Fringe Report: August 4, 2008

fringe2008.pngFirst weekend is over. Hope the numbers looked good. I kept seeing Minnesota Fringe Festival Executive Director Robin Gillette appear in places. I don’t think she moves from the neck. I think it’s all in the waist. Just sayin’. You’re doing a great job, Robin! *pinch your cheeks*

Local dance community stalwart John Munger, writing at the Daily Planet, gives his take on the “catastrophe” at the Southern Theater that has “precipitated an incandescent crisis in the dance community.”

Pub-style trivia at Fringe Central (the Bedlam), Tuesday night, 11pm.

Sortable audience review data.

On to the reviews.

Sex, Love & Vomit by Story Tapestries
Christopher Kidder already has described it pretty well, so I won’t repeat. I’ll just say that I was bored. Katie Knutson’s “faggot” story was kind of funny, in that earnest good kid sort of way. I feel like a bad person for saying this, but I found the fact that Arianna Ross is (very) pregnant to be distracting. They had different styles but I didn’t find them to be complementary. It was a little jarring transitioning between stories. It felt disjointed. Still, I gotta give props to someone who can get up there and tell such deeply personal stories in the first place. It’s decent, but don’t go out of your way.

Get It OFF YOUR CHEST!!! by Mary Helena
I cried! Holy crap, this is one of the best shows I’ve seen so far. So the theme is “If you have excess stress, get it off your chest.” Mary Helena goes through a series of stories, in character, about women dealing with stress. She sets up each scene, neatly transitions into character, portrays the character with simple costume and accent or pidgin, transitions back out, and then has an astute observation on each which is usually some variation on “Ain’t that some shit?” It flows easily from scene to scene as she pulls each costume from a trunk. It’s clear watching each character who she’s speaking to and where she’s coming from. Each story is a clear display of sympathy or empathy, except for the very last one which is from her own point of view. I loves me a sassy black woman. Armitea made me cry. I won’t spoil that story, though. MUST SEE. Seriously. Wednesday at 8:30 or Saturday at 7, at the Mixed Blood.

adjective by Megan Dowd
Two words: Dawson’s Creek. Skip the first season where the surprisingly mature dialogue was still a novelty and fast forward to the part where it just got annoying. In fact, Brandon Sommers looks kind of like Pacey. So the story is about an inappropriate student/teacher relationship. The student is both manipulative and naive. The teacher’s a dumb ass. In the scene where they finally — finally! — kiss for the first time, the guy sitting behind me actually snorted out loud. It was a train wreck of a show, because it was terribly predictable, and you know it can’t end well. And then some other woman who I think may have been the director/producer actually came out to give the standard post-Fringe-show speech, which I’ve never seen given by anyone other than a perfomer. Must avoid.

I know that Fringe is like wine and beer and it’s almost impossible to recommend stuff because everyone likes something different. That said, I’m finding the reviews to be unreliable. Mainly because, on the whole, only folks who are really vested in a show or really pleased by it care enough to leave a review in the first place. So the ratings are inflated and thus I tend to discount a show with anything less than 4 kitties, because if a few people cared enough to give it a bad rating, it had to be kinda bad. And some people, like me, can’t often explain very well why they did or didn’t like it. I just know what I like. Like wine and beer. And I know that not every show is really worth 4 or 5 kitties, but I can’t always tell you why. Just sayin’.

What is it about actors and bare feet? I’ve seen a few different shows where folks are all in black (okay, I get that) and they have bare feet. What’s wrong with shoes?

I’ve been taking notes on my crackberry, so I apologize to any performer that may have seen me and thought I was texting during their show. I really need to remember to grab a pen.

The Fringe’s mobile site only shows you the remaining shows for the day. So when I looked at it this afternoon, it had every Monday show on it. When I looked at it this evening, it only had shows from 8:30 on. Nice and simple. Love it.

2 Comments so far

  1. natecsz on August 5th, 2008 @ 11:57 pm

    Hey Erica!! It’s Nate!! Remember me? I’m glad to see your reviews of the Fringe and I have enjoyed reading them all. I have also gone to see a few shows on your recommendation:) You should really try to see Musical: The Musical. It’s good times.

  2. Erica M (ericam) on August 6th, 2008 @ 8:56 am

    Hey, Nate! Your show’s getting pretty good reviews. I have not yet been able to work it into my schedule.

    I’d be curious to hear what you thought of any shows you did see on my recommendation.

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