Theater

Gemma Wilcox tops off the Boulder International Fringe Festival with a late entry

Gemma Wilcox is the closest thing to a household name at the Boulder Fringe; she took "Pick of the Fringe" there in 2005 for The Honeymoon Period is Officially Over and Leela's Wheel, and again in 2006 for Shadows in Bloom. And in 2008, 52 Pick Up was named Best of the Fest. This year, she's a little late to the ball, but her new collaboration with Elizabeth Baron, Dangerously Safe, comes to town with a lot of credentials. Described as an "edgy blend of devised text, authentic improv, dance, myth and video," the show is a departure for Wilcox in some ways, none of them necessarily bad. "My pieces are usually linear, but this one is nonlinear," she explains. "And I don't want to give it away, but there is a very unusual and provocative staging for this piece." And its message? "It's really more of a question: What is it to be authentic, what is a true connection? In fact, we almost put a question mark at the end of the title!

"It also explores our shadow selves and the illusions and travails of separation. And it's about how we're not being safe -- how to move beyond our mediocre complicity and take risks." Together, Wilcox and Baron share a tremendous amount of ability between them. They are, without a doubt, destined to knock you, and everyone else in their paths, clean out of the park.

But it is one of those things where you have to be there: "We really need an audience to actually know what it's all about," Wilcox notes. Perhaps that's just her way of enticing you, her potential audience, to help her find out.

Dangerously Safe opens tonight with shows at 6 and 8 p.m. at the ATLAS Black Box Theatre, 18th Street and Euclid Avenue on the CU-Boulder campus, and continues with two shows daily on Saturday and Sunday. Admission is $13 to $15.

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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd