Jumpin’ Jack Kerouac at the 2014 Minnesota Fringe Festival

In Jumpin’ Jack Kerouac, at the Rarig Proscenium, choreographer Windy Bowlsby takes on the challenge of teaching a bunch of veteran Fringe writers to dance. The Fringe preview gave the impression that the show might be played for laughs, but the whole production was done with sincerity and commitment. The result is a show that is a celebration of the collaborative spirit of the Fringe Festival itself. Continue Reading

Reach at the 2014 Minnesota Fringe Festival

Reach, presented by Nautilus Music-Theater at the Rarig Xperimental, is a buffet of new music, sung by some of the Twin Cities’ best singer-actors. I never miss the Nautilus collaborations at the Fringe. While I enjoy the frantic energy of the “fringier” musicals, it was nice to hear a show where intonation wasn’t optional. Presented as an anthology of five vignettes, some pieces have a self-contained story and some are excerpts from a larger work. But all loosely share the universal theme of aspiration. Continue Reading

Marie Jeanne Valet Who Defeated La Bete Du Gevaudan at the 2014 Minnesota Fringe Festival

Marie Jeanne Valet Who Defeated La Bete Du Gevaudan, by Sandbox Theatre is playing at the Southern Theatre. I highly recommend it; there are three performances left including one tonight (Tuesday) at 5:30. Billed as “something different” this drama uses music, movement, puppetry, and storytelling to tell the tale of a town terrified of a mysterious monster devouring its citizens. Eerie and lush, Marie Jeanne is powerfully moving. Continue Reading

Four Humors does Every Show at the Fringe at the 2014 Minnesota Fringe Festival

Four Humors Does Every Show at the Fringe, by Fringe perennials The Four Humors, snagged a last minute spot in the Festival after lingering on the wait list. Using the Fringe lottery ping-pong ball machine, they drew a number and proceeded to perform an improvised version of the the corresponding show. The “winner” at the show we saw was #35-Cursed, by Mark Rosenwinkel. Cursed, based on the play To Damascus, Part I by August Strindberg, describes itself as “a self-destructive artist runs off with a doctor’s wife, embarking on a surreal and mysterious journey that tests the enduring power of love.” Continue Reading