Fringe finale: All over but the counting
|Photo courtesy Four Humors Theater|
|Brant Miller as Lolita.|
The fun final numbers won't be out until later, but here are a few thoughts about this year's Fringe. I ended up seeing 21 shows over the course of the festival, including seven of the top sellers.
Favorite show: Four Humors' Lolita: A Three-Man Show.
Making a fast-paced, highly physical comedy out of Stanley Kubrick's disturbing film (based on Vladimir Nobokov's equally disturbing book) turns out to be a real tour de force from this already accomplished ensemble. It starts by putting burly Brant Miller in the role of the young teen title character that becomes the center of attention for two middle-aged men.
It could have been a one-note sketch extended to an hour, but the creators took the various elements of the concept and stretched, bent, and broke them into something amazing. The fractured history at the core of the story gets crazier and crazier, ending with Anne Frank facing off with evil Abraham Lincoln for the right to free the president's slaves. The company was first rate and the message wasn't so overwhelming to get in the way of the fun.
New-Yorker-by-way-of-Minnesota Matthew Trumbull shares a story that is at turns absurd and heartbreaking as he recounts the final moments of his father's life and the scenes immediately after as a pair of University of Minnesota medical students come to collect the body. By the end, we have a sharp sense of the man who helped to raise and define Trumbull, and the deeply etched pain that can linger long after a parent's death.
In other words, another year of the most exhausting-but-rewarding theater in the Twin Cities has come to an end.