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Date:2009-12-22 14:59
Subject:The trailer for our latest show, "Private Dick"

Here's the 5 1/2 minute trailer for our latest show.... Sound & Fury's "Private Dick"

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Date:2009-11-05 11:14
Subject:New DVDs now available online!

Hey Furies! The DVD to our two latest shows are now available! First, a re-boot of "Sherlock Holmes & the Saline Solution" - now better/faster/funnier and with Vinny! And secondly, our newest show, Sound & Fury's 'Private Dick' - the show we're touring around the world in 2010. (Also with Vinny!)
PD ad picture

Both available online at the Sound & Fury website!

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Date:2009-08-14 13:25
Subject:And, our feature in The Scotsman...

The Scotsman

What better way to celebrate the 150th birthday of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle than with three likeable loons from LA?

Published: 1/Aug/2009

RICHARD MARITZER, VINCENT Cardinale and Shelby Bond are in the bath. The bath is in a friend's apartment in Los Angeles and, in case anyone is wondering, their modesty is protected by the generous addition of bubble bath. Still, it's hard to look the handsome young Sound & Fury trio in the, ahem, eye.

"It started out as a joke," says Maritzer, the company straight man, of the idea of conducting interviews for their Fringe show, Sherlock Holmes and the Saline Solution, from a bubble bath. "But then we just liked the idea so we decided to go with it ," adds self-appointed company clown, Bond.

The show, minus bath, has already won plaudits at the Adelaide Fringe, carrying off the audience's 2009 People's Choice Award. Its arrival in Edinburgh coincides with the 150th anniversary of the birth of Sherlock Holmes creator Arthur Conan Doyle, though the company confesses that is by coincidence rather than design.

"We decided to do a Sherlock Holmes show not because we're huge fans of Sherlock Holmes but because everyone has heard of him. He's so universal," says Bond.

Sound & Fury are well known for taking a classic text and making it their own, from their 2008 hit Fringe debut Cyranose to Testaclese and Ye Sack of Rome, which they are also performing in Edinburgh, at the Free Festival, and which one reviewer described as the "love-child of Monty Python and Dr Seuss".

The job of researching Sherlock Holmes and the Saline Solution fell to Maritzer, who swotted up on Conan Doyle's stories and set to work on a plot which, while not based on an original story, would include key characters Holmes, Watson, Inspector Lestrade and Moriarty. It also had to be flexible enough that the performers could change it each night, ad-libbing according to whatever each performance throws up, often at the suggestion of the audience. And it had to allow for song, dance and comedy aplenty.

"We like to take a well-known story or character and modernise it," says Maritzer.

"We get a little risqué and infuse it with a bit of naughtiness," adds Cardinale, with a wink. "It's not what you think, though. It's much worse."

Aren't they afraid their reinterpretation might upset the purists?

"We're quite looking forward to the reaction of the purists – we like hearing that sharp intake of breath as we spear their favourite character," says Cardinale.

"We're so charming that usually we win people over," adds Bond.

Maritzer, as ever the voice of sanity, adds: "You can only do this kind of mocking if you really love the work and the character."

Speaking of mocking, the trio slip into English accents of the sort not heard since, well, ever. They explain that Monty Python was their inspiration. "For some reason the British love it when we make fun of them. Our British accents are terrible and we apologise in advance for them," says Bond.

Maritzer and Bond met when they were both performing at a Victorian fair and, realising they shared a similar sense of humour, soon started working on scripted shows together.

Bond mentions a blow-up doll. Maritzer and Cardinale elbow him in the ribs and Bond lets out a shriek as a rubber duck falls into the bath, splashing bubbles and water everywhere.

Maritzer continues: "We're using minimal props – you can only carry so many props with you over the Atlantic. But we're very nicely costumed. We play lots of different characters so there's lots of bad wigs, ridiculous accents and cross-dressing. We do it in a vaudeville style. There's a loose plot but it changes every time we do it. The only thing that stays the same is that it starts with a murder and Lestrade calls Holmes and Watson in to investigate. "

"It's a rather complicated, convoluted mystery and by the end of it people don't really care if we solve it," adds Shelby.

