This version of The Crack Rock Opera appears to actually be a prequel to the show I saw previously. Danielle Feedback desperately wants to have a baby, but her paralyzing fear of fellatio (known as “Lovelace Syndrome”) is getting in the way. Aided by a Yiddish hot dog psychiatrist (he got his degree in phallic Rorschach from “Hebrew National University”) and a Reno 911-reject cop, Danielle is finally impregnated during a game of dirty Twister by a time-traveling hermaphrodite with a neon dildo, who knocks her up while getting her hooked on “jenkem,” a halucinagenic made from fermented shit. For the grand finale, Danielle finally gives birth to a werewolf, a frankfurter, and an infant with an enormous penis which she immediately sticks in her mouth. And, scene.
In the plus column, Evan Shafran's art direction has an appealingly amateurish “avant-garbage” circa 1986 aesthetic, and the dialogue includes a few clever single-entendre quips (“You don't have a cervix.”/”I have a colon.”/”More like a semi colon!”) and obscene puns: wait until you see the “kitty porn.” (Or don't.) Sadly, the music seems to have taken a big step backwards, as the drugged-out Floydian songs I semi-enjoyed were replaced with bass-centric tuneless tunes that sound like they were composed in a couple minutes on a toy Casio keyboard, all sung in a tone-deaf falsetto that effs up any chance of understanding the lyrics.
Unlike the last production, this time the cast seems to have rehearsed some (or at least read the script before stepping on stage) but Crack Rock Opera is still the poster child for “hot mess.” At one point on opening night, a technical miscue made the harried stagehand shout “Sorry!” from backstage, and a particularly prurient portion prompted a poor audience member to loudly proclaim “I'm never having sex again!” I know how they both felt. But don't lose hope, Danny Feedback fans: at the rate this show is developing, in a couple years they may have something trash culture cultists can call “so bad it's almost fun.”
Crack Rock Opera, The
Danny Feedback (Orlando, FL)
Rating: M (Adult language, Strong sexual content)
Run Time: 60 minutes
Genre: A Comedy, with Music
Sun, May 19 2013, 11:15p.m. – Mon, May 20 2013, 1:00a.m.
Mon, May 20 2013, 8:30p.m. – 9:30p.m.
Wed, May 22 2013, 9:45p.m. – 10:45p.m.
Fri, May 24 2013, 10:45p.m. – 11:45p.m.
Sat, May 25 2013, 12:00a.m. – 1:00a.m.
Sun, May 26 2013, 9:30p.m. – 10:30p.m.