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Minnesota Fringe Festival

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One man. One movie. One show. One one-man parody of a movie show. Hold on to your butts.
A one-man version of the epic film Jurassic Park created and performed by John Skelley.
Action, Adventure, Dinosaurs, and Jeff Goldblum combine to create an unmissable Fringe Show.

The cast

John Skelley
Role: Dr. Alan Grant, Dr. Ellie Sattler, Dr. Ian Malcolm, John Hammond, T-Rex, and more!
John Skelley was last seen in the Guthrie's productions of Two Gentlemen of Verona. Other Guthrie credits include A Christmas Carol, A View from the Bridge, and A Midsummer Night's Dream. A Graduate of the University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theater BFA Actor Training Program (Class of 2007), John is excited to be making his Fringe Festival debut.

Maren Searle
Role: Stage Manager
Maren Searle was last seen in Alone Together at the Old Log Theater. She is a recent graduate of St. Olaf (Class of 2008) and is working in the Fringe Festival for the first time.

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John Skelley

Jurassic Dork

Thu., Jul. 30 @ 10:00 p.m.
Fri., Jul. 31 @ 8:30 p.m.
Sun., Aug. 2 @ 1:00 p.m.
Fri., Aug. 7 @ 10:00 p.m.
[A] Sat., Aug. 8 @ 2:30 p.m.

[S]=ASL interpreted
[A]=Audio described

Warning! Adult language, Loud noises/gunshots

Venue Gremlin Theatre
For ages 13+
Created by John Skelley
genres Solo, Comedy
features World premiere, Original script/choreography, First-time Minnesota Fringe Festival producer, Actors' Equity participants

Overall rating

User reviews

My favorite
by Val Rigsbee Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Absolutely my favorite show. Perfectly executed. Loved the sideways glances to the audience. Loved the inclusion of Sally's voiceover. Loved everything about this show. So happy I got to see this one!

Unspeakably hilarious
by Sharon Kahn Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Really really funny (assuming you are familiar with the movie - it would be pretty baffling if you were not). Like all shows of this nature, success is completely dependent on the talents of the solo actor, and John Skelley rises to the occasion with rubber-faced mimicry and frenetic athleticism. Inspired use of mood music and ridiculously silly props pushes it over the top into brilliance. The first dinosaur sighting is recreated by a swim noodle with a balloon on top poking around from behind a curtain, followed shortly by Skelley lumbering around the corner with the assemblage attached to a bike helmet on his head. The use of toy cars and other small size props allows sudden changes of scale that are inherently funny, especially juxtaposed against the memory of just how scary that part of the movie really was. Not only did this show make me laugh myself silly, it reminded of just what a good movie Jurassic Park really was. I think I'll add it to my Netflix queue.

This was AMAZING!!
by Bryan Tradup Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
I went into this thinking it was going to be ok. I left awestruck. This was (in my opinion) the best of Fringe. Two very enthusiastic thumbs up, fine holiday fun!!!

utterly silly
by Karen Cooper Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
I only saw the movie once about a million years ago and I still followed the story, partly because all of the nonsense plot points (ice cream is just one example)are so lovingly ridiculed. This was genius.

Carpe gluteus!
by Fringivitis Vulgaris Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Great fun is made from (and of!) a film that's already campy. John Skelley manages to keep the characters and voices distinct while maltreating a nice array of props. He even performs 4 different kinds of dinosaur. Guest spot by the esteemed "Sally Wingert" was a grand touch. Dork on!

A Whole Lot of Energy
by Don Shuler Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
John Skelly has a passion for Jurassic Park the movie. And he has a talent for impersonations. And both of these traits shine bright in his one man show about this classic movie. He's strangely able to capture much of the intrigue, adventure, characterizations, and classic moments all within the one-hour span with a series of brilliantly employed toys. This shows sells out each time it shows - with good reason. See it - if you can.

Respect must be paid
by Christopher Kehoe Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
What to say that hasn't already been said? The impressions are skillfully executed, the prop comedy is very effective, and the final ten minutes are equal parts theatre and film fan service. But here's something else I noticed...

Especially during the Fringe, you beginning seeing the same faces in the audience wherever you go. I was stunned, however, at all the strangers I rubbed elbows with at the Friday 10pm show. Sometimes, theatre can need a seminal example of accessibility as much as an example of profundity, and Skelley delivers on that front. How many future theatre-goers will one day say, "I never thought much of plays, but Jurassic Dork was the thing that got me hooked, now my family and I have season tickets at [fill-in-the-blank theatre]"?

I'm betting quite a few.

All That, Bag of Chips, Etc
by Colin Callander Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
A suitably tongue-in-cheek, yet fond rendition of a modern film classic, as transposed by a staggeringly versatile and magnetic talent. Probably one of history's more spectacular Jeff Goldblum impersonations, among other things.