After hearing horror stories of theatre companies going bankrupt, Maritzer, Bond and Cardinale thought long and hard before making their Fringe debut last year. But they were pleasantly surprised, winning a string of glowing reviews and a posse of groupies.

What are they looking forward to most about coming back? "Irn-Bru. I like it. It tastes like sweet rust," says Bond.

"It rained for all 28 days we were there last time. So some better weather would be nice," adds Maritzer.

"The Royal Mile," they all shout simultaneously. "It's so great being in a city where so many people go to the theatre. We live in Los Angeles, a city full of actors and you could not get 12 people to go to the theatre. "

With that it's time for Sound & Fury to get out of the bath and get dressed. Grabbing a towel, Bond whispers conspiratorially: "The reviews last year bolstered our egos and our love lives. We are all single right now, for the first time ever. We could all be in for a very interesting August."

• Sound & Fury's Sherlock Holmes and the Saline Solution is at the Gilded Balloon Teviot, Edinburgh, 5-31 August. Sound & Fury's Testaclese and Ye Sack of Rome is at Laughing Horse @ The City Cafe, Edinburgh, 7-30 August.

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Date:2009-08-14 13:12
Subject:4 Stars from The List!
Mood: grateful

The List

American comedy trio take on Victorian London

With the foreboding spectre of a Guy Ritchie-directed Sherlock Holmes film being released later this year, American comedy trio Sound and Fury’s new show (Sherlock Holmes and the Saline Solution) is a welcome DIY send-up of literature’s most famous detective. The plot itself is loosely developed but contains all the right elements: the murdered body of a rich London man, a damsel in distress, an encounter with opium and, finally, some sense of resolution.

The effects are a delightfully silly mix of the smutty and the literary, making this a worthy successor to the group’s 2008 hit Cyranose. But be warned; this might be a murder mystery of sorts but the Victorian whodunit takes a backseat to the performers’ effortless charm. Under their ruthlessly energetic control, Shelby Bond’s Sherlock is a bumbling figure, guided only by Richard Maritzer’s slightly less clueless Watson, while Vinny Cardinale occupies nearly every peripheral part with tireless animation. Moreover, the trio’s forays into the audience maintain a spontaneous atmosphere throughout and their infectious enthusiasm makes this one of the cheeriest comedies you’re likely to see this month.

Gilded Balloon Teviot, 622 6552, until 31 Aug, 10.30pm, £8.50–£9.50 (£7.50–£8.50).

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Date:2009-06-30 18:33
Subject:NEW Sound & Fury show THIS FRIDAY in L.A.
Mood: excited


Plus, a price drop!


VAGANZA! Our newest show, coming to L.A. July 3 at 8:30pm

Silliness, song &  schmex...ual innuendo! 

The World Premiere of our new show for our fans in Southern California! Come on July 3rd! it's our second-annual fund-raiser-show for our trip to Edinburgh for the Fringe Festival there!

At Cafe-Club Fais Do-Do

5257 West Adams Blvd., L.A. 90016

Free parking in the lot across the street (the fenced in lot, NOT the dry cleaners!)

There are no restrictions for this venue/event, though as always we suggest 13+. 

Tix for the July 3rd are $15. Come early (7:30) and have food at Fais Do-Do who are gracious enough to donate the venue for our fund-raising efforts!

To buy tix in advance (we recommend it!) click the button! (or go to vaganza.soundandfury.org)

Do NOT show up on Wed or Thurs as previously planned... no show! 

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Date:2009-05-14 18:46
Subject:Steampunk Improv - FRIDAY night!

Pennywhistle graphic

Award-winning Vaudeville group Sound & Fury™ presents:
The Journeys of Prof. Pleasant Pennywhistle and his Spatial Relocation Portal!

A fully improvised steampunk comedy adventure!

Friday May 15, 2009 8:30 p.m. (doors open at 7:30)
Café-Club Fais Do-Do (in the Ballroom)
5257 West Adams Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90016

Tix $9 cash at the door! ALL AGES WELCOME!
Including Special Guest improvisers from Impro Theatre and Second City!

Also, next Friday, May 22 and twice in June!

