Fringe Top 20—#18: War of the Worlds


by Matthew A. Everett • July 24, 2008 • “Pull up your chair and enjoy sitting on the edge of it.”

War of the Worlds – The Musical – A Tribute to Old-Time Radio
Hometown Theater

“Mysterious news reports interrupting the comedy hour are thought to be jokes until Martians break in and slay the audience with their three-legged tap dancing. Can the human race survive this? Come and find out.”

Single White Fringe Geek (and Mom) is the blog of Matthew A. Everett, one of five bloggers covering the Minnesota Fringe Festival for the Daily Planet.

More info from the company website

“The show is set on the stage of a music and comedy hour in front of a live studio audience at the height of the 30’s and 40’s radio era. A local astronomer has been getting so many laughs in the news with his stories about Martians coming that they decide to invite him on and do a Martian themed show, which is soon interrupted with breaking news about strange meteors falling to earth that turn out to be much more. Are the reports real, or just part of the show? Come and find out.”

There are some things that you tack the words “The Musical” on the end of, and I run screaming for the nearest exit. And there are some things, like “War of the Worlds” that you add “The Musical” to, and I’m suddenly transfixed. It just seems too cheese-tastic an idea to pass up. The preview at the second edition of Fringe-For-All delivered on this promise. See for yourself, the Fringe has posted a video clip on their YouTube page.

These folks have the whole “old-time radio” style down, and it’s a lot of fun. I accidentally tripped on the ending to the sequence in being there early to help set up for my show’s preview. I passed a guy bringing an enormous fuzzy green alien head in the front door. It would be the alien you see in their publicity image.

This made the preview extra suspenseful for me, as I just sat there thinking – when’s the alien going to come out? Oh lord, there’s the yellow light, they’re running of out time, when’s the alien going to come out? Turns out, the alien just gets a walk-on, or rather walk-through, cameo appearance at the end, which was pretty funny. Only the audience got to see him, er, it. But it did the trick.

Plus, the ensemble includes Dale Pfeilsticker and Brent Teclaw, a couple of actors whose work I really enjoy. And they’re perfect for this kind of thing.

I don’t think I can stay away from this thing, and I don’t think I want to. I don’t think you should either. It just seems like a ridiculous bit of fun. There’s high-brow fare all over the Fringe, too, if you want it, but I need to mix up my diet, and War of the Worlds – The Musical – A Tribute to Old-Time Radio looks like dessert to me.

You can check out the company’s website at

Show location, dates and times, and ticket info here

Entering his sixth year of blogging about the Minnesota Fringe Festival (and bringing Mom along for the ride as a guest reviewer), Matthew A. Everett is also 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