Ask a Psychic!
To the left you'll find an assortment of The Stranger's best guesses for "hot pick" shows at the upcoming Fringe Theatre Festival, selected using the usual tools of the theater-preview writer: previous press clips and actor/director track records. For those shows hitting the Fringe with neither prior press nor prior cred, I turned to a higher power: Darleen Christopher, spiritual counselor and owner of Pike Place Market's Christopher's Lamp, home to "palmistry, tarot, astrology, and other psychic arts." Presented with the titles of various unknown plays, Ms. Christopher consulted her cards for otherworldly hints as to which shows would enjoy successful runs in Seattle and beyond. (A true gentle spirit, Ms. Christopher didn't want to sully her karma by using her powers to pass judgment on artistic merit, preferring instead to focus on each show's potential for material success.)
Right off the bat, Ms. Christopher asked me to set aside the second, fifth, and seventh plays on my list. The numbers for these plays--specifically Six Degrees of Helen (a-MUSE-ing Productions, Edmonds, WA), Bankus Moroney Was Born on Donahue (Sauer Bauer Productions, Seattle, WA), and You Got Your Head on Backwards, Baby (Grand Bovine Dairy Co., Seattle, WA)--had appeared to her, suggesting that these three shows had unusual potential for financial success. (Which could mean those shows will either be great, feature a lot of nudity, or both.)
The others (with Ms. Christopher's input in quotes):
PR Golem (Theatre Wide Open, Lynnwood, WA): "This has a good aesthetic balance of yin and yang, but it may have an unusual traction with its audience. It's moody, emotional, and may be slow to move."
The Suitor (Phobac Attack, Seattle, WA): "This will attract a lot of critics, and may be controversial. Audience members may question sitting through the show, but will find it hard to pull away."
The Elsinore Diaries (One Lump or Two Productions, Seattle, WA): "This drew the chariot card, which suggests it moves quickly, and with a lot of wisdom. This one's going places--with or without the press."
The Camp Plays (Theatre That Matters, Seattle, WA): "This will draw a self-interested audience, who may leave hungry, wishing there was more."
Decency (Stuffed Monkey Productions, Seattle, WA): "This drew the star card. Very good energy--Aquarian energy. This is the one I'd go see."
See www.seattlefringe.org for show info and times.