Five theater groups each take a chunk of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s story “A Study In Scarlet,” put their spin on it, then on Monday, May 3, 2010 at 7:30pm, they put the parts back together again and voila…
this year’s Minnesota Fringe Festival fundraiser.
If the Fringe lottery is like Groundhog Day, and the annual visit by Cody Rivers is like the first robin of Fringe spring, then Five Fifths for me is that day I realize “Oh crap, here it comes again.” For other people, that’s Fringe-For-All, but by then for me, I’m buried up to my neck in Fringe. At the moment, I still have a semblance of the rest of my regular life.
Thankfully, the Fringe abandoned last year’s ill-fated variety show format (where the five groups each took a completely unrelated Grimm Brothers fairy tale, supposedly, and there was nothing tying the whole evening together but a tenuous “theme”). Having a single story threading through the evening keeps everyone from going off the rails (well, not too far anyway).
And I’m almost as big a Sherlock Holmes fan as I am a fan of the Fringe. It’s win-win.
The companies taking a buzzsaw to Sherlock and Watson this year?
* Tom Reed, creator of last year’s Fringe hit “Parry Hotter and the Half-Drunk Twins,” a one-man version of all seven Potter novels – The guy’s hilarious, has boundless energy, sings a mean show tune parody, and is ridiculously easy to look at so, no worries on holding my attention
* Theatre Unbound, a company specializing in women’s theater work – resident playwright (and one of my favorite writers in town) Anne Bertram is a huge Holmes fan as well, and her play “Sherry’s Basement” a few years back was an homage to the famous detective
* Park Square Theatre, a St. Paul-based professional theater company – this one made me go, “huh?” until I remembered they’re doing their very own production of a Holmes tale – “Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Jersey Lily” – in June. If we get their cast as part of the action Monday night, that would be enormously cool.
* Dancers Monica Rodero and Dan Schuchart from Milwaukee – I love these two and their whimsical dance routines. Sherlock Holmes as interpretive modern dance? Why not?
* Joshua Scrimshaw and Levi Weinhagen, creators of last year’s detective story “The Harty Boys in The Case of the Limping Platypus” – gee, I wonder if this will be funny? (no, I don’t really wonder – if it’s 1/50th as funny as their last Fringe show, I’ll be doubled over laughing – or groaning in pain – again, win-win)
So join me on Monday in the audience for a great cause, the Minnesota Fringe Festival. And enjoy the varied talents on display, several of whom you’ll be seeing again come August.
Five Fifths of Sherlock Holmes is performing at the Ritz Theater, 345 – 13th Avenue NE in Minneapolis. Tickets are $30 in advance, $35 at the door (You can order tickets online ahead of time at www.fringefestival.org.) Doors open at 7pm, the madness begins in earnest at 7:30pm.
See you there.