Fringe 2009: Review—”Jurassic Dork,” Five stars


by Matthew A. Everett | 8/1/09 • The Best Thing We Saw Thursday

“Give yourselves a round of applause. We just got through the exposition portion of the program.”

John Skelley

Jurassic Dork

The lights, the sound, the props, the dinosaurs, the orchestral score, the killer Jeff Goldblum and Sir Richard Attenborough impressions. Damn, Skelley. Well done.

single white fringe geek is the blog of matthew a. everett. in addition to being one of seven bloggers covering the minnesota fringe festival for the daily planet, he blogs throughout the year about theater and culture.

Another great and very funny homage to another pop cultural touchstone. The number of things that could have gone wrong with this breakneck retelling of the “dinosaurs run amuck” adventure movie are almost too many to count. But John Skelley (and his amazing Fringe tech person) pulled it off in fine style.

This was also my second theatrical fake-out of the night. So good it almost had me thinking I’d completely overestimated the guy. That maybe he didn’t have it in him after all. But then, a miraculous, hilarious (dare I say even a bit dirty), cameo by beloved Twin Cities actress Sally Wingert, and we were off to the races again. I don’t want to give too much away, because it was a pretty brilliant fake-out.

For those who don’t know the story – rich guy hires team of scientists to use prehistoric DNA to recreate living dinosaurs so he can build a theme park around them. After one of the star attractions eats one of the workers on staff, the lawyers and investors have the rich guy bring in another team of scientists to sign off on the place as safe for human consumption. Well, humans do get consumed. Because things go horribly, horribly wrong.

This thing was cheese-tastic from start to finish. Playing off both theatrical and movie conventions, going both high and low tech at the same time, Skelley has every little detail of this thing down. It’s a hoot.

This thing was in my Top 20 list for a number of reasons. And they were all on full display tonight.

Damn, Skelley. Well done.

The video below of his Fringe-For-All preview, should give you a taste of the goofiness you should see for yourself.

Very Highly Recommended (and the best thing we saw on Thursday).

His show page

His Fringe-For-All preview

Fringe 2009 – 10:00 Thursday – show #4

Matthew A. Everett is a local playwright and three-time recipient of grant support from the Minnesota State Arts Board. Information on Matthew and his plays can be found at

Support people-powered non-profit journalism! Volunteer, contribute news, or become a member to keep the Daily Planet in orbit.