Broken English, Mother Tongue by minnerican productions
Poignant and relevant, Javier Morillo leaves his heart on the stage in this one. His is a story you need to hear: about how his dad’s military duty affected his family, about how this shaped his view of masculinity, about how it led to serious health complications for his mother, and more. You’ll get quizzed on Puerto Rico, find out about his experience in “jail,” and maybe even see a Ricky Martin commercial. These moments add some necessary levity to the show, but they will help educate you about the history and current state of Puerto Rico. I urge you to go and spend this hour with Javier.
She Says, “ENOUGH!” by One Dance Company
At the start of the show, something about the energy in the room made me quite emotional. It’s a strong, empowering female energy, and it maintained throughout the show. All of the performers are on stage dancing together at first, and they divide up from there, whether it be solo pieces or group numbers. Some dances are set to music, and some are set to spoken word… words which will make you think about what it means to be a woman. My favorite moments were when a pair of women were dancing together and physically supporting each other in different ways. It makes for a beautiful metaphor of how women need to support other women, now more than ever. I’m glad I put this on my must-see list, and it will deservedly remain there.
Night Sets Her Foot In Morocco by The Minnesota SkyVault Theater Company
I love this group of talented youth, and I feel like they fly under the radar. SkyVault takes traditional plays (they’ve done Shakespeare in the past) and deconstructs them to make them accessible. This time, they’ve selected a play by Colum Driscoll and Katelyn Slater, and all you can really do is sit back and enjoy the ride. SkyVault’s shows are ridiculously fun; they’re fast paced and it’s a challenge to keep up with all their plays on words. When it begins, you might feel like they’re not quite prepared, but that’s part of their talent and what I especially love about them: eventually, you’ll realize they’ve known exactly what they’ve been doing all along.
What To Do In Case Of Dinosaur Attack by Monster Science Productions
Experiencing an audience respond to Reverend Matt’s dry sense of humor and perfectly-timed deliveries can be almost as enjoyable as the show itself. What makes its way into his power point presentations is anyone guess, which only adds to the hilarity. I’ve seen a few of his shows, and you might be surprised at just how much you can learn while crying tears of laughter. Any opportunity to see him is well worth taking.
Wonder and Awe: A Play About Magic by HFS
In all honesty, I attended this play because I was seeing Reverend Matt’s show at the same location afterwards, and I wanted to make sure I had a quick turnaround in between. Reading the audience reviews helped solidify this decision, though, and they’ve earned the praise. The “fringiest” show I’ve seen yet, this nonsensical play takes place in a town where Lord Zebdar mischievously rules, and William the Great’s magic show is the main authorized form of entertainment. Someone’s out to sabotage William by revealing his secrets, though, and the show quickly goes off the rails. If it was ever even on the rails, that is. Wonder and Awe is thoroughly and unexpectedly enjoyable.
The Minnesota Fringe Festival runs through August 12. Learn more at www.minnesotafringe.org