Fringe Fest

Aliens crash-land a spaceship in the Sonoran Desert in “The Gonzo Hour” by physical theater performer Leora Sapon-Shevin.

I hunch in my seat awaiting the performance ahead me of with no expectations—but none would have prepared me for the show about to unfold, anyway. Leora Sapon-Shevin’s 40 minute performance, "The Gonzo Hour," is half physical comedy and half participatory theater. Sapon-Shevin’s crash landed “alien” character plays host to an apprehensive

audience as the house lights rise and we are invited to look at each other. Props are utilized throughout the show and cast new light on everyday objects; the physicality of the main performer enlivening standard household items such as umbrellas and saws.

A good portion of the show is Sapon-Shevin building relationships between performer,

audience, and props. As the audience is asked to participate in our lead’s journey home, we look at each other in occasional fear, joy, and laughter. The show demonstrates a massive appeal for the Fringe Festival: the opportunity to see experimental work that

may not otherwise be showcased. The newness of The Gonzo Hour’s theatrical performance was irresistible, eclipsing my doubts preceding a show with no plot nor dialogue. And ultimately, I was left with the profound joy of a room full of strangers united in their vulnerability. While occasionally, Sapon-Shevin’s theater made one feel out of depth, I left the play with a reminder that we only experiences life on earth once, with only each other as companions.

"The Gonzo Hour" is 1:30 and 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12 at Steinfeld Warehouse, 101 W. 6th St. Tickets are $10.

Eleanor Allen-Henderson, a long-time theater fan, is an English major in her last year at the University of Arizona.