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Date:2009-02-28 11:16
Subject:ArtsHub.com.au review
Mood:fat and sassy

ADELAIDE FRINGE FESTIVAL REVIEW: Sherlock Holmes & the Saline Solution
By Glen Johns Arts Hub | Friday, February 27, 2009 Share
The lads from Sound & Fury would like to have us believe that they’re idiots with nothing to say. (See footnote*) This is, of course, utter nonsense. They are clever creators, dedicated craftsman and consummate vaudeville-esque performers.

As with all S&F shows (at least all I have seen: they have been to the Adelaide Fringe at least 4 times by my reckoning) it is as crammed full of as many: jokes; pop culture references; bad puns ; throwaway one liners; ad-libs (& ad-libs which have become part of the scene) ; costume changes; outrageous accents (Sean Connery should sue), visual gags; verbal wordplays ; misunderstandings; misdirections; deliberate misleadings ; innuendo ; double, triple & even quadruple entendres ; confusion, chaos & onstage anarchy as can be contained within sixty minutes as possible. The occasional good pun also slips through quality control.

Jokes are shelved & returned to us later for maximum effect. My personal favourite was If a train leaves Paddington station at …” Jokes are made at our, the audience’s, expense. “Theatres are filled with ruffians, vagrants & whores”. Jokes at each other’s expense. [In an outrageous accent] “The game is effete.” “It is the way you’re playing it.” And so on.

They are irreverent, playful, whacky. In a word. FUN. If it’s a night of thought provoking theatre you’re after, look elsewhere. If it’s a night of not just breaking, but smashing of the fourth wall & jumping up & down on the remnants, you’ve found it. It is ideal fringe fare. Equally accessible for theatergoers who get the in-jokes, as for a mainstream audience just out to see a couple of shows as part of the Garden of Unearthly Delights’s ambiance.

But all of what I have said could be applied to every S&F show. So what of Sherlock Holmes & the Saline Solution.

The audience is greeted outside the theatre door by the three performers Richard Maritzer, Shelby Bond & Vinny Cardinale. They are both themselves & their characters & their job is to relax & reassure the audience that this is no amateurish melodrama we are about to see – despite the lashings of tweed, deerstalker cap & calabash pipe.

We go inside. They talk about the difference between casual & formal. Casual is standing at the front of the stage talking to us as mates; formal is taking a step backwards, having the stagelights snapped on & performing to us as The Audience. There’s a great gag about all it takes to be an actor which I won’t give away.

The boys are introduced, Richard as Sherlock, Shelby as Watson, Vinnie as … the rest. But there’s a problem. Shelby really wants to play Sherlock Holmes as Richard does it “every night”. (I’m sure I’m not giving too much away if I say, I’m certain Richard has never played Sherlock!).

As for the rest. Well, Sherlock is just the framework for a series of pratfalls, sight gags, chase scenes, clue solving, suspecting-deducing, wrong-tree barking & excerpts from Oliver, My Fair Lady, Mary Poppins. There’s a great group of jokes about Sherlock learning things from the evidence. Let us just say, under the S&F treatment, Sherlock is no forensic genius. But he is neat!

My only complaint is that it feels about 10 minutes too long. The plot (term loosely applied) loses itself for a bit in the latter third, but this a minor issue. It is, as with all S&F shows I have seen, a thoroughly entertaining way to spend to an hour reminding ourselves that ‘plays’, should at the very least, be playful.

* Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing. Macbeth

Sherlock Holmes & the Saline Solution
Sound & Fury
Adelaide Fringe Festival
Garden of Unearthly Delights – La Cascaduer

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Date:2009-02-25 14:35
Subject:RIP IT UP Magazine - Adelaide !! :-D

Sound & Fury – Sherlock Holmes And The Saline Solution
Le Cascadeur, The Garden Of Unearthly Delights, Sun Feb 22
Here are three things I know about Sherlock: his last name was Holmes; he lived on Baker St; and he wore a funny hat (oh, and he’s not real). Turns out that’s about what American trio Sound & Fury know about the famous detective too, but that hasn’t stopped them from putting together a one-hour romp featuring Sherlock, his good friend Watson and a bunch of other gender bending characters. Sound & Fury’s Richard, Shelby and Vinnie bumble through a silly whodunit that makes as much sense as manly nipples with Sherlock, who has a knack for knockers, slipping in more double entendres than Watson can poke a pipe at. It’s a clever, high energy show with more than a few laughs. Forget your numb bum (damn those tent benches!) and the ridiculously convoluted plot - just get ready to ooh, ah, sing along and enjoy the ride.
--Michelle Read

I wish they gave star ratings at RIU, but ah well... great review! Thanks m.r.!

