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Minnesota Fringe Festival

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schedule

Show reviews by Michael Wade

The Gayer Show
Seems you either love or hate this one.. by Michael Wade
Rating: 5 kitties
It's interesting reading the various reviews of this show. I, for one, really enjoyed it. I found the honesty of the two performers really touching, and it made me laugh one minute while causing a few tears the next. These guys are great!

Monster
Wow by Michael Wade
Rating: 5 kitties
Christopher Kehoe had me from the second the play began. The Southern doesn't seem like an ideal location for a one-man show, but he commands the space. While the script itself ultimately gets a little preachy at the end, I wasn't bothered because the performance was so engaging. See this show.

An Intimate Evening With Fotis Part III
Now I want a puppy! by Michael Wade
Rating: 5 kitties
By the end of the show, my cheeks hurt from laughing so hard. What surprised me most were the moments of sadness and vulnerability woven into the narrative. They added a wonderful depth to Mike's stories that was very powerful. I saw it on the first night of Fringe and hope to make it there again!

Oops!
Very, very funny by Michael Wade
Rating: 5 kitties
This is one fast-paced play. So fast paced, in fact, that the performers are covered in sweat by the end. The humor is dark and oddball, and it's punctuated with unforced, emotional moments. Both performers are really strong, and the audience really seemed to be enjoying themselves.

The Finkles' Theater Show
So Fantastic!!! by Michael Wade
Rating: 5 kitties
At some parts, most of the audience seemed to be weeping from laughter. This show was creative, smart, and so much fun! This is the best thing I've seen in the Fringe thus far.

Sideways Stories from Wayside School
Wow! by Michael Wade
Rating: 5 kitties
This play was packed with so many creative and imaginative ideas! Four Humors has done it again! Only a sourpuss wouldn't get a kick out of this show.

Comedy of Errors
Great staging, great actors by Michael Wade
Rating: 4 kitties
The show is very entertaining and has lots of great physical bits. Unlike most productions of Shakespeare, the story was less about showing how well they can speak poetry than it was about telling an interesting story in an interesting way. Definitely worth checking out.

Untitled Duet with Houseplant
Beautiful and Innocent by Michael Wade
Rating: 4 kitties
There's something really magical about a clown show that's pulled off just right. For a Sunday night at 10:00 opening night, Noah not only had a large audience..he had a large audience eating out of the palms of his hands.

Like a Virgin
Fun to watch by Michael Wade
Rating: 4 kitties
Jimmy clearly is having a ton of fun on stage, and his energy is infectious. I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

GRRL!
Three shows in one by Michael Wade
Rating: 4 kitties
I really enjoyed myself, though I felt like I was watching three individual shows. Each was incredibly well done, but the play ends in a place that is so different from where it began that it was jarring. Her work is thoughtful and entertaining...I'd just like to see some more cohesion.

The William Williams Effect
Glad I saw it by Michael Wade
Rating: 4 kitties
I had heard good things, and I was not let down. The cast is really, really fantastic, and the show is very well paced. The script relied too heavily on narration for my taste, but this show is most definitely worth seeing.

Phi Alpha Gamma
Powerful by Michael Wade
Rating: 4 kitties
Dan's script tackles a hot button issue with such intelligence and understanding that we end up loving and hating most of the characters at various times. Really well done.

Harold Pinter's The Dumb Waiter
Waiting by Michael Wade
Rating: 3 kitties
The acting is fantastic. Both performers find the subtleties of their characters in rather interesting ways. I thought things were kept too static, though. Most of the play is the two sitting on their respective beds. I didn't want them running non-stop, but I got bored with them staying planted so often.

Bard Fiction
Where's the chaos? by Michael Wade
Rating: 3 kitties
When I think Pulp Fiction, I think chaos and insanity. This production felt very controlled. From the fights to the "stab-outs" nothing felt dangerous or surprising. Don't get me wrong, the script is funny. Really funny. The difficulty of doing it on stage, though, is that it's 3/4 banter. There is a lot of standing around and just saying lines. On film that works thanks to multiple angles and close ups. On stage, however, you have to do a little more than just sit at a table chatting to keep me interested. Not a bad show, just not as good as it could be.

Crescendo
A beautiful meditation by Michael Wade
Rating: 3 kitties
Allegra's prose is evocative and beautiful. Her take on Icarus was phenomenal and was by far the best part of the show. Writing about the difficulties and glories of writing bogged things down a little too much for my taste. It didn't feel "epic" enough to parallel the fall of Icarus. That said, she took a huge risk with this experiment, and, though the result is not perfect, it shoots, like her piece's hero, for the sun. How many other offerings at this year's Fringe can say the same?

Applesauce Fiction
Could be worse. by Michael Wade
Rating: 2 kitties
The performers were engaging, though they were partaking in physical bits that neither they nor the director seemed to understand. Watching them jump from overly-choreographed moments to latzis that never had time to develop, I found myself incredibly frustrated. There was lots of superfluous movement that served as distraction from the action at hand. The ideas in the play are interesting even if the production never quite figures out how to explore them.