Capital Fringe 2014 Review: ‘The Tournament’

(Best of the Capital Fringe)

What do you gather a team of actors who also happen to be some of the best fight choreographers in DC, and pair them with a writer that loves campy, silly jokes and 80’s film? You end with The Tournament – a delightfully engaging comic spectacle chalked full of fight scenes and one-liners.


Live Action Theatre is back for it’s second fringe in a row with a clear style and flare all it’s own. Live Action’s debut show last fringe The Continuing Adventures of John Blade Super Spy was a sell-out, and a hard act to follow. In staying true to their winning combination of fun and intensity this motley crew headed by Director Lex Davis proves that they are more than a one hit wonder.

The Tournament is set as a modern spoof of The Karate Kid with a strong swig of Fight Club thrown in. The star crossed lovers, a pair of self-denying DC hipster segway tour guides, played by the kick-ass Kristen Pilgrim and nimble Jake Guinn, find themselves unexpectedly thrown in the middle of an underground fight tournament they must win or die. Writer Kyle Encinas cleverly builds a script around the fights, throwing out zingers that move the plot along quickly. He’s got a least one joke in there for everyone, referencing everything from Comcast to Joss Whedon.

The true show stealers are of course the fight themselves. Lovers fight lovers, cousins fight cousins, and of course the villain must be defeated, James Finley, Robb Hunter, Jake Guinn, Kristin Pilgrim, and the rest of the cast all show some surprising limber and truly excellent moves using just about every weapon minus the kitchen sink. What a fun show.

Running Time: 70 minutes.

The Tournament plays through July 26, 2014 at Atlas Performing Arts Center—Sprenger Theater— 1333 H Street, NE, in Washington DC. For performance information and to purchase tickets, go to their Capital Fringe Page.


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