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Capital Fringe Review: ‘The Diamond Star Project’ By Derek Mong

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The Diamond Star Project may have been the most confusing experience I have had yet at the Capital Fringe. The 45-minute performance is based on Catherine Asaro’s sci-fi book of the same name, featuring live readings of passages from the novel, poetry recitations, a dance number, and a rock opera accompanied by a live band. For those of you familiar with the Project, the performance may have been more coherent, but, for those who had never heard of the Project before, the performance seemed overwhelming and, frankly, a bit off-kilter. Leaving the Warehouse Theatre on New York Avenue, I was left wondering why I had been listening to an impassioned woman preach to me about the wrongs of the Ruby Dynasty and the Skolian Empire. I quickly learned that these were staples of her series, which tells the story of a passionate rock star of the future.

Musicians Greg Meyer, Darrell Dunning, Catherine Asaro, Alex Weber and Greg Adams take a break from rehearsing 'The Diamond Star Project.'

The Diamond Star Project is definitely not for everyone, but there is something that everyone can appreciate from the show. Although I had no clue what the songs were about, I genuinely enjoyed the chilling vibrato from the lead singer of the accompanying band as she belted out the decidedly intergalactic-sounding harmonies of the rock opera. Although walking into the Warehouse Theatre was basically equivalent to leaving planet earth for the hour, after I had gotten over the initial confusion, it wasn’t difficult to appreciate the live poetry reading or the lyrical dance number performed by Asaro’s own daughter. Not a ‘Must-See’, but an enjoyable performance nonetheless.

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