Every year at Fringe time, I clear out last year’s pre-Fringe Top 10 list and make way for ten new names. If you put a gun to my head and I could only see ten Fringe shows, what would they be and why…
1 – Katherine Glover – Dead Wrong – Patrick’s Cabaret
I enjoyed her one of her previous Fringe shows, A Cynic Tells Love Stories, so much I’ve been waiting expectantly for whatever she did next. While this show is the polar opposite of that other one in terms of content and style, it’s still Katherine Glover, so she still tops my list. As noted in the Fringe-For-All coverage, she’s also part of the group of storytellers putting on Chorus: Voices After The Silence
2 – Dovetail Theatre Productions – Rip – Minneapolis Theatre Garage
For all the reasons I raved about Dovetail when I wrote up their Fringe-For-All preview
3 – Mainly Me Productions – Class of 98 – Theatre In The Round
For all the reasons I raved about Mainly Me when I wrote up their Fringe-For-All preview
4 – Segue Productions – Steel Kiss – Rarig Thrust
There were two things I worried about before I saw their Fringe-For-All preview, and they both had to do with a failure of nerve. If there was violence would it be realistic (and if it was realistic, would I be able to bring myself to watch it)? If there was intimacy, would they shy away from it? The answers were yes (yes) and no. Not only was the violence disturbing (and compelling viewing), the physical intimacy that contrasted it had real heat and not a hint of hesitation. And while nudity’s not always a plus, in this case it’s certainly not a minus.
5 – Cities Classical Dance Ensemble – Isabella and The Lost Heart Adventure – Southern Theater
Because I enjoyed their dancing so much last year they ended up on my post-Fringe Top 10. This time it’s more a full narrative story than a collection of short pieces, but I’m just as intrigued with how they’ll attack it.
6 – 20% Theatre Company Twin Cities – The Naked I: Wide Open (abridged) – Playwrights Center
Because I saw the unabridged version earlier this year in a sold-out run and it really enchanted me.
7 – The Winding Sheet Outfit – Birds of Passage – Rarig Xperimental
Because Amber Bjork, who heads up the Winding Sheet Outfit, has been a key part of why Carin Bratlie’s company Theatre Pro Rata is as consistently great as it is (apart from Carin, of course. Can’t beat Carin). If Amber’s heading up a project, I’m anxiously looking forward to seeing it.
8 – ORL Productions – The Love Show! – Brave New Workshop
For all the reasons I enjoyed their Fringe-For-All preview so much.
9 – Yellow Bird Productions – Silence – Rarig Proscenium
Because it’s a deaf musical. A deaf. musical.
10 – The Theater of Public Policy – Big Thinkers, Serious Issues, Improv Comedy – Brave New Workshop
Because I’ve been super curious how their mix of actual discussion of serious issues then turns into fodder for improv comedy.