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BEST FRINGE BAIT-AND-SWITCH 

An Evening of Alli Jordan

Critics' Choice

Fringe Fest is, by design, a mixed bag. With unjuried selections and limited rehearsal time, a few duds await you on your hunt for indie theatrical bliss. We admit, that's what we thought was going to happen with An Evening of Alli Jordan, the young playwright's late entry to the festival. At the top of the show, Jordan stepped onto the Fishtank's stage to deliver an announcement: Forrest Attaway, one of the night's big draws, was running behind, and she had to make a last-minute switch to the program. We were going to see something new and unrehearsed. Groan. What we got was "For the Women," a meta-theater tension headache so raw and uncomfortable that a few audience members walked out each night. As Jordan and her scene partner, Bryan Moses, appeared to break character and spar over the script and their working relationship, we were implicated as voyeurs watching an emotional train wreck. When Jordan revealed that the brawl was scripted, we breathed a sigh of relief and loosened our white-knuckle grip on the Fishtank's seats. Did we feel cheated? Not at all. Jordan's piece was one of the most memorable, volatile moments at this year's Fringe.

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