One Girl, Two Cities

Fringe Review: On The Road To Verona

on the road to verona 2 minnesota fringe festival

A youthful band of Shakespeare’s minstrel companions, with texted audience input and participation, develop the Bard’s acting notes into a full play featuring original folk and jazz music.

Admittedly, I typically avoid seeing Shakespeare. But something about this young troupe from The Minnesota SkyVault Theatre Company drew me in. Upon entering the Rarig Thrust space, I was immediately swept up into the company’s energy as the cast milled out in character and bantered with the audience members, and they even treated us to some music…

On The Road To Verona is SkyVault’s take on Shakespeare’s Two Gentlemen Of Verona, but it’s told in a way where they’re figuring out how to tell the story as they go along. The whole cast is quirky and adorable and quite talented. The show is rather nutty, but in the best way possible as the cast breaks into song and clowns around. I feel like I went on a grand adventure and would have happily stayed for at least another hour of performance.

The story was easy to understand despite all of the tangents and sidebars, and they use the space so well. I felt like I was part of the show but not in a way that I had to participate (for those of your who are anti-audience participation). At times, the cast sings from out in the audience, which is especially lovely. Venturing into the audience also serves well as a way to indicate travel by the characters. 

On The Road To Verona reminds me of a more youthful version of TigerLion Arts’ Nature, and I walked out humming the theme song. In fact, I’m still humming it today and to me, that’s the mark of an excellent show.

The Minnesota Fringe Festival runs August 4-14, 2016 in Minneapolis. See On The Road To Verona August 4, 7, 8, 10 and 13 at Rarig Thrust. Click here to purchase tickets.

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