by Terrance Mc Arthur
They called it the Rogue Teaser Show at the Tower Theatre on Thursday night, and I didn’t think it was a tease as much as it was a treat! About 30 acts from the festival strutted their stuff on the stage, and there was everything from magic tricks to belly dancers to singers to comedy monologues. I’m going to tell you about some of the performers and groups that made me want to see them, and some old favorites of mine that are worth the time and the Rogue Bucks.
This year, there are three magic shows at the Rogue: “Magic of Elder” (Kyle Elder), “Witchdoctor” (Christopher Thisse), and “Super Rock n Roll Magic Show” (Bryan Patrick). Out of the three, I think Patrick was the most successful with the simplest routine using a piece of rope and a pair of scissors…and a droll, I’m-not-taking-this-too-seriously attitude.
First Men of Promise is rocking soul music with a gospel touch, and these older gentlemen can rock the joint while they fill you with the Spirit—Give me an Amen, somebody! At the Voice Shop venue, “R&M do R&B” will be Debi Ruud and Karen Marguth, two super singers, performing rhythm-and-blues classics that will make you verrrrrry happy. Paula Preston plays “Eleanor the Captive Queen” as she channels Eleanor of Aquitaine, the only woman to be the queen of both England and France.
“The Awkward Art of Flying” turned corseted fan-flappers into kung-fu chickens, combining mime, dance, and wrestling moves, and the possibilities of a whole show described as Physical Comedy, Theatre are mind-boggling. Emily Windler (Poe in “Poe and Mathews,” Gary in “Gary Has a Date”) returns to skewer opera divas in “Opera Frantique: Pescalla in Concert.” Katherine Glover presents a long-form Shel Silverstein poem that is NOT for children in “The Devil and Billy Markham” that had the audience wanting more than a teaser.
Some Rogues of earlier festivals came out with strong previews. Gemma Wilcox displays an ability to be anyone she wants to be. “The Honeymoon Period Is Officially Over” has her playing people, animals, objects, and forces of nature, leaving jaw-dropped audiences in her wake. Randy Rutherford will “Walk Like a Man” as one of the quirkiest/endearing performers I’ve ever seen veers off into his childhood and finding love as the smallest boy in school (I could have used this story 45 years ago). Andrew Potter’s “The Road to High Street” moves to the Tower District this year, and I hope this multi-media tale of his years as a street juggler gets the audience it deserves. Les Kurkendaal returns with “Nightmare in Bakersfield,” a new tale of adventures with his partner…at a class reunion. Howard Petrick brings back “Never Own Anything You Have to Paint or Feed,” memories of train yards and hobos he workshopped at last year’s Rogue.
Look, people, I’m up past my bedtime writing this and there are so many good shows to see, including Ananka Belly Dancing, Blake Jones, Boxcar Figara, Highway 41, Jaguar Bennett, Kurt Bodden, The Roving Blades, Spencer Morris Duo, and TinHOUSE Experimental Dance Theatre and anything else at the Rogue Festival. It’s always interesting.
Tickets are $5 and $10 in Rogue Bucks, which can be purchased at the Tower box office or Livingstone’s.
Check out all of our Rogue Preview articles in our Arts & Entertainment section and watch for more Rogue reviews & videos coming throughout the festival!