I was far too exhausted to really sit in on another show on Saturday night (6/9). But as I was already at the Fringe Mainstage, coming out of another preview performance which had just ended, I decided to jump in to this last minute, late night, pay what you can offering, and give it a whirl. Unmoderated: A Reading of Eastsider Comments is a sampling of thousands of comments that were left on TheEastsiderLA.com neighborhood blog in 2012, dramatic and funny. They range from anti-hipster rants to show downs of sympathy and anger over victims of violence in neighborhoods from Echo Park to Silver Lake.
To note, this is a staged reading. There is no dramatic movement choreography, no costumes, no sound effects, no music. It is serious stage dramedy truly at its best presented by 8 tremendously gifted actors who, through merely character voice changes, bring to life entire neighborhoods along with their varied collective and individual opinions about the one thing we all find hardest to deal with in city life, change.
Change happens all the time whether you like it or not, whether you are a perpetrator, a bystander, a beneficiary or a victim. To live in an urban environment is to be a legatee of fast moving history that splashes over us again and again in waves that disintegrate our old ways of life, to be replaced by new ones. And it can break our hearts just as much as it brings us joy. In the city, the past is our present is our future.
Unmoderated, is simply brilliant in its undertaking. Audiences who prefer whoop de do reviews, heavy dramas, improvs and pure entertainment may have difficulty sitting through this intriguing web of ordinary people speaking their minds. On the surface it is deceptively dry material. But not really… Local Angelenos, however, will find it powerful, honest, close to the bone and possibly very hard to “take a side” as they listen to what could even be their own ongoing internal dialogs. Unmoderated is so well done, so well put together. Anyone who really wants to discover inner city LA needs to sit in on this presentation. Excellent!
TheEastSiderLA blog is still running and you can check out all of the community dialogs and more presented in this play.