An End to Dreaming

Photograph: Emma Mahood

Fringe entrants such as An End to Dreaming are sobering reminders that just about anything can get into the festival. You could buy $20 of yarn, get some kittens to wrestle in it, play Mozart from your iPod and call it a show. You could sit in a lawn chair and drink a fifth of Jameson while reading Oedipus Rex aloud and nab five slots at the Kraine. Or you could don black velvet cloaks, pout at the audience and play a bunch of middling ditties, as Jake Diefenbach and Emma Dean do in their 55-minute emo-glam concert. They call their band (piano, violin, synthesizer and vocals) Geppetto, but the main cultural influence seems to be less Pinocchio and more Hansel and Gretel. With bleach-blond hair and Germanic outfits, these Australian crooners alternate Rufus Wainwright–type whine-pop with glassy-eyed patter about a limp journey to self-acceptance. The ten songs are divided into five sections with cheesy titles (“The Awakening,” “The Reckoning,” “The Healing” etc.) and the lyrics are rife with poor-misunderstood-me bathos. (It’s teen-girl diary stuff like, “Take a lie and masturbate it / Take the truth and suffocate it.”) Diefenbach and Dean do have pretty voices, and they harmonize well and perform with palpable sincerity. But this under-conceptualized cabaret achieves little in terms of musicianship or fairy-tale chills. The second the two sleepwalk onstage in full goth-brat regalia, you want to laugh. But there are no jokes forthcoming. Then again, An End to Dreaming is so utterly humorless, it’s kinda funny. (Visit our Fringe Festival page for more reviews, and fringenyc.org for more information.)—David Cote

Event website: http://440studios.com
LiveReviews|0
1 person listening