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Date:2009-02-23 17:43
Subject:The Advertiser Review: 4 stars! "Sherlock Holmes & the Saline Solution"

Sherlock Holmes and the Saline Solution
Review by RUSSELL EMMERSON, The Advertiser (Adelaide, Australia)

WATSON? They're on.

"Let's get this out of the way: this is a very silly show. Bad puns, throwaway lines and cheap shots dominate a parody of a Sherlock Holmes investigation. Other shows have been caned for these same characteristics, but they weren't Sound and Fury. The problem is, they're nice guys – they come out and chat before the show before throwing up an easily-permeated fourth wall – and are enjoying themselves too much to write them off. And by that time, you're enjoying yourself too much to be critical. But if you look beyond the gags, beyond the quick costume changes and plot convolutions, you'll see three talented Americans with quick wits and an excellent understanding of working an audience. Definitely a highlight of a guffaw nature."

And this was from our opening night show, which was plagued with technical horrors from the booth. So we're pretty happy.

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Date:2009-01-15 18:20
Subject:Sherlock and the Saline Solution, tomorrow night!
Mood: excited

A reminder!

Sound & Fury, your source for Vaudeville-Nouveau stupidness presents one night of our 5-star hit play,
"Sherlock Holmes & the Saline Solution"

January 16th, 2009
Café-Club Fais Do-Do
5257 W. Adams Blvd, L.A. 90016

$15 cash at the door. more info? the website

Sherlock Holmes Parody Detected!
The comedy trio of Sound & Fury returns with their original fabrication, “Sherlock Holmes & The Saline Solution!” Their first departure from strictly “Fakespearean” comedy, “Holmes” whisks the audience away to Victorian England for a new spin on an old favorite.

Follow Your Nose
The L.A. boys who brought you “Testaclese & Ye Sack of Rome,” and "Cyranose!" (one of the most highly rated shows at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2008), Richard Maritzer, Shelby Bond & Vinny Cardinale put Holmes’ prominent proboscis to the parody grindstone in this interpretation, sure to become Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s most esteemed and ambitious work to date! The theatre is transformed into the famed streets of Holmes’ London as each clue reveals more clues until the very nature of time, space and the future are unraveled...by tea-time!

Sherlock Holmes and the Saline Solution is ridiculously entertaining and about as much fun as I have ever had at a Fringe show. Ever." -- Canadian Broadcasting Company

"Five Stars! [They] have sparkling chemistry, and tremendous quick-wit!" -- Fest Magazine, UK

"Five Stars! Erudition and smut held together with the manic energy of The Marx Brothers: these are truly modern vaudevillians at the height of their powers." -- FringeReview.co.uk

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Date:2009-01-11 11:14
Subject:Sherlock Holmes & the Saline Solution - Next Friday only!
Mood: chipper

Hey Angelenos, or those just living here:

Sound & Fury, your source for Vaudeville-Nouveau stupidness presents one night of our 5-star hit play,
"Sherlock Holmes & the Saline Solution"

January 16th, 2009
Café-Club Fais Do-Do
5257 W. Adams Blvd, L.A. 90016

$15 cash at the door. more info? the website

Sherlock Holmes Parody Detected!
The comedy trio of Sound & Fury returns with their original fabrication, “Sherlock Holmes & The Saline Solution!” Their first departure from strictly “Fakespearean” comedy, “Holmes” whisks the audience away to Victorian England for a new spin on an old favorite.

