One of the chief joys of going to a Fringe Festival performance is the bare bones aspect. Sitting in the hot upstairs of a townhouse shell, a minimal set against peeling plaster and paint, no frills, no pyrotechnics, just actors and text battling it out for your attention. I love it. And when the acting is top-notch, there is no better joy.
“Riding the Bull” is a morality play about a rodeo clown whose naivete and greed bring about his downfall in aptly named Godsburg, Texas. Um, wait. A rodeo clown? Yes, this is a dark comedy complete with a banjo player, accents worthy of “Deadwood,” and even Elvis himself. Oh, and Jesus gets molested. Sorry. It’s Fringe, leave your squeamishness at the door!
Jason McCool is GL Mitchell, a clueless rodeo clown with an Oedipal complex a mile high and a repulsion/attraction to Lyza, played by Kate Debelack with a lusty grip on life and a habit for rearranging nativity figures into orgiastic configurations. Oh, she also can predict the winning rodeo cowboy on orgasm. All GL wants is to make his Mama happy, and all Mama wants is Elvis. The real one, who’s been hiding out in an insane asylum. Naturally. Continue reading