My 2013 Fringe started with Expiration Date written by and starring Candy Simmons (one of the legions of traveling Fringe artists who brought their show here from out of town, loved Minneapolis and stayed). What would you do if you knew you only had six months to live? Something interesting to ponder — hypothetically, of course. This one-woman, multiple character show is both a funny and sobering account of how Lucille handles the news of her impending untimely exit from this mortal coil. Very tight – Candy’s performance is seamless and engaging. Next chance Saturday at 7:00 at Intermedia.
The Education of Murray Sanderson (photo above) is a terrific study in stereotypes – that systematically dismantles them as the show progresses. Excellent ensemble cast playing parents trapped in a classroom, believing they’re there for parent/teacher conferences…but there are other lessons to be learned. It’s the Breakfast Club, 28 years later. Terrific and funny. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself examining your own life and wondering if you’re in need of some schooling. (If you think you’re not, you probably are.) See it Saturday, August 3 at 2:30 at Theater in the Round.
I’ve already said plenty about Now It’s Art. The premiere went wonderfully and the audience was engaged – this is definitely worth a slot on your schedule if you like rock music, slightly (okay, entirely) improbable story lines, madcap antics, and lots and lots of simulated peeing. (Don’t go with a full bladder.) Catch them Sunday at 5:30 at Theater in the Round.
My evening ended with Non Edwards’s Bob Fosse Makeover. It seems everywhere I turn, there’s some deconstruction of this or of that – it’s very popular in the très chic dining scene these days – “deconstructed” seems to be the new “three ways.” The problem is that while I can understand, say, a S’more deconstructed: there’s fancy homemade marshmallow, chocolate ganache instead of Hershey bar, and some sort of graham-cracker-esque crumbs maybe piled on the side…it’s harder to get a deconstruction when you’re not familiar with the original. Here is what I can tell you about this show. First, Non Edwards is a woman. Non is short for Shannon. I had assumed it was non-Edwards, as in nope, I’m not an Edwards, not me. I could join, as I’m not an Edwards, but my friend Jenny Edwards would not be allowed. Second, Bob Fosse was a famous choreographer. According to never-wrong Wikipedia, “Fosse developed a jazz dance style that was immediately recognizable, exuding a stylized, cynical sexuality. Other notable distinctions of his style included the use of turned-in knees, sideways shuffling, rolled shoulders, and jazz hands. With [Fred] Astaire as an influence, he used props such as bowler hats, canes and chairs.” In hindsight, this small bit of possibly true knowledge makes the show make significantly more sense. Although it’s a dance show, it’s light on dancing. There’s movement, very little talking, and I found the experience to be pleasant and a bit like watching a Jim Jarmusch movie…slow, beautiful, with undoubted deeper meaning that didn’t stop me from enjoying myself even if I was never going to get the punch line. I’ve learned to let dance performances just wash over me, and appreciate the aesthetics of the movements and the bodies and not worry my pretty little head trying to understand. Bob would have slit his wrists. So I’m glad he wasn’t there.