Follow Your Nose
The L.A. boys who brought you “Testaclese & Ye Sack of Rome,” and "Cyranose!" (one of the most highly rated shows at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2008), Richard Maritzer, Shelby Bond & Vinny Cardinale put Holmes’ prominent proboscis to the parody grindstone in this interpretation, sure to become Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s most esteemed and ambitious work to date! The theatre is transformed into the famed streets of Holmes’ London as each clue reveals more clues until the very nature of time, space and the future are unraveled...by tea-time!

"FIVE STARS! Sherlock Holmes and the Saline Solution is ridiculously entertaining and about as much fun as I have ever had at a Fringe show. Ever." -- Canadian Broadcasting Company

"Five Stars! [They] have sparkling chemistry, and tremendous quick-wit!" -- Fest Magazine, UK

"Five Stars! Erudition and smut held together with the manic energy of The Marx Brothers: these are truly modern vaudevillians at the height of their powers." -- FringeReview.co.uk

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Date:2008-12-03 18:23
Mood: amused

A video our sweet gal Maria made of our last day in Texas this year, on the way to the airport, mixed with stuff from the 80's Prom night we hosted at our stage last weekend. It is super stupid, but she did a great job. And by "it is" I mean "I am."

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Date:2008-10-28 19:36
Subject:Article in Arts Houston about Sound & Fury! Yay, ink! Even if it is digital ink...

Read it here

Or behind the cut. A terrific article that says nice things.

Read more...Collapse )
Now if more fine people would be tickets, that'd be swell. :-D

Meanwhile, here we are in Texas right now, for "School Days" at Tex Ren Fest. Not as horrible as it could be, as the little buggers mostly behave. But it's definitely getting COLDER here. Yup. Had a great weekend as Shannon Dery joined us for the weekend as Vinny was doing Pericles in California. It was terrific to have our "original third guy" back for the weekend. (Technically he's our third, third-guy - but he was the first to go on tour with us.

Okay back to work on web stuff...

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Date:2008-10-21 20:23
Subject:S&F Double Feature in Houston!
Mood: happy

Well, Conroe actually, but that's pretty close to Houston!
8pm - "Sherlock Holmes & the Saline Solution"
9:30pm - "Cyranose!"

at the Crighton Theatre in Conroe! These are our full-length, award-winning (really!) indoor productions that we took to Canada, Australia, and the Edinburgh Fringe Fest this summer in Scotland!

Click below to order your tickets to the November 7 shows in Conroe Texas for "Sherlock Holmes & the Saline Solution" and "Cyranose!" - or buy the double feature package, and save! $18 for one show, or $30 for both!

Buy "Sherlock Holmes & the Saline Solution" Tickets Now!

Buy "Cyranose!" Tickets Now!

Buy Double-Feature Discount Package Now!

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Date:2008-08-25 11:45
Subject:Edinburgh Festival Wrapup

And we say goodbye to beautiful, rainy, exciting, dramatic

Edinburgh Scotland...

As the 2008 Edinburgh Fringe Festival draws to a close, we thought we'd let you all know how things went for us here, in this grand experiment at the largest theatre festival in the world...

We did what we came here to do. Make a splash. While we didn't become the toast of the town (out of 2000 shows here, that's not easy to do on a limited PR/Advertising budget), we did get enough critical success that the community certainly noticed us. We got a lot of "buzz." Lots of other performers, promoters and producers came to see us. We received amongst the highest reviewed ratings of any show at the whole Fringe. Four 5-star reviews and four 4-Star reviews from the major respected publications in the city. We now have the two top reviewers in Edinburgh in our court, so next year when we return, we should have great advance press, and be able to get the audiences in from the start. We had a bit of a tough time in that regard, as many of the "important" reviews didn't break early in the run.

Nonetheless, we met people important to our future success - including tour promoters who plan to take us on extended tours of the UK and Australia next year. We also met some really terrific people, including a fellow who really is The Next Big Thing, an Aussie named Tim Minchin (http://www.timminchin.com), who really doesn't need our help to promote him - but if you want to be able to say you were among the first million to be an adoring fan, go check his stuff. And he's as nice as he is clever.

