Minnesota Fringe Festival: Portrait of the Artist as a Yo-yo Man

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Gearing up for the final weekend!

I really loved Portrait of the Artist as a Yo-yo Man by David Harris in the Rarig Xperimental. David is my favorite new Fringe friend of 2012. He’s cute, funny, charming and possibly talented. I’m just going to assume talent, as I have no idea how hard it is to, for instance, balance a plastic bag on my face. Loved David’s sidekick Sam, who had opportunities to not only assist but solo during the show. This sweet show about strange hobbies and having dreams come true in spite of them will appeal to a wide audience. Bring your parents. Consider getting there early or reserving in advance for his 10:00 show Friday night; David’s been selling out. Or, rather, his shows have been selling out. I’m going to go out on a limb and predict that he’ll land the Audience Pick slot at 8:30 Sunday night.

These last couple nights I’ve been Fringing with my friend Kai, in town from California. He’s loved the whole Fringe format, and has declared that 60 minutes is the perfect length for a show. He also remarked on the significant audience size the shows were attracting, and I explained that there’s a festival phenomenon that happens – Fringers turn out for a wide variety of shows and are willing to gamble. I explained how remounts of successful Fringe shows rarely draw an audience the way they do during the festival.

“So,” he said, “it’s sort of like rowing. I’m not normally going to go out of my way to watch rowing, but I will watch it as part of the Olympics.”

Yes. That’s exactly it. Fringe is the Olympics of theater, and a great way to find out that you had no idea you liked archery. Or rowing, or synchronized diving. Or dance or storytelling or musicals. Go see stuff!