Fringe Report: August 3, 2008

fringe2008.pngI hadn’t been to the new Acadia Cafe since it moved from Franklin and Nicollet to Cedar and Riverside. We spent the break in our Sunday schedule eating there. As good as always. I recommend the black bean burger, the West Bank burger, the GLBT sandwich, and whatever’s on tap. I do not recommend the hummus and pita plate. Another good choice for a centrally located place to eat while Fringe-ing.

Did you know that the Minnesota Fringe Festival website has a mobile version? That’s

On to the reviews.

The Dog, Moses & Me by Regi Carpenter
Not every storyteller at the Fringe is riotously funny, and that’s a good thing. Regi told some poignant autobiographical stories with just the right amount of imagery and movement, and with a quiet, captivating tone. She takes you through some very tough life situations with grace and strength and good humor. I was totally absorbed by her smile. A nice change of pace from some of the “bigger” productions I’ve seen so far. Recommended!

Great American Horror Movie Musical by LSD Productions
In short, parts that involved singing were good and parts that involved talking were bad. I think the Fringe-For-All preview I saw was the best part of the whole show. It’s like the actual plot was a poor excuse to gratuitously string together a bunch of ’80s songs. If you can’t do a good gay joke, don’t even bother. Everyone around us seemed to enjoy this show way better than I did. There was a pretty wide range of acting talent. All were good singers. Sari Lennick was a bright spot. Don’t bother with this one.

Stupid Face by Courtney Roche
An autobiographical story of being struck with Bell’s Palsy at the age of 17. I wanted to like this one, but I just couldn’t get there. It was self-indulgent. I suppose I would expect a selfish reaction from a teenager to such a life event, but with no context as to how everyone else dealt with it and only her story of “I was bitter, then self-conscious, then I got over it” with a too-pat “here’s the moral of the story” bit about change and shit happening in life at the end to go by…. meh. Don’t bother.

Trying Guilt by Culture Mesh Collective
This one was a tad hard to follow. The various characters Christina Frank played all had related story lines, but I couldn’t quite put them all together. The show description says it explores the phenomenon of guilt. I didn’t consistently pick up that theme, but it certainly applies. All that aside, it was different from other stuff I’m seeing and that was a good thing. Go see it for that reason alone. Hip hop doesn’t get enough love at the Fringe. Worth a look, but I wasn’t wowed by it. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on future Culture Mesh Collective productions. And they’ve got their social media joint down: [facebook] [myspace] [twitter] [upcoming]

An Intimate Evening with Fotis: Part Two by Mike Fotis
Exactly what I expected from Mike Fotis, which was fantastic. If you’ve ever seen the guy perform anywhere else (e.g., Brave New Workshop or Rockstar Storytellers) it’s just like that. He’s self-deprecating. He’s a little bit manic. He’s… I don’t know, he’s just Fotis. The icing on the cake for me: The last story is all about blogging. Recommended!

It sure was nice to get the hell away from the Rarig Center for a bit. I mean, the Rarig Center is nice and convenient, with multiple venues in one building, but it takes away from the excitement of traveling between venues. (Will you make it before tickets sell out?) And it’s not the prettiest building to look at. So it was nice to get downtown and see shows at the Interact and the (ex-Guthrie) Lab Theater. Wow, there are so many more condos and townhouses and lofts over there than there used to be. The macaroni on the Creamette Historic Lofts logo cracks me up.

Remember what I just said about hip hop getting some love in the Fringe? For that reason, I want to see Antigone…A Riff on Sophocles (which I saw a preview of), but I think I’m not familiar enough with the story of Antigone to get it. Which might actually be a good reason to go see it. Still undecided.

1 Comment so far

  1. derushaj on August 4th, 2008 @ 7:23 am

    Ditto on Fotis.

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