Shelby showed off his heroic side, and while flyering for our show one afternoon, in full costume, chased down and collared a woman who had stolen the tip jars of money from the Gilded Balloon's food court. Sadly, many people thought it was just a stunt, and just stood and watched the "performance."

We did very little sight-seeing, unfortunately, as we spent our days flyering for the show for hours, doing the show, and then being all schmoozy in the VIP "Loft Bar" at the Gilded Balloon getting mucky-mucks to come see the show. The truth is though, that 99.999% of the people we've met, worked with, schmoozed with, and even flirted with have been wonderful people - not at all "Hollywood." The exception would of course be the woman and her sister who Shelby apprehended, who threatened to shank him. The level of energy, charm, graciousness and good nature of the people of Edinburgh and the throngs who descend upon the city for Fringe needs to be noted. Even with the competition of all the shows, we never experienced anyone wanting anything but success for everyone else too.

We have one more show tonight (more promoters coming, even at the last), and then have tomorrow to sightsee, and pack up before a big blowout party at our venue Tuesday night.

Next on our schedule is 8 weekends at the Texas Renaissance Festival, through Thanksgiving Friday, and there's a plan to do two Friday night shows in Austin and Houston in November, and then Xmas shows of the now re-tooled "Sherlock Holmes & the Saline Solution" in Los Angeles. After that? Possibility of a theatre festival in New York, and New Mexico.


Richard, Shelby & Vinny

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Date:2008-08-23 16:25
Subject:Lots of pictures
Mood: artistic

There are a couple of hundred new pics of Edinburgh and its environs up since the last time I posted about this...

Today's gallery is a hike Shelby and I took...

Le Gallerie du Walking Tour

(There's also a gallery of Edinburgh at night I like a lot... check that out too.)

Meanwhile, we're off to do tonight's show! Only 3 more! Yay! Boo!

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Date:2008-08-20 14:25
Subject:Shelby the Hero

On the afternoon of Tuesday the 19th, Shelby Bond, stood hawking flyers outside the Gilded Balloon for his show, "Sound & Fury's 'Cyranose!'" as the cast often does, in 16th Century garb. Meanwhile, a woman and (apparently) her sister stole some tip jars from the Gilded Balloon food court, and made a run for it. Amidst cries of, "Stop her!" by people from the food court, a couple people tried to block her but Bond sprinted after her. Looking for all the world like an avenging swashbuckler he caught up to the woman, and using techniques from when he worked security for the decidedly not 16th century Rolling Stones, Bond detained the woman and her sister who pummeled him, while stunned onlookers watched. Probably assuming it was all a Fringe stunt, they stood by like a dutiful audience and offered no help, nor applause. After several minutes of holding the struggling women police had not yet arrived, and Bond released the women who ran off cursing him, leaving the full tip jar and a bag of personal effects behind. The police did show up several minutes later and retrieved the money and effects.

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Date:2008-08-13 22:46
Subject:Holy crap. 5 Stars from FEST magazine too.
Mood:does it get better than this?

Written by: Liz Rawlings
Published: Wed 13 Aug 2008

This is the first year comic trio Sound and Fury have bought one of their shows to Edinburgh, and it’s well worth the wait. This musical parody of Cyrano de Bergerac, enacted in modern-noveau style, is a vaudevillian treat performed at lightening pace and with rapier-like wit.

The Los Angeles-based troupe begin by chatting to the audience, casually introducing their act as if we’re long-lost friends catching up over a coffee. This is all part of their grand plan – to present an hour of comedy in a friendly, accessible manner. It’s a plan with audience interaction at its heart and as a result, there are no passive bystanders.

The story is simple; Cyranose falls in love with his cousin Roxanne (“it’s okay, we’re in France”), but is blighted by insecurities about his big nose and instead helps another man to win her heart. Meanwhile, since it’s 1642, sarcasm has just been invented, which is a useful tool to have in the armoury of any budding-comedy troupe and is consequently employed in abundance.

'Cyranose' is silly—think Monty Python with American accents—and mime sword fights, cheap wigs and bad accents all contribute to the hilarity and havoc.

