Posts Tagged ‘mobile’

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.

Further miscellaenous observations…

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 http://fringefestival.org/2008/m/.

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!

Further miscellaneous observations…

Sorry Mommy Minnesota, I’m still going to text and drive

Our government officially decided we can’t handle patting our heads and rubbing our stomachs yesterday. I got the news last night at about 8:30 p.m. last night via Twitter, a mobile social network I frequently use when driving.

According to the KARE 11 story about the bill passing:

If you’re caught composing or sending a text message while you’re behind the wheel of a moving car you can be pulled over and ticketed. Even reading incoming messages could lead to a citation.

Judging from the Pioneer Press article about the bill, it was passed using anecdotal evidence that 1) people can’t handle texting while driving AND 2) it’s a problem worth legislating against, despite the lack of solid research across a wide range of demographics and psychographics.

In fact, the article only lists stats about only teens. Of course teens are distracted drivers…they are also minors, so they are pretty much fair game for passing both disapproval and legislation against. That’s fine with me. But all the news articles and broadcast segments I’ve seen interview adults on the street or in their cars and ask them if they are good drivers when they text and drive. Pretty scientific stuff to base a broad, sweeping bill on, huh?

But what about the general population, some of whom may actually be able to handle reading and replying to e-mails, surfing the web, tweeting and sending text messages? Mommy Minnesota has decided to set some new rules for us, and I’m sorry, but I’m not going to obey them.

In February 2007 I wrote a post here at MB called “I can drive and talk on my cell without crashing” in response to an eerily similar, albeit more stringent, 2007 nanny state bill that would double the fines of any moving violation if the driver was on a cell phone at the time.

Here are some highlights from that post that perfectly reflect the sentiment I’m feeling today:

Remember in grade school when the teacher had to teach the class at the pace of the dumbest student? It slowed down the rest of your class and impaired those who were fast learners and could easily handle the challenges of the day. I know many of my liberal friends don’t see the issue with this. They believe it’s the government’s responsibility to keep us safe from ourselves. But I wish to stress the importance and inevitability of the slippery slope of government mandates on our private lives.

Unfortunately, in the post-9/11 era, our society is relying more and more on the big brother government to “keep us safe.” California, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and the District of Columbia each have enacted a jurisdiction-wide ban on driving while talking on cell phones. Six states (Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Mexico, Ohio, and Pennsylvania) allow localities to ban cell phone use. Only eight smarter states than Minnesota (Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Utah) prohibit localities from banning cell phone use. (then I gave a breakdown of state laws and legislation)…

At what point are we legislating to the lowest IQ of our population? At what point does society either evolve or operate outside the boundaries of the idiots in our society? …

My biggest point is that sure, use of cell phones are distracting. But look at Vermont, which is considering a measure to ban eating, drinking, smoking, reading, writing, personal grooming, playing an instrument, interacting with pets or cargo and possibly even scratching an itch while driving.

Sometimes the freedom to be an idiot is preferred to the handcuffs of what our government thinks we handle.

While I don’t doubt there are people who cannot handle texting while driving, I do not believe it’s the government’s responsibility to GIVE or TAKE AWAY that right.

Minnesota has now become only the third state (after Washington and New Jersey) to pass this ban on texting and driving, and since it was only based on anecdotal accounts and the gut reaction of a dying generation intimidated by 1) technology and 2) a rising culture of electronically connected multitaskers, there’s no way to measure if it was effective. Driving legislation in Minnesota can only get more restrictive from here, and that just isn’t okay with me.

As early as this afternoon, I’m going to be back on the roads, skimming my e-mail, tweeting and reading idrudgereport.com while I drive. I’ll pay the ticket. It’s worth the price of freedom.

And what are your thoughts, my fellow Minnesota drivers?

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