IndyFringe: Climate Follies

This is part of IndyFringe 2021, Aug. 19-Sept. 5 (individual performance times vary) in downtown Indianapolis. Details and tickets at IndyFringe.org.

By John Lyle Belden

“Climate Follies” is a fast-paced revue of about a dozen skits and scenes getting silly and absurd about a very serious topic – our global climate crisis.

At ClimateFollies.com, it is noted that this show, by local playwright and former NUVO editor Jim Poyser, is a work in progress. So expect anything, and perhaps go back to a later performance to see what updates are made.

The madness starts from when you enter the room at the Murat Oasis, ushered to your seat by constantly noisy (upcycled prop) leaf-blowers. The cast of Jaddy Ciucci, Kerrigan Howard, Beverly Roche, Dena Toler, and Anabel Watson – with understudy Maddie Davies, stage manager Kieran Shay, and director Raphael Schwartzman – present everything from heavy-handed metaphors (Captain: “There’s a hole in the [ship’s] hull!” Tourists: “Fearmonger!”) to the sublime but icky requiem for a “me”-gan, who takes reducing his carbon footprint to the extreme. The players mostly keep their masks on, which aside from being Covid-compliant, help to keep the focus more on what’s being said than who’s saying it.

Not everything seemed to work – I don’t really get the point of the “Happy Trail” puppet bit – but these folks are trying their best. We’ve known about all these climate problems for years; worldwide events have been dropping reminders (and glaciers); what more do these activist actors have to do? Pound it into your head with a baseball bat?

Oh, and there’s a bit called “Baseball Bat.” It’s audience participation.

If you like issue-driven Fringe shows, this should already be on your list. Bring a friend.

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