The three men—Shelby Bond, Vinny Cardinale and Richard Maritzer—have sparkling chemistry, and their tremendous quick-wit is exemplified when, after an audience member suggests ‘Cantelope’ for one particular sketch, Maritzer comes out from backstage to shout, “We cant elope, we’re married.”

Cyranose is a deliciously silly play, a song-and-dance treat, and a Fringe highlight.

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Date:2008-08-13 21:24
Subject:5 stars from FringeReview.co.uk
Mood:cloud 10?

This brings us to three 5-Star reviews and two 4-star reviews. (that's 23/25 stars for you playing the home game)

Low Down
Sound And Fury rework the story of Cyrano de Bergerac and his unrequited love for the fair Roxanne through a mixture of gag-a-minute comic routines, silly song parodies and audience-baiting improvisation, bringing old-fashioned vaudeville to the Edinburgh stage.

As the trio that make up Sound And Fury admit, theatre isn’t hugely respected in America. To say you’re performing onstage is often taken to mean “not good enough for TV”. Perhaps it’s not surprising then that they’ve opted to view Cyrano De Bergerac through a more American lens, that of variety and vaudeville. The story is a familiar one: witty, accomplished Cyrano is in love with Roxanne, but is ashamed of his huge nose (in this version, a result of Body Dysmorphic Disorder rather than any nasal grotesquery). Instead, Roxanne has fallen for handsome yet stupid Christian.

De Bergerac ends up helping the young man woothe woman he loves with his ownl yrical declarations. As with all vaudeville, the plot is merely a framework upon which to hang a series of routines and jokes of tremendous variety: references to Blaise Pascal and his adding machine vie with pop lyrics, running gags about a constantly moving beauty spot, discussions on French pronunciation, and near-the-knuckle innuendo.

As Cyrano, Richard Maritzer holds the audience, as well as the play, together. It takes a confident performer to get the crowd to recite the first eighteen lines of the script (read from laminated cards) as he does: an ingenious device to bring the paying public immediately onside. The other two play multiple roles: Vinny Cardinale is a diverting (if bony-chested) Roxanne and the actor McFlurry; while Shelby Bond, ever-grinning, gallops between costume changes as Christian, De Quiche, and various others, taking a childish delight in the pace and sheer silliness of it all.

With minimal props, and on a bare stage, the cast make a virtue out of their limited circumstances, which include having had their swords impounded by customs, while also making use of cartoon-like sound effects: a result of having toured this show globally for the last twelve months. Indeed, so tight are the performers that it’s hard to tell if sometimes the improvisations around mistakes are just that, or have been incorporated for more comic business. Not once, however, do they lose sight of the main plot.

In the end, this is an hour of unadulterated fun, and nothing more, as evinced by their closing number, “The Morality Song”. However to hold a cold, wet Edinburgh audience rapt for an hour requires skill as well as charm. Erudition and smut held together with the manic energy of The Marx Brothers: these are truly modern vaudevillians at the height of their powers.

Reviewed by DD 11/8/08

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Date:2008-08-12 15:45
Subject:5 Stars from Edinburgh Evening News!

Trio keep the laughs coming
Published Date: 12 August 2008
Sound And Fury's 'Cyranose!' *****
Gilded Balloon, Teviot
"EDMOND ROSTAND was probably very earnest when he wrote his most famous play, Cyrano De Bergerac. Chances are, he wouldn't have liked this version very much, and that would have been his loss.
Before the crowd had even sat down, the comic trio had them in stitches, getting them ready for when the show began properly.

That took a while, because the funny men were just having too much fun with the crowd. They could have kept that up for the whole hour and no-one would have complained or asked for their money back, because the actors were so naturally and effortlessly hysterical in themselves.

From the start to the end, Richard Maritzer, as Cyranose, Shelby Bond and Vinny Cardinale – each taking multiple roles – had the audience laughing.

Much of the show was improvised around audience reactions but this wasn't as haphazard as it might sound.

Each of the threesome are clearly masters of their craft, and every crowd can be sure of a completely different, first-class, hour-long belly laugh."

(For those of you not in Edinburgh, the Evening News is in the top three newspapers here - so this is a real coup. We are on cloud nine!)

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