Friday show reviews

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by Rachel Reiva | 8/1/09 • On Friday second day of the Fringe I saw three shows. Each show had its originality to it and overall it was a good evening of shows.

Allegra Lingo: Crescendo

Writer Allegra Lingo discovers that a small start can lead to a powerful end. Inspired by the music of Aaron Copland, it’s like Fantasia, except with words instead of dancing brooms and scary demons.

the teen fringer is the blog of rachel reiva, one of seven bloggers covering the minnesota fringe festival for the daily planet.

This show I think was just wonderful to watch. Allegra Lingo was able to perfectly have the music bring her words to life. It was just great to watch as she in the opening starting off in a manner to immediately set the tone of what she was going to talk about. As always she held her presence strong and was able to make it look like that she was controlling the music with her words. Interchanging it with her own sort of modernized version of the Greek tale about Daedalus and his son and her commentary about daily life of being a writer. It kept me entertained to the very end of it. Allegra’s was just able to make it. With the new element of music it really brought a new perspective of reader’s theater to me. When I first thought of the idea of adding music with her show I thought that the music would over power her performance. Yet, with the music, and with also great use of lights, they were able to match perfectly together as she just kept going with the performance. I like this new element that she has added to her story telling, and hope that she continues to experiment more with music.

My only note is that she doesn’t really need the microphone. I mean in the beginning with the lights out and to give an epic presence to her words I would understand that to make her voice sound big she would need the microphone. But with her voice being naturally projected I didn’t really see the need to have the microphone.

It didn’t however hinder her performance what so ever. Crescendo is probably one of the must see of the Fringe Festival. With her commentary on society, gifted storytelling, and the music added, it really is just more then spoken word.

What Happened Productions: Slow Jobs: Servicing America For $12 An Hour

Overworked and underwhelmed? Punch the clock with Fringe favorites Curt and Laura as they relive first jobs, creepy coworkers, minimum wage, office romances, and doing whatever it takes to pay the bills.

I’ve seen every show by What Happened Productions ever since they have been in the Fringe Festival I try to see their shows because each year they get funnier and funnier. Their latest production had me laughing the entire time. Slow jobs definitely have stories that I can relate to. Whether it be dealing with bitchy co-workers, to crazy incidents in the work place. It is a good topic I think, especially for the Fringe Festival crowd. We’ve all dealt with jobs we’ve hated, and we’ve had experiences when we were younger of what our plan was when we get older. The Curt Lund and Laura Bidgood wonderfully paint the images of the stories that they tale. What I thought was great, is the theatrical element of by interacting with each other. This hilarious duo did a great job by changing to different character and showing the difference immediately. Reenacting certain scenes in their stories just brought a great focus to them throughout. This is definitely their best work, and everyone should see it when they can.

Balance Theatre Project: The William Williams Effect

The true story of the last man executed by the state of Minnesota features an illicit love affair, a violent murder and a botched hanging. It’s a story that almost wasn’t told, but had resounding impact.

Minnesota’s history isn’t something that is told often, which is why I was first interested in this show. I thought the play overall was very good. The story flowed, and tied the main points together well. The cast had wonderful actors who each brought great presence known. Two actors that I thought did a great are Wade A. Vaughn (William Williams) and Kevin Singer (Johnnie Keller). They had a great chemistry on stage, and really showed the ‘special’ friendship that William Williams and Johnnie Keller shared. I think that this show took a good approach on this story, that isn’t often told.

What my big notes for the show is that they should have had more of a poetic license. The court scenes were great to watch. I’ve too read some of the court transcripts and it was great to see how they acted it out. But I mean when it came to maybe wanting to show the life of those people in the past. The writer shouldn’t have been afraid of doing a bit more of a poetic license. I also thought that the reporter who became the narrator of the show, his sort of dramatic bits between scenes I think were a bit unnecessary for my taste. I also sort of wished they talked about more of the scandal of William William’s death afterward. Like how did this one man’s death make it so that they changed so that Minnesota wasn’t an execution state? How bad was the public out cry with the pioneer press’s article documenting his death? I think that the writer should have included that since William Williams was the last man executed. But with these notes it didn’t make the show any else powerful with its message.

This show definitely shows apart of Minnesota’s past that isn’t often told about. It’s good to see that someone has seen the rich history Minnesota has to offer to many people. The ending scene was great with the documenting the minutes of William’s execution with reenacting the murders was just great to watch. I think it that this show definitely shows that even though people who are executed have killed people. But in the end of it all they are human just as us. They feel emotions just like any normal person. It’s just that unfortunately those people have made mistakes that they cannot change. I definitely do suggest that people see it when they can.

Well, that’s it for now, next blog I will have some teen shows reviewed. Till next time!

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