Audience Picks at the 2012 Minnesota Fringe Festival

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The top selling shows for each Fringe venue will have an encore performance at 8:30 P.M. tonight.  Here is link to purchase tickets in advance: http://www.fringefestival.org/2012/picks/.  Here are some suggestions:

Ash Land, by Transatlantic Love Affair, earned the 8:30 encore at the Rarig Thrust.  We saw the show on Friday night.  (By the way, five stars to the Fringe staff and volunteers managing the enormous Rarig complex).  Conceived and directed by Diogo Lopes, the ensemble creates a potent piece of storytelling using only their bodies and voices, with Harper Zwicky on slide guitar.  They become the mature wheat gently blowing in the field, the pigs in the pen, and the creaky kitchen door.   Every heightened theatrical movement is  evocative, but the execution is so seamless that it never feels gimmicky.  This is a bold, beautiful piece of theater.

Photo by Jeff Larson

The Gentlemen’s Pratfall Club is the 8:30 encore at the Southern.  Here is my previous blog post.

Fruit Fly: The Musical is the 8:30 encore at the Rarig Arena.  This delightful all new mini-musical has been selling out the Arena.  I’m excited that more people will have the chance to see it.  A gay guy (a fruit) and a straight girl (a fly) meet-cute, sing, dance, and grow up in the happiest show in the fringe.  There are growing pains, but their friendship always prevails.  The dynamic duo of Max Wojtanowicz and Sheena Janson are top-notch singers-actors, and Michael Gruber’s score lets them shine.  Nikki Swoboda’s deft direction makes the implausibility of cabaret-in-the-round a feature, not a bug. 

Portrait of the Artist as a Yo-yo Man is the 8:30 encore at the Rarig Experimental.  Here is my blog post.

Curt and Laura Used to Be Good at Gymnastics and Stuff is the 8:30 encore at the Gremlin.  If you want to cap off your Fringe Festival/Summer Olympic marathon laughing your ass off, this is the show to see.  Rockstar Storytellers Laura Bidgood and Curt Lund take turns recounting the horrors of gym class with humor and honesty.