If you still chuckle at those Twilight memes making fun of Kristen Stewart’s awkward portrayal of Bella Stark, or harbour some nostalgia for the immortal (and problematic) YA series, then Dusk: A Bite-Size Love Story should be top of your list for the last few days of the Fringe.
An enthusiastic cast giving a tongue-in-cheek performance of an iconic fantasy series
Morgan Kennedy and Daniel Ruffing have put together a lengthy original musical with a lot of entertaining moments and pop culture references. Fans of the original book and movie series will enjoy spotting little tributes - like Bella’s famous cactus and inability to use a ketchup bottle - as well as bigger scenes, like the famous baseball game set to punchy music with an energetic and well-choreographed dance number. While the parody element is pretty strong, the music is quite bland and the songs feel indistinguishable from each other. But musical lovers will appreciate the subtle homages to famous Broadway shows like Wicked, Hamilton, and Les Miserables.
Some creative choices throughout the show include: replacing the car crash scene with an interpretive dance, creating a passionate but unrequited romance between Charlie and Carlisle, and using cast members in morph suits to fill in as props, other characters, and even the elements! The entire cast seems so committed to background acting that they often overshadow the main characters, but this adds to the general loopiness and fun of the whole experience.
At almost two hours, the show is absolutely too long and would do well to condense to just the strongest scenes, perhaps removing the narration interludes, for a tighter performance that leaves the audience wanting more. Overall, an enthusiastic cast giving a tongue-in-cheek performance of an iconic fantasy series.