by Kate Hoff | 7/31/09 • I kicked off the 2009 MN Fringe Festival with Death Camp Diaries, presented by Howard Lieberman and Jaded Optimist Productions at the Rarig Xperimental. Howard, a devoutly agnostic secular Jew, has just returned from a trip to visit Nazi death camps in Europe. Just just returned, as in two days ago. This show is a deeply personal account of Howard’s journey. While forced to confront the absolute horrors of humanity, Howard tells of his experience both embracing and disengaging from his Jewish identity. Howard is a talented storyteller. While this show could benefit from a bit more development time, what it lacked in polish it made up for in fresh, raw emotion. There is a bit of unadvertised nudity, but it is extremely effective. This is not an easy show to see, but the subject warrants revisiting.
|full frontal fringe is the blog of kate hoff, one of seven bloggers covering the minnesota fringe festival for the daily planet.|
Getting the hard shows out of the way early, I checked out Something Witchy, presented by Partizan Theater at U of M Rarig Thrust, is a riveting, fictional story of a Charles Manson follower (and more), sixteen years later. Well acted, tightly written, satisfyingly creepy…and believable.
Murder is the theme of the day, I guess: Bard Fiction, presented by Tedious Brief Productions at U of M Rarig Thrust, was up next. This is a perfect Fringe show: an Elizabethan rendition of the movie Pulp Fiction. I’m typically not a Shakespeare fan, because I’m pathetically slow to understand the words. Shakespeare, Monty Python, might as well be Swahili. This show is extremely clever, and I say that in spite of said cleverness going over my head. It really does help to know the movie, but if you’ve avoided the movie because you can’t stomach the violence, this may be perfect for you. Live, hysterical musical interludes (based on the original soundtrack) by Lingua Luna. Very highly recommended.
Kate Hoff is a fundraiser, printmaker, and alternative-theater denizen. Her prints were included in the Visible Fringe show in 2004—also the year she began blogging about the festival. A few years, countless blog entries, and a hundred-some Fringe shows later, Kate joined the Fringe board in early 2008. The views expressed here are hers alone and do not represent the official position of the Fringe (unless noted).
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