by Kate Hoff | 8/3/09 • I intentionally loaded Sunday with a show lineup I thought my sister, a first-time Fringer, might enjoy. We grabbed a little breakfast at Key’s Café and joined the line to see Jurassic Dork created and performed by John Skelley at Gremlin Theatre. After much contemplation, this is my analysis: John Skelley is a freaking genius and I love him. This show is straightforward. It’s the one-man retelling of the movie Jurassic Park. No deeper meaning, no hidden message, nothing else to say, except get there early, as this may be the most awesome show in the Fringe — and that’s not a secret.
The William Williams Effect presented by Balance Theatre Project at the Southern Theater, was written by two friends of mine, Nancy Ruyle and Brian Columbus. Nancy and Brian are Fringe veterans, so I expected a lot from this show – and it delivered. My husband Bob has deemed it one of the ten best pieces of theater ever. It’s a great show, based on the true story of the last man executed in Minnesota. Extremely well done, lead actor Wade A. Vaughn is a perfectly creepy William Williams. There was much speculation regarding the nature of the relationship between Williams and his friend Johnnie Keller. This show presents the facts as known, and leaves the unknown for the audience to ponder.
|full frontal fringe is the blog of kate hoff, one of seven bloggers covering the minnesota fringe festival for the daily planet.|
To lighten the mood a little, we headed over to see Slow Jobs created by Curt Lund and Laura Bidgood, performed at the U of M Rarig Arena. Rockstar storytellers Laura and Curt are always safe bets. Charming and funny, their work is accessible to a wide audience.
A short hike back up the hill to see casebolt and smith: Speaking Out! presented by Liz Casebolt and Joel Smith at the Southern Theater. Wow. Liz and Joel are flawless dancers. Interesting, beautiful, fluid. Oh yeah, and funny. It’s not often that we’re privy to dancers’ conversations on stage. Turns out I love talking dancers. Always assumed “dance” meant moving around on legs? Not so. In one piece, Liz and Joel are seated throughout. This might be a good show to try if you think you might be interested in dance, but aren’t really sure…this would be a great show for a dance virgin. The only problem is that then your standards will be so high, all future dance performances will pale in comparison.
Cherry Cherry Lemon written by Keri Healy and performed at Intermedia Arts. Actresses Megan Hill and Keira McDonald nailed this show. This is a lovely, true piece of theater, wonderfully acted. I was baffled by the low star ratings given by reviewers, until I realized that the majority of those reviewers (as of 10 a.m. on Monday) are men. I’m not saying that this is a show that can only be appreciated by women, but I guarantee that anyone equipped with a vagina will relate. This will remain one of my favorites of 2009.
We closed the evening with The Morning After the Summer of Love presented by Scream Blue Murmur at Intermedia. I’m generally not a fan of political songs and poetry. Irish group Scream Blue Murmur has a tremendous quality of being interesting, political and presenting richly colored messages without being preachy. One of their songs is still playing in my head. “I’m going to love you…”
Kate Hoff is a fundraiser, printmaker, and alternative-theater denizen. Her prints were included in the Visible Fringe show in 2004—also the year she began blogging about the festival. A few years, countless blog entries, and a hundred-some Fringe shows later, Kate joined the Fringe board in early 2008. The views expressed here are hers alone and do not represent the official position of the Fringe (unless noted).
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