Wednesday Fringe recap

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by Kate Hoff • August 7, 2008 • First on the list was Charlie Bethel presenting Beowulf or Gilgamesh – You Decide! at the U of M Rarig Arena. First, let me point out that it’s a bonus that Charlie is performing in the festival this year; due to a magical alignment of stars, there was a last-minute drop out, and Charlie happened to be in town visiting…and we’re all lucky because of it. I was not expecting to be lobbied so heavily upon entering the theater. The audience participates in voting for which show they’d like to see, and if someone has already seen one, they’re obviously vying for the other. Mayhem. But once there’s a decision, Charlie is off like a shot. He is amazing, and his adaptations of these classics actually make them interesting. Last show tonight at 10.

Full Frontal Fringe is the blog of Kate Hoff, one of five bloggers covering the Minnesota Fringe Festival for the Daily Planet.

American Sexy, also in the Rarig Arena, presented by New Theatre Group. This is a complicated show. (I’d expect no less from the New Theatre Group.) At first I thought I might be watching a semi-annoying college sex romp, but as the show unfolded, it became a much more complicated look at relationships and deceit. It’s not easy to watch, and it pushes the limits of vulgarity, but for good reason. Really excellent acting; this script couldn’t have been pulled off with anything else. Showing Friday at 7 and Saturday at 10.

The Gypsy and the General at Jeune Lune. I was happy to finally get out to see a 3 Sticks performance. I’m behind the curve, I know. This show is a dreamy, lush fairy tale. I sort of lost track of the story at points, mostly because I was spacing out at the incredibly pretty shadows and swirling fabric…and I was sitting close to the audio describer, and although I couldn’t actually hear him, I wondered what his description was like. Very nice, very Fringe, beautiful music – an all-around sensory delight. Last chance Friday at 4 and Saturday at 7.

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).