Lot O’Shakespeare, My Dinner with Andrew, 7(x1) Samurai, Minnesota Middle Finger, Comedy = Tragedy + Someone Else


Wow, what a slow start to Saturday. It’s hard to get a jump on the day when one sleeps until 11. Oh well. 1:00 came and went, 2:30 was gone and luckily, I live close enough to venues that the 4:00 was possible.

In Lot O’Shakespeare, Tim Mooney has a cage full of balls numbered to represent some 44 different Shakespeare plays and sonnets. With each ball drawn, audience members can mark a space on their BINGO card (or in this case, IAGO) and Tim recites (with feeling) from memory, a bit of said piece (after a brief context-setting introduction, which is helpful).  If you have a particular favorite that you’d really like to hear, Tim mentions that he’s happy to take bribes. He got through 24 of them in his hour on Saturday at the Bryant-Lake Bowl. This show is really perfect for the Shakespeare buff or even student; will have less appeal to those who aren’t particularly interested in the Bard. I fall into the latter category, but was still impressed he was able to pull it off. Next chance Monday at 7.

I quite enjoyed My Dinner with Andrew, about playwright Robert Ford’s real life interactions with serial killer Andrew Cunanan in the years prior to his killing spree. It’s a great show, nicely presented. I’m a sucker for real-life stories, and this one doesn’t disappoint.  Next up Monday at 10 in the Rarig Arena.

7 (x1) Samurai is pure genius. One person, a multitude of characters. Clown, mime, with masks and human sound effects, writer and performer David Gaines is extremely gifted. This is going to end up leading many “top ten” lists of 2011. Bob dozed a bit during the show, leaving him a bit confused about the story line. I’m usually the confused one, and followed it easily (but I also didn’t take a nap in the middle of it — hard to follow a mime show with your eyes closed).  Monday at 10, and Saturday at 7, Rarig Proscenium.

Minnesota Middle Finger made me so happy on so many levels. Written and directed by my friend Ben San Del, and featuring the lovely Leigha Horton (and others), it was darker than I was expecting – in a very good way. Ben’s Fringe involvement started a few years ago with his charming, sweet stand-up routines. Last year he presented more of a “play,” with a cast (including himself) – but still sweet. I’ve got nothing against sweet, but Minnesota Middle Finger has a nice bite to it that I loved. Will be in my top ten of 2011. This show will be appreciated by teens on up. They sold out their opening night – consider reservations. At Theatre in the Round, Sunday at 5:30, Thursday at 10 (Friday at 4, Saturday at 7).

Who knew that Mike Fotis + jugglers = one of my favorite Fringe shows ever? I’ve always been a fan of the Fotis acting method that involves sitting behind a desk reading from a binder. This year, for a change of pace, Mike incorporated the incredibly talented Danger Committee juggling troupe and the unlikely combination in Comedy = Tragedy + Someone Else is magical and hysterical. I have a huge crush on the bald guy. Bob thinks it’s because he looks like Tom Colicchio. I think it’s because he looks like he could carry me over a threshold or retrieve me should I find myself dangling on the edge of a building – all without breaking a sweat. A great show for all ages; enough action to hold the attention of older children. Next show Tuesday at 8:30, then Saturday at 5:30 and Sunday at 1. Rarig Thrust.