Fringe curious? Part 2


by Kate Hoff | July 27, 2009 • Okay. This is the year you’re going to check out the Fringe, opening Thursday at 5:30. But where do you start?

full frontal fringe is the blog of kate hoff, one of six bloggers covering the minnesota fringe festival for the daily planet.

Step One. If you like, find someone to try it with you: a friend, colleague, your mom, your kid, someone else’s kid…all good options. Next, pick a time for your Fringe debut. Maybe commit to two time slots. Or three. Then pick an area to focus on. The Rarig Center at the University of Minnesota is a good first choice because it has four stages under one roof and it’s within easy walking distance of the two Augsburg stages, Mixed Blood Theater, the Southern Theater, Nomad World Pub (a Bring Your Own Venue venue), not to mention a close drive or bike to the Playwrights’ Center.

Lots of options. Maybe too many options? Then stick to the Rarig to start. There are four shows that start at 5:30. Pick one. Then all you need to do is show up! There is a box office for each show, and you can buy tickets (individual tickets or any punch cards) and your Fringe button right there with cash, check, Visa, Mastercard or Discover. If you’re going with a friend, maybe get the 5-show punch card for $50 (saving you $2 per ticket). You can see two shows together, and then when you go for the third you’ll just need to buy one ticket. Or by then you might know you’re hooked – don’t fight it; get another punch card.

But HOW do you decide what shows to see? Ahh, that’s the fun of Fringe. Read the show descriptions. Use the many search features on the Fringe website to search by genre. Read reviews. Read blogs. Draw names out of a hat. Ask the first person you see what they’re going to see. What sounds good/deliciously bad/interesting/”interesting”/whatever you’re in the mood for? Give it a shot.

If you’re really, truly overwhelmed, I’m very willing to help you narrow down your choices. I want you to love your experience at the Fringe. Seriously. Send me an email at katehoff at with your phone number and I’ll help you. I’ll be your Fringe yenta.

Or, get some friends together and take the Fringe Odyssey! This is a guided tour of the Fringe, and a custom schedule will be prepared for you…plus you’ll have an escort! More info available on the website.

After the shows, or between the shows, wander over to Fringe Central at Bedlam. Bedlam is a bar/restaurant (oh yeah, with a theater space, too!) located literally steps from the Cedar-Riverside light rail stop. Bedlam has some incredible features: Excellent food. One of the best rooftop patios in the city. Free parking. And, at this time of year, lots of Fringe resources and TONS of Fringe fans.

One of the many things I love about the Fringe is that it offers something for everyone, from kids to grandparents and everybody in between. The Fringe is also a good place to sample some different kinds of shows. Maybe you love dance and just never knew! Give it a try. Other opinions can be found with other TC Daily Planet Fringe bloggers, and you can follow me on Twitter @katehoff. I’ll be seeing shows and writing about shows and doing my best to help you get the information you need to navigate the Fringe.

This will be my sixth year blogging about shows I see in the Fringe. I have been a volunteer Fringe board member for the past year and a half. This is just a reminder that any opinions about shows I tweet or blog or whisper in your ear do NOT reflect the official position of the festival; ALL opinions are mine and mine alone. See you at the Fringe!!