Welcome to the 2010 Minnesota Fringe Festival! These are some things I’m excited about


Welcome to the 2010 Minnesota Fringe Festival! What to see, what to see…these are some of the shows I’m excited about.

Bite Me Twilight presented by Tom Reed at Mixed Blood Theatre. Last year Tom was in a much smaller venue and his show proved to be repeatedly sold out popular. I predict another winner – that I might actually get to see this time. Vampires are very hot right now (and very hot, generally, not naming names Eric Northman), have you noticed? I skipped over Twilight and went straight to True Blood, aka Vampires for Grownups. However, I don’t think my lack of Twilight knowledge will affect my ability to appreciate Tom’s show. And he can sing! Don’t miss this one.

The First Five Minutes Are Slow presented by Tamara Ober/Present State Movement at the Southern Theater. I loved the preview with green flashlights freeze framing the actors…is it a dance show? A comedy? Possibly one of those shows that defies definition, it’s coming off a nice run at the Winnipeg Fringe. I’ve appreciated Tamara Ober’s work in past festivals, but it’s unclear how she has her hands in this show. I expect great things, whether she’s on stage, behind the scenes, or just lending her name and lottery luck to this effort.

Rachel Teagle Believes in Ghosts presented by Rachel Teagle at the U of M Rarig Center Xperimental. I was charmed by Rachel’s video preview in the Fringe-for-All. I’m a sucker for ghost stories – and Rachel will host a different guest storyteller at each show! At no extra cost to you!

A Sad Carousel presented by Pommelhorse at U of M Rarig Center Arena. Ranked “the Best Preview, EVER” by my husband Bob, I have to admit we watched the tape a couple times even after seeing it live. Funny. Comedy mobsters, how can you go wrong?

The Big Four Oh: 40 Jokes, Poems and Stories by Brian Beatty presented by Brian Beatty at Bryant Lake Bowl. Brian promises no dick jokes. Only dick poems. Think dry and twisted Jack Handey goes to Woebegon. Brian is one of my favorite comics in town – a true original.

An Adult Evening of Shel Silverstein presented by Evil Temptress Productions at the U of M Rarig Center Xperimental. Seven directors, two actors. I don’t know what to make of this. Bob doesn’t know who Shel Silverstein is. “Where the Sidewalk Ends?” Nope. “’I cannot go to school today,’ Said little Peggy Ann McKay. ‘I have the measles and the mumps, A gash, a rash and purple bumps…’” No? Nothing? This version is definitely not for children. Evil Temptress Productions has turned the childhood classic into something a bit darker…and much, much funnier. Small venue – consider reserving tickets in advance!

O(h) presented by casebolt and smith at the Southern Theater. Hooray!! One of my favorites from last year; dancers for people who don’t know they like dance. Hysterical, accessible, beautiful…if you only had time for three Fringe shows this year, I’d insist that this be one of them.

Confessions of a Lazy Hmong Woman presented by May Lee-Yang at the U of M Rarig Xperimental. This is sort of a sleeper; I haven’t seen any previews nor do I know the performer. I love shattered stereotypes, and that’s what attracted me to this show.

Missing: the fantastical and true story of my father’s disappearance and what I found when I looked for him presented by Jessica Ferris at Intermedia Arts. Jessica and I shared Chris Kidder as our 2005 Fringe Prom date (remember, Jessica?). I liked Jessica’s 2005 show Speechless very much, and this story promises to be even more interesting. I love incredible real-life stories.