Capital Fringe 2014 Review: Capital City Showcase #2: July 20, 2014

One of the most enticing incentives to attend Capital Fringe is for the often rare opportunity to experience new, unusual, and different experiences For most, such Fringe encounters are enlightening and rewarding, and if by chance the outing wasn’t all that you hoped it to be at least you can say you took an artistic risk.

Christian Hunt.
Christian Hunt.

The five curated Capital City Showcase offerings for Capital Fringe 2014 at The Baldacchino Tent Bar are a unique sampling of a little bit of everything and maybe even something unexpected in between. In this fifth season conceived by Christian Hunt, The Capital City Showcase variety show features the best live local performing artists in the DMV with stand-up comedy, improv, storytelling,  rock bands, acoustic singer-songwriters and hip-hop artists. 

Sunday’s afternoon’s July 20, 2014 performance sponsored by Alchemical Records was the second Showcase date of the Festival, an entertaining and interactive afternoon of humor and music. The electric lineup of six local acts included four standup comedians and two music performances.

After a brief welcome and introductions by Hunt, the show began with DC naive, comedian Pat Riley who has a knack for pointing out the absurd – like grandmothers and butterfly tattoos. Riley will open six shows at the DC Improv, August 6-10th, for comedian Jake Johannsen.

Ten minutes later was stand-up comic Chelsea Shorte, who knows how to rock a bow tie, jewel-studded, red high top sneakers and look good. Shorte’s glib off-the-cuff ad-libs and relaxed presence fully ingratiated her with the audience. Her prepared material about lesbian computer dating and being “a little bit racist but we all have our prejudices” jokes about growing up when she didn’t think white people were allowed to drink Sprite were laugh-out-loud funny. Remember Chelsea Shorte’s name; she is an emerging comedic talent destined for national recognition.

Shifting gears for fifteen minutes was fresh face and bare foot, folk singer musician Rachel Levitin, who has performed fours years with the Capital City Showcase and performed earlier this year at Jammin’ Java. The Chicago-born singer-songwriter and award-winning multi-instrumentalist immediately created an intimate show with hard guitar strumming and her unwavering passionate voice for storytelling through song. My favorite was when Levitian was laid back, raw and personal with “Control whose lyrics deeply resonated speaking to the healing power of music and how music saved ‘saved her soul and helped her regain control.’ The set was all too quick, but it was a pleasing moment.

Next up: More comedy.

The consummate professional, comedian Randolph Terrance – a regular host at Arlington Cinema & Draft – brought poise and his signature laid back ‘Randolph’ style dressed in white, topped with a cool white Kangol hat and white shoes. But the smart look and smooth delivery can’t disguise Terrance’s strong opinions and sharp, penetrating insights on Gentrification, day drinking, and field sobriety tests. All of his jokes and his personal observations on the quirks of life and the strangeness of Arlington, VA, “like that woman who was walking down the street with her cat in a baby bjorn, a kindle, and a Starbucks coffee in her hand” – are hilarious.

Danny Rouhie, the final comedian of the day, performed like a Headliner. His day job maybe as the host a sports talk radio show middays on 106.7 The Fan, but on this day Rouhier was the king of comedy. Rouhier’s high energy and impressive gift of impersonations and character imitation wowed the crowd with his unique brand of intelligent “people suck” humor. His quick wit and engaging self-deprecating style kept the audience on their toes and locked in a new base of Danny Rouhier fans.

The showcase came to a dramatic rockin’ close with a national touring rock band out of Waldorf, Md. – YellowTieGuy (Daniel W. Hill: Writer, Vocals, Guitar; Mary Celeste: Bassist, Vocals;  Ralf Madrigal: Drums, Vocals; Jason McKinney: Writer, Vocals, and Guitar.)

Comedian Chelsea Shorte.
Comedian Chelsea Shorte.

The music and the musicianship from this talented five-member band is serious, well-developed and their uninhibited sound has wide appeal. The lead vocals by frontman and guitarist Daniel W. Hill were somewhat overpowered by the awesome sound being amplified in the intimate confines of The Baldacchino Tent but the rousing audience didn’t mind because the grooving vibe was sooo good. Their three song ‘mini concert’ was a perfect end to an ideal comedy and music Sunday afternoon.

Recommended for adults only.

This show contains profanity.

Running Time: 90 minutes.

Capital City Showcase plays through July 27, 2014 at The Baldacchino Tent Bar – Fort Fringe, 607 New York Avenue, NW, in Washington, DC. For performance information and to purchase tickets, go to their Capital Fringe Page.

Other Performances: Wed 7/23 8:30 PM, Sat 7/26 5:00 PM, Sun 7/27 1:00 PM.

Capital City Showcase website.

The Capital City Showcase at Capital Fringe Festival – Show #2

Comedian,  Pat Riley’s comedy page.
Comedian, Chelsea Shorte on the “Ambiguity of Color.”
Musician, Rachel Levitin’s website.
Comedian Randolph Terrance on the “Truth About Money.”
Comedian,  Danny Rouhier’s website

Previous article‘Good Good Trouble on Bad Bad Island’ at NextStop Theatre Company
Next articleCapital Fringe 2014 Review ‘Mobile Personal Series’
Sydney-Chanele Dawkins
Sydney-Chanele Dawkins is an award-winning feature filmmaker, film curator, film festival producer and a theater/film critic and arts writer. She also serves as an impassioned advocate for the Arts as Chair of the Alexandria Commission for the Arts in Alexandria, VA. Fearless. Tenacious. Passionate. Loyal. These characteristics best describe Sydney-Chanele's approach to life, her enthusiasm for live theater and the arts, and her cinephile obsession with world cinema. Her successful first film, 'Modern Love is Automatic' premiered at SXSW in Austin, Texas, and made its European debut at the Edinburgh Film Festival. She recently completed her third film, the animated - 'The Wonderful Woes of Marsh' - which is rounding the film festival circuit. In 2013, Sydney-Chanele produced the box office hit,Neil Simon's Rumors for the McLean Community Players at Alden Theater, Her next producing effort in 2014 is Pearl Cleage's 'Blues for an Alabama Sky' for Port City Playhouse. Programmer for Cinema Art Bethesda and Co Chair of the Film Program for Artomatic, Sydney-Chanele is the past Festival Director of the Alexandria Film Festival, the Reel Independent Film Festival,and Female Shorts & Video Showcase. She is active in leadership and programming positions with DC Metro area Film Festivals including: Filmfest DC, DC Shorts, the Washington Jewish Film Festival, Arabian Sights Film festival, and AFI Docs. Please feel free to contact me with your comments and questions - [email protected] [Note: Sydney-Chanele Dawkins passed away on July 8, 2015, at age 47, after a battle with Breast Cancer.]


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here