Minnesota Fringe Festival: School of Rhythm at the Rarig Proscenium

SHOW TITLE: School of Rhythm

PRODUCER: Elephant Games Productions

HAILING FROM: Minneapolis

SHOW DESCRIPTION: A few ground rules: don’t be late, keep your pencil sharp, most importantly, don’t lose the beat! Experience food fights, secret handshakes, and other topics not covered on the exam in School of Rhythm! Reviewing youth shows is always a perilous endeavor: as someone with extensive background in youth theater, I’m a great believer in holding it to a critical standard. There are many who are inclined to shower any youth production with praise, and view criticism of it as being in poor taste, and I’m one of those inclined to view this attitude as one the Things That Are Destroying America and Art (TM). Which is why a youth show like this one is such a relief, because it’s both effortlessly impressive and enjoyable. Continue Reading

Minnesota Fringe Festival: STANDING ON CEREMONY: The Gay Marriage Plays at the Ritz Proscenium


PRODUCER: The Ensemble Theatre Company

HAILING FROM: Minneapolis

SHOW DESCRIPTION: Join us as we explore the practicalities of gay marriage through four weddings, one funeral, and one nervous breakdown as six couples discuss family, sex, politics, and religion before saying “I do.” I’ll confess my prejudice up front – I was dismayed to realize that this script was yet another New York import, as opposed to something with a more local bent. This is an anthology of six plays, the vast bulk of which are – very, very light. Which was also disappointing, as someone hoping for something with a bit more meat to it. But that, I suspect, is the point – the very fact that these are generally light, comic, sitcom-y sketches. Continue Reading

Minnesota Fringe Festival: The Bunker

SHOW TITLE: The Bunker

PRODUCER: BERW Productions

HAILING FROM: Minneapolis

SHOW DESCRIPTION: A Marine brings the Gulf War home with him and finds relief in prescription drugs, denial and contemplating suicide. With the aid of his doctor he realizes the deepest scars are those not seen. So this is a military drama, which is one of my favored genres. Moreover, the programme mentions that the playwright is a vet himself, which further piques my interest. I can’t get enough of these stories, the stories of ordinary men being measured against intense (or often interminably dull) scenarios. Continue Reading

Minnesota Fringe Festival: The Second Oldest Profession at the U of M Rarig Center Arena

CAVEAT: I am producing a show in the same venue that is technically in competition with this one for an additional performance (though I do not view mine as a serious contender).

SHOW TITLE: The Second Oldest Profession
PRODUCER: Tinker-2-Evers-2-Chance
HAILING FROM: Minneapolis
SHOW DESCRIPTION: Peter Moore’s solo show is a collection of delightful stories of the famous (and not-so-famous) from the world of show business, drawn from Moore’s nearly 40 years as an actor and director. Highly entertaining! Continue Reading