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Minnesota Fringe Festival

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An adaptation of the funny but true wisdom that demonstrates how striving for mediocrity is the key to happiness. Embrace underachievement with strategies and tips for accomplishing little and feeling great.

The cast

Alex Cole
Role: Underachiever B
A local comedy legend, Alex was voted National Association of Campus Activities " Comedy Entertainer of the Year " in 1988. He has appeared on television in shows such as Roseanne, and in commercials for clients like Subway and Motorola. Among his stage credits are " One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest " ( R.P. McMurphy ), and " A Few Good Men " ( Lt. Col. Jessup ).

Adam King
Role: Artistic Director/ Producer
" The Underachiever's Manifesto " is Adam's first effort at producing a show. Adam did appear in the Minnesota Fringe Festival several years ago in " The Great Masturbators ", a story about Salvador Dali and the surrealist movement. Adam's theatre credits include Titus Andronicus ( Marcus ), Henry V ( Bardolph ), H.M.S. Pinafore ( Dick Deadeye ), and many more. Adam can be seen in commercials for Cenex, and internationally with Chris " Jesus " Ferguson in commercials for the Activision World Series of Poker video game. Adam's films include " Insalate Caprese ", and the upcoming " Skeleton " and " Belly of the Beast ".

David Tufford
Role: Underachiever A
Among his many local theatre shows, David has appeared in " Henry V " and " Measure for Measure " for Theatre in the Round, and " Requiem for A Heavyweight " for the Fifty-Foot Penguin Theatre. David has appeared in many commercials for clients such as Qwest, Subway, and Cenex. He also directed the feature film " Vernie ", which aired on the Lifetime network for several years, and is now out on DVD.

Paul von Stoetzel
Role: Director/ Writer
Paul has directed and/or adapted numerous plays in the Twin Cities area for such companies as Hardcover Theater, Urban Samurai, Cromulent Shakespeare Company, In the Basement Productions, The Flower Shop Project, and Yellow Tree Theatre. His first feature film documentary, " Snuff ", a documentary about killing on camera is currently travelling the film festival circuit and has been distributed throughout North America. His newest feature documentary, " Scrap ", is nearly completed, as is his most recent short film, the disturbing " Dinner Date ".

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Uknighted Artists

The Underachiever's Manifesto

Fri., Jul. 31 @ 7:00 p.m.
Sat., Aug. 1 @ 4:00 p.m.
Sun., Aug. 2 @ 8:30 p.m.
Wed., Aug. 5 @ 5:30 p.m.
Sun., Aug. 9 @ 4:00 p.m.

Warning! Adult language

Venue Gremlin Theatre
For ages 16+
Created by Adam King & Paul von Stoetzel
Web site
genres Comedy, Satire
subjects Family, Relationships
features World premiere, Original script/choreography, First-time Minnesota Fringe Festival producer

Overall rating

User reviews

What a great last day of Fringe
by Igor Blokhintsev Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Sharp, witty, well done. Very professional, entertaining and teaching? Yes, despite everybody know the subject.

Sinking ship
by Chuck Beeson Follow this reviewer
Rating 3 kitties
Comedy is tough, as it is explained in the program. A few too many curse words that really were unneccesary and the performers looked a bit to be sinking into the quietness of the audience during the second half. This has potenial to be a lot funnier, but it would be better without the scripts and music stands I think.

The Underachiever's Manifesto
by Michael Skillrud Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
Energetic, enjoyable, funny, well-paced. quality acting, good value. What more does one want from a show? I'm recommending it to all my friends. If you're looking for a show to attend, I'm confident you won't go wrong here - Go!

Good material, lack of energy
by feesh ette Follow this reviewer
Rating 3 kitties
These guys claimed to have not rehearsed. I wasn't sure if it was true, or if they just hammed it up so much that they killed the energy at several moments during the show. The material was hilarious, however, and both guys were likable. It's worth seeing if you are at the Gremlin.

Wonderfully a good way
by Hazen Markoe Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
This delightful ode to mediocrity is wonderfully presented impeccably with spot on timing by performers Alex Cole and David Tufford. Using the popular book as a starting point, both men use a variety of local and topical references to help skewer their varied targets, while proclaiming that the "need to achieve" is vastly overrated. This is definitely worth your time to take this show in.

Try to make an effort to see it
by August Berkshire Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
I was going to give this 5 kitties but I could only manage 4. Good humor and a pleasant evening. You'll like it if you can manage to get around to seeing it.

The Tao of Duhhhh
by Reid Gagle Follow this reviewer
Rating 3 kitties
Local comic legend Alex Cole and some other guy explain the 10 rules for attaining happiness by embracing mediocrity. They illustrate the rules with specific examples from recent history and their own lives. They put their words into action by heavily using notes during the show, but it's still fun (and actually rather good advice). As Alex says, "You know what? Good enough is fucking good enough."

Correction - In the interest of...
by ADAM KING Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
In David Dworkin's review he offers praise to Adam King as a fine counterpoint to Alex Cole. David, I very much appreciate your comments; and, I am glad you enjoyed the show. However, I am not in the show. I am the Artistic Director of Uknighted Artists and the show's Producer. David Tufford is the actor you refer to; and, he is very good, and a good match with Alex. Just want credit to go to the right people. Regards, Adam King

Good enough is good enough
by Arnold James Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Wonderful enough is wonderful enough.

In the interest of full disclosure...
by David Dworkin Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
I've known Alex Cole for about 30 years. It's not like we get together for beers or anything (and WHY is that, Alex?) but I have a bias here. If you haven't seen him perform before, you may not realize that he IS acting here. He really isn't the half-drunken curmudgeon you will meet at this play. At least I don't think he is, but since we don't go out for beers...but I digress. Adam King's performance is a balanced counterpoint to Cole's character. The fact that they flub their lines is part of the joke. There's a lot to laugh at here and you'll come away from it feeling that maybe we don't all have to try so hard.

Appropriate title; go for fun
by Stef B. Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
When "underachiever" is in the title, what do you expect? The show was indeed relaxed; it was more like a conversation with two kooky friends than a performance. I suspect the book (by the same title) would deliver similar goods; but it's more fun to experience the premise amid other people than to read alone. Go with low expectations (premise #3 & 4) and have some fun already.

by Ben Shank Follow this reviewer
Rating 3 kitties
Gosh, they almost had it.

Alex Coles is always a pleasure. By the end of the Fringe, they may have their timing, their laughs, their lines down. Given that their scripts are under their noses, really how many flubbed lines are OK?

But if you love relaxed body language, you'll love this show.

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