Cecilia Marie, Laura Dasi, Kiona Daelyn, Armando Muñoz, Zoe Irvine, Jennifer Curry Wingrove in Mythos
  • Cecilia Marie, Laura Dasi, Kiona Daelyn, Armando Muñoz, Zoe Irvine, Jennifer Curry Wingrove in Mythos
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MYTHOS Astraeus Aerial Dance Theatre won a “Best of Fringe, 2015” award for their Save My Soul. They’re back at this year’s festival and are blazing once again.

SD Fringe Festival: Mythos: Opening Pandora's Box

But, wait. Who first had the profoundly insane idea to hang fabric from the ceiling, climb up, loop a clump around a wrist or a leg, and do ballet/gymnastic routines? And how in the world do they practice? How many falls, from ten feet or more, does it take to perfect a sequence?

Not to mention when, in Mythos, Orpheus (Armando Muñoz) lies horizontal and slowly rolls himself upward — a kind of vertical mummification — then unravels headlong, skidding to a halt not far from the floor.

Mythos begins with Greek goddesses Athena (Jennifer Curry Wingrove), Aphrodite (Laura Dasi), Persephone (Kiona Daelyn), and Artemis (Cecilia Marie) doing a graceful aerial ballet. Enter Pandora (Zoe Irvine) with the famous box containing the world’s evils.

As in the myth, Pandora is the first woman on Earth (she rises from the sea and waving blue fabric, like the birth of Venus). She opens the box and out swirls Chaos.

The act also opens the familiar story to other Greek myths, including a variation of Orpheus and Eurydice: Artemis slays Pandora with an arrow. Persephone takes Pandora, shaded in a black fishnet, to the Underground. Orpheus descends to bring her back, with a red, beating heart, and must choose between his being/not being, or hers.

If the performances had flaws, they were few, and the artistry erased them. Using a trapeze, a rope, and doubled fabrics, the air dancers spun, whirled, or hung from their ankles — do not try this at home — with an often hypnotic effect.

CAFFEINE Ruff Yeager’s new one-act could use tightening. And the acting, by 3 Caffeinated Broads Productions, needs to cut a lot of the air between speeches.

SD Fringe Festival: Caffeine

  • The Geoffrey Off Broadway, 923 First Avenue, downtown
  • $10

Three women sit at a table. The title suggests a brusque, frappe orgy and hair let-down. Although they don’t sip much from their mugs —the title misleads – locks do unloosen.

They’re in a coffee shop, Santa Fe, New Mexico. Myra just learned that white-clad preacher’s wife Charlene is her half-sister. Myra and her “friend” Jane want to know about Myra’s biological mother, whom she never knew. Myra and Jane are married. They’ve come to Santa Fe, it turns out, to flee the likes and attitudes of Charlene — i.e., hardcore xenophobia. Straight-laced Charlene’s in flight as well. Her dominating husband spends more time serving his savior than in saving her.

Charlene (Terril Miller) even has a letter for Myra (M. Susan Peck) from her biological mother. And will use it, along with a pile of loot from an unnamed source, to parlay a residence with Myra and Jane (Elaine Litton). This rich mix is slow to develop. And it’s pretty clear where it’s headed, especially since Charlene has the financial means to be a savior of sorts for Myra and Jane. Expect a “We Are the World,” grand melding of differences on a ranch outside Santa Fe.

The conclusion, however, comes as a surprise — and makes sense in hindsight. Call it an even happier ending.

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