The Minnesota Fringe Festival runs August 3-13 this year, and you can catch an incredible variety of shows from drama to comedy to improv to dance. Purchase a full day wrist band and attend as many shows as you can!
I happened to be out of town for work for the first half, but I jumped in head first last night and took in three wonderful shows. Here are some brief reviews:
FUNKiN’ Good Time by Ti-en-T Presents: If you’ve enjoyed shows like America’s Best Dance Crew or So You Think You Can Dance, don’t miss this show! And even if you haven’t seen them, you’ll enjoy this one. This crew is talented, and their energy sustains throughout as you enjoy music from a range of decades. You’ll see popping and locking, waacking, group numbers, solos, killer floor work and more. The crew members all have their own individual style and a lot of personality. They have one show left on August 12 – don’t miss out!
Skins by Collective Unconscious Performance: I see this show as a feminist’s version of Cinderella, and I want Collective Unconscious to remake all of the fairy tales this way (I thoroughly enjoyed their retelling of Sleeping Beauty last year). Emily Zimmer is perfection as the lead with support from Sarah Dewhirst and Logan Verdoorn – both quite charming. They include a brief but compelling puppetry element, and lots of comedy to balance the dark side of this tale. The show moves along quickly but succinctly and the hour was up all too soon. The last shows are August 11 and 13.
F@*k the 90s by FurTrader Productions: This is the second show I’ve enjoyed from Mame Pelletier, and I thoroughly appreciate how thoughtful she is on what’s happened to her throughout her life. This show focuses on three family deaths that occurred within a few years of each other. Death (and loss in general) is a difficult subject, but Mame covers it with grace and wit. She understands that the topic may not be as easy for some as others, so she states from the get go that it’s ok to leave if you feel that’s the best self-care for you. I appreciate her having this conversation about loss (something I still struggle with since losing my grandma in February 2016), and she offers the opportunity for someone from the audience to share an experience they’ve had with loss, either from death or the end of a relationship. The audience member from my show spoke of his divorce which resonated with me, as I experienced the loss of many relationships surrounding my divorce. August 12 and 13 are the final performances.
Bonus: The music! Enjoy (mostly) 90s tunes thanks to Nicole Wilder (also the show’s director), Courtney Miner, and Scot Moore.
Take a look at the Fringe website and attend a few shows if you can. At this point, all of the shows should have a good number of reviews so if Fringe is something foreign to you, the 4 and 5 star shows are a safe bet. Feel free to read the reviews, too, as they typically don’t give much away. Cherry and Spoon also has some Fringe tips here.
For those who have been Fringing already, what are your favorite shows so far?