by Matthew A. Everett • July 14, 2008 • Hi, Allegra! (I think she reads this thing. She sent me an email a little while ago that seemed to indicate she was following along, waiting for the day she might appear in the list of blog entries covering returning favorites. And why shouldn’t she appear? She is a favorite of Fringes past, back yet again)
Former working title, the pithy…
“People said they want to hear more about my relationship with faith. So I’ll give it to them. Plus, Charlie Bethel moved to Philly so someone has to do something with folklore.”
Which evolved into…
“Rebelling against politics, proselytizing and puking, rockstar Allegra Lingo surfs the waves of her Baptist past and gay Catholic present to find an island of her own.”
A slightly meatier description…
“Fringe veteran Allegra Lingo premieres her fourth solo show at the 2008 Minnesota Fringe. Tipping the Bucket chronicles Allegra’s faith-journey: Baptist raised, Lutheran schooled, Catholic converted as an adult, and somewhere in the middle of that realized she was gay. Through philosophical pondering, non-linear essays, and stories of islands and seasickness, Allegra weaves her personal faith and the world’s facts together in a performance marked by wit and intellect.”
Allegra is fond of ending her emails with the following two statements…
“Be careful or I’ll use you in my novel.”
“Finish Your Beer. There are sober kids in India.”
In my case, it might also be, be careful or I’ll put you in my press release.
“She is a tonic. Even if you don’t know her, you will leave the performance feeling like you spent time talking with a good friend. And in the midst of the wonderful madness that is Fringe, this is the kind of pause that really recharges your batteries, and makes you appreciate your own life and blessings just a little bit more than before.”–Matthew Everett (blogger, theatre critic, and playwright, 2007)
Of course, I didn’t call her…
“The John Steinbeck of Minneapolis”–John Townsend, “Fresh Fruit” (KFAI Radio, 2006)
But I kind of wish I had, it’s much briefer. Lord, I do go on.
Allegra’s Fringe show last year “I Hate Kenny G” seemed to keep the Fringe going all by itself for months after the summer was over. There was the invited showcase of popular Fringe shows remounted by a theater in St. Paul, then the official Fringe Encore showcase out in Hopkins, for which “G” was one of the lucky ping pong balls drawn, and then more recently a Mother’s Day/Father’s Day double feature where Allegra teamed up with Maximum Verbosity to pair “G” with “Descendant of Dragons” for an ideal duet of stories on mothers and daughters and fathers and sons.
What else has she been up to in the meantime? Well, let’s see… co-founder of the Rockstar Storytellers (which put on a monthly storytelling showcase for artists to develop new material and put it up in front of audiences – and they also have a show in the Fringe this year, by the way). Plus appearances locally at Women StandUp!, Sin Cities, Radio All-Stars, Comedy for Choice, and as host of the 24-Hour Play Project. She also tours locally and nationally as the saxophone player for Buckets and Tap Shoes.
Damn, Fringers make me feel lazy.
Also, Allegra has bewitched my Mom.
When I told Mom I was starting to work out our Fringe-going schedule for her upcoming visit, she said…
“Make sure we see that girl.”
“OK Mom, you’re going to have to help me narrow that down. Which girl?”
“Oh, you know. The girl. She had a show. We saw it.”
“Oh, there was that one year. The audience got really quiet right at the point where she was talking about someone telling her she had pretty eyes. And I sighed. And everyone heard it. And she pointed out into the dark in my direction and said, ‘I’ll see *you* after the show.'”
“Yes! I love her name. Why couldn’t I remember it?”
“Don’t worry, Mom. Allegra’s show is in the same space as my play is. We won’t have to go very far at all to see her.”
Mom is very happy.
You can follow Allegra’s adventures on her blog, if you wish – http://thetravelingmonkey.wordpress.com
And if you just can’t wait til the Fringe later this month to see Allegra perform, and the YouTube video of her Fringe-For-All appearance won’t do the trick, my shameless plug of the day is for tomorrow night’s taping session of the Rockstar Storytellers upcoming CD (with each storyteller choosing their favorite new story developed this year). Should be a blast. Bryant Lake Bowl, Tuesday, July 15th at 7pm (doors at 6pm) – 810 West Lake Street, Minneapolis
U of M Rarig Center Arena stage
330 – 21st Avenue South, Minneapolis
Thursday, July 31, 8:30pm
Saturday, August 2, 7pm
Friday, August 8, 5:30pm
Saturday, August 9, 4pm
Sunday, August 10, 2:30pm
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 matthewaeverett.com.