Fringe By Numbers: The End

Categories: Fringe Festival

And so it goes... the 2008 Minnesota Fringe Festival is behind us and it was good.  I wrapped the thing up seeing three shows, which were all chosen due to various obligations.  I'm not going to do full reviews of these.  But here in this entry I'll mention a couple of things about each, as well as give them the standard treatment of a rating and a Ten Word Summary.  Thereafter, it'll be time to share some final thoughts and say goodbye.


"Secrets of the Little Yellow Diary" was one of Christopher O. Kidder's favorite shows this year. Be sure to check out our Fringe in Photos slideshow gallery for pictures from this and other shows, afterparties and more. Image by B FRESH Photography.


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Fringe By Numbers, Day 11: The Beginning

Categories: Fringe Festival

This is the final day of the 2008 Minnesota Fringe Festival.  It is time to catch the last few shows that you can fit in.

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Fringe By Numbers, Day Four: "Systems: A Literal Interpretation of the Fourth Wall"

Categories: Fringe Festival

Day Ten: 10:00 p.m. Time Slot

Show: Systems: A Literal Interpretation of the Fourth Wall
Company: Insurgent Theater
Venue: U of M Rarig Center Xperimental
Die Roll:  16

I'm about to write a review that kills my chances with two more women completely.  That thought crossed my mind  sitting in the audience of this show as I realized just how bad this show was.


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Fringe By Numbers, Day 10: "The Bronze Bitch Flies at Noon" and "Dog Tag"

Categories: Fringe Festival

Day Ten: 8:30 p.m. Time Slot

Show: The Bronze Bitch Flies at Noon and Dog Tag
Company: Magicword Theater
Venue: U of M Rarig Center Arena
Die Roll: 19

I really like Matthew A. Everett & Anne Bertram, the writers of these pieces.  This production was made up of two shorter plays through which these two writers explore the nature of loving relationships.  One of the best things to me about Matthew's writing has always been that he tackles love stories.  So many people have left basic love story comedies behind in an effort to be edgy.  What many people forget, is when dealing with gay themes, basic love stories push the most important edge.  Here's what I mean.  All too often gay theatre is about making a point.  All too often it includes things for shock value and flaunts the parts of gay culture that are campy or lurid, or whatever else.  To the average non-enlightened heterosexual individual, seeing gays as campy, silly, and gross isn't that challenging.  A piece of art that helps that perception along isn't accomplishing all that much, no matter how much the purveyors of such theatre might think they're presenting satire or an important commentary on the beliefs of others.


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Fringe By Numbers, Day 10: "Phi Alpha Gamma"

Categories: Fringe Festival

Day Ten: 7:00 p.m. Time Slot

Show:  Phi Alpha Gamma
Company:  Dan Bernitt
Venue:  U of M Rarig Xperimental
Die Roll:  8

I've mentioned once before that I'm soon to go out on the road with GTC Dramatic Dialogues.  The shows that we do are geared for college orientation programs and are about some topics that are often hard to talk about.  One of the topics that we address is Sexual Orientation.  So, I've been very interested in this play since I first heard about it.  I reviewed Dan's show Thanks for the Scabies, Jerkface a few years ago, and while I didn't hate it, I didn't love it, either.  But, I'm always willing to give a performer a second chance.  Especially since the dice don't give me much of a choice.


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Fringe By Numbers: Day Ten, the Beginning

Categories: Fringe Festival

The second Saturday of the Fringe is the day that my daughter traditionally goes around with me.  This year, as you know, she went around the Fringe with me in the first weekend.  So, this year feels strange to me to begin with.  Mix that in with a couple of scheduling things that limit the number of shows I get to see today, and it almost feels like Fringe is winding down a day early for me.

I'll be seeing at least 2 shows today.  Hopefully 3.  We'll have to see how that works out.

This is the last night to hang out at Fringe Central.  So I can promise you that I'll be there, recorder in hand.  There will be one last Fringecast before the festival is done.

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Fringe By Numbers, Day Nine: "War of the Worlds: The Musical"

Categories: Fringe Festival

Day Nine: 8:30 p.m. Time Slot

Show: War of the Worlds: The Musical -- A Tribute to Old-Time Radio
Company: Hometown Theatre
Venue:  Lab Theater
Die Roll:  13

When I saw this group at the Fringe-For-All I wasn't terribly impressed.  In fact, I was dreading attending this show.  I am so glad that I was wrong in my expectations.  Yay!

I enjoyed the show immensely.  I've always been a huge fan of the tight harmonies of 40s style music.  And the old-time radio show is a wonderful thing, too.  The fact that this script is sharply written, is funny and brilliantly self-aware in its presentation adds a lot and makes it an hour really well spent.


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Fringe By Numbers, Day Nine: "Hue & Cry"

Categories: Fringe Festival

Title:  Day Nine - 7:00 p.m. Time Slot

Show: Hue & Cry
Company: Lex-Ham Community Theater
Venue: Playwrights' Center
Die Roll: 6

This will likely be my shortest review to date.  I liked this play.  It was well acted.  Nicholas Leeman, particularly, did a stellar job.  He nailed the Irish accent that his character required.  Grant Henderson, who I shared the stage with in the 2004 Fringe in a play by Matthew A. Everett, pushed past his normal repertoire and performed some modern dance in this piece, and he did a remarkably good job for a non-dancer. 


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Fringe By Numbers, Day Nine: The Legend of Little Bad

Categories: Fringe Festival

Day Nine: 5:30 p.m. Time Slot

Show: The Legend of Little Bad: Not Her Father's Fairy Tale
Company:  Behemoth Theatre Company
Venue: U of M Rarig Center Proscenium
Die Roll:  20 - Critical Hit!  (I got to choose!)

When my die pops up with a 20, I get to choose which show to see.  In this time slot it came down to two shows.  The Legend of Little Bad,or An Inconvenient Squirrel.  I chose The Legend of Little Bad.  Partly because I know quite a few people in this cast and I want to support their show, and also because the venue technician told me that they have had a lot of bad luck scheduling-wise.  And you know, when you're a children's show and you're scheduled when kids can't come, it's not a good thing.  When you are also then scheduled up against one the the perennial Fringe superstars when you do manage to get a good slot, and that show is playing across the hall from you, you're still going to be hurting.  I'd heard this was a good show that needed a little help getting an audience.  So... that made up my mind.


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Fringe By Numbers, Day 9: The Beginning

Categories: Fringe Festival

Well, I want to apologize for having nothing to report about Day 8.  My body revolted, and in a fit of what I can only guess was food poisoning, I didn't go see any shows, nor did I attend rehearsal for my upcoming tour.  It was a terrible evening.  Anyway...

Now, we're onto the final weekend!  This Friday is a special one.  There are earlier shows today than any other weekday of the Fringe.  I'm not sure why that is, except that perhaps one expects to skip out on work a little early on the final Friday of Fringe.  That being the case, there is one 2 p.m. show at the Bryant-Lake Bowl, and a whole bunch of 4 p.m. performances everywhere around the Fringe.

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