Sold out fast - as it should
by David Trudeau Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
What makes this show really click is all the nutty props and business, to say nothing of the dead on impersonations. Of course Jurassic Park is so well known that replaying the plot is easy fodder for jokes. John Skelly maximizes the possibilities, and truly exhausts himself doing it - and that becomes even another shtick he inserts.

absolutely amazing
by crystal schneider Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
this show is hilarious. it doesn't just have its "moments" of hilarity, it's hilarious the whole way through. skelley's show is brilliantly written and performed, keeping me on the edge of my seat for the whole hour - and gripping my seat with white knuckles at the twist i never saw coming. i wish i'd seen this earlier in the week, so i could come back and see it again.

Wow, is this guy talented!
by Julie S. Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Wow is this guy talented! And great props to boot.

by feesh ette Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
I laughed so hard at this show that I snorted. More than once. The props are integrated perfectly. A lot of thought went into this show, and the execution is crisp and fast moving.

Weird...but fun!
by Jon Seismic Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
Usually one man shows get boring after a while but this was enjoyable. I think the average fringe audience age grew up with this classic so this show is worth a view!

by Christine Weber Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
John Skelley is pure magic.
The show is scrumtrulescent. Yes, scrumtrulescent. And if I could, I would see it again and again. Run...don't walk, RUN to see it.

Faithful interpretation
by Raka Mitra Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
A fun, although somewhat literal, interpretation of Jurassic Park. I found myself hoping for some more commentary/play with the plotline, but the acting and use of props was commendable.

Spontaneous Rapture Attack!
by Johanna Lewis Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
This show works on every level. Hilarious material, high-energy performance, spot-on impersonations, and Skelley is having as much fun as we are throughout the show. Props for the creative props and his great sound effect. The theater-diva fantasy sequence made me howl.

by Noah Putterman Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Very funny. Sure to make anyone who has seen this movie laugh at Skelley's inventive re-enactment, with plenty of surprises along the way.

by Aiden Hodges Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
I loved the entire concept. It's genius, not to mention that it's well exicuted. I think I'll have to see this show again and bring some friends.

Sit back and laugh!
by August Berkshire Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Usually I don't give a play this silly a full five kitties but, darn it, this was a lot of fun! I think a person can enjoy this even if they aren't familiar with Jurassic Park but, of course, knowing the original adds to the pleasure of the experience.

Hold Onto Your Butts!
by Joshua Humphrey Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
As a fan of Jurassic Park and the rifftrax send-up, Skelley adds his own personal touch to parodying and honoring the 1993 movie that played a large part in my adolescence.

One of my favorites of the fringe.

5 Enthusiastic Kitties Eaten by Raptors!
by Ashley Schweitzer Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
This is what Fringe epitomizes - a stellar, hilarious, clever show by a (mostly) unknown talent. Bonus points for clever use of props, sounds effects, and Deus ex machina.

5 Enthusiastic Kitties Eaten by Raptors! Go see this tour-de-force right now!

Note: Small venue, I suggest making a reservation.

by Reid Gagle Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
What a fun show! Right off the bat, I knew that I was in luck with this show when the performer was convincingly and gorily devoured by a T-Rex. Total props for this scene: a curtain. It is always amazing to see how much a skilled performer can evoke with very little. This guy has got what it takes to make it. See him now.

Jurassic Dork
by Nancy Mullen Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Great show, great humor, very creative. I went in skeptical but highly recommend it.

Jurassic Park Open to everyone.
by David Higgins Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
If you see one show in the Fringe. This would be one worth seeing. It was great to see Skelley solo. A man of talent in parody, and ingenuity. If you've seen Jurassic Park only once... Will you experience it again with no CGI. This is what the Fringe was made for.
If you haven't seen Jurassic Park? This will make you want to.

by Abby Ackerman Follow this reviewer
Rating 0 kitties
It was okay. Could go see it.

"It's all a flea circus"
by Dave Romm Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
John Skelly recreates all the characters, all the dinosaurs and all the special effects from the movie based on the book. The first half of the show is little more than a recitation of the best lines and reminders of the best scenes: Lots of fun but just quoting. Then he takes a break, listens to his iPod, gets a pep talk from a professional actor, and really turns up the heat. Four and a half stars rounded up for a strong finish. A Shockwave Radio Theater Review.

Longer reviews with pictures at Baron Dave's LiveJournal and snarky comments on Facebook.

Yeah Heck Yeah
by Sam Bardwell Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Don't walk to this, RUN to this! And run fast and early because some souls couldn't get into the matinee that changed my life this afternoon. You owe it to yourself to see the Skellator put it all on the line with this tour de force chompfest!

John Who?
by Matt Dawson Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Really, where did this guy come from?

John Skelley's so good he should be federally regulated.

a new record.
by Amber Bjork Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
listen. if you're like me, adoration is built on trust, pleasant surprises, and being able to laugh with someone...A LOT.

based on these prerequisites, john skelly became, in just 50 minutes, the absolute love of my life.

don't miss out on the love. don't miss out on the action. and for the love of fringe, don't miss out on his spot-on t-rex attacks. hold on to your butts indeed.

by Waylon Werner Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Fantastic! This is one talented young man. You don't even need to really remember much of the movie. Just sit