We saw ten shows total on Saturday and Sunday and not a single turkey. I don’t know if it’s the art and/or science of our selection strategy or just dumb luck. We saw original dramas, enjoyed a brief but lovely play presented by recent high school students, laughed at a game show and sang along with some jovial Irish music. We saw the real Mayor of Minneapolis at show about the Mayor of Minneapolis featuring a puppet Mayor of Minneapolis. (But funny thing-we didn’t see Michelle Bachmann at the musical about Michelle Bachmann).
Satirizing our local Congresswoman keeps national comedians in business. But Shelly Bachberg Presents:How Helen Keller and Anne Frank Freed the Slaves lampoons not just the person but the spin-doctoring culture that gave her a platform. The musical love child of Stephen Colbert and Stephen Sondheim, it is a biting satire and an old-fashioned pastiche musical . The plot is as absurd as the title promises. Shelly (Kim Kivens, completely inhabiting the role) takes us through the history of “the greatest country ever invented since the universe was intelligently designed 200 years ago.” Helen Keller and Anne Frank really do free the slaves. The lyrics are witty, the book is brilliant, and the music is delightful. Everything about the production is top-notch. It is my favorite show in the fringe so far, and my favorite new musical in ages.