Rare Bird Show

"Editor's Pick" - Philadelphia Weekly, 8-28-2004
Rare Bird Show Sat., Aug. 28, 8pm. $5. Philadelphia Ethical Society,
1906 S. Rittenhouse Sq. 215.735.3456. www.rarebirdshow.com

The last time I saw performance art was in San Francisco's Mission district 10 years ago. It involved several hefty women with shaved heads in bras, a raw chicken carcass and two big dogs. It was incredibly, mind-blowingly good, and I left the theater in an ecstatic state. Regrettably, the effect was that my tolerance for "people's theater" was subsequently set quite low, because clearly it's hard to match that sort of primal, highly sensory experience. That said, bloggers have been going on about the Philly-based Rare Bird Show, a wacky improv trio with a New York following (not that we care--I'm just saying).

Their short sketches are based on audience participation, and though they don't promise raw meat, they do guarantee an evening of goofy fun. West Philly native Alexis Simpson, Oberlin grad Nathan Edmondson and graphic designer Matt Holmes formed the group just last year, but they've already performed with the Upright Citizens Brigade in Manhattan, which as any comedy aficionado knows, is pretty much the creme de la creme of the scene these days. Catch them at this Fringe preview performance before the full madness of the three-week event begins. (Aina Hunter)