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Adam review the RIT Student Honors Showcase and 'Murder Night'


Every year at the Fringe, I look forward to attending the RIT Student Honors Showcase, the annual event held at The Little Theatre that highlights student work from RIT's School of Film and Animation. It's always fun to see what the talented group of up-and-coming filmmakers are up to, and this year's program didn't disappoint. Presenting 28 short films in all -- ranging in length from 50 seconds to 26 minutes -- the program represents every year of graduate and undergraduate work, as well as every genre of film.

In past years, I've lamented that the event's four-hour run time makes scheduling difficult. It's a big time commitment during Fringe, when every day dozens of shows are fighting for your attention. But I'm ecstatic to report that a solution has been found: the entire lineup of films has been compiled on DVD, copies of which are available for free to attendees of the event. So now you can catch up on what you've missed in the comfort of your own home, and I couldn't be more pleased.

Unfortunately, Saturday was the RIT Student Honors Showcase's only showing. But you can find out more at cias.rit.edu.

I ended my night at the TheatreROCS stage with a little of the old ultraviolence, catching the last performance of "Murder Night: Don't Fear the Re-Purge," Bryan Smith's twisted rock opera inspired by the "Purge" horror film franchise.

The plot revolves around two yuppie couples who decide to participate in the annual holiday in which all crime is legal for 12 hours, giving them the opportunity to give in to their base instincts and carnal desires. Accompanied by Smith on guitar, the talented four-person cast fully commits to their roles.

The tone of this bare-bones (and distinctly bloodless) production is a bit hard to describe; it sort of reminded me of when Gene Belcher decided to mount a musical production of "Die Hard" for his school on the show "Bob's Burgers." It straddles the line between supremely silly and surprisingly clever -- that is to say, the entire thing is wildly entertaining. Let's put it this way, if lines like "Nothing gets me hard like rigor mortis" put a goofy smile on your face, this show would have been for you.

Unfortunately, Saturday's performances of "Murder Night: Don't Fear the Re-Purge" were the only ones for this Fringe. But you can keep track of the show at facebook.com/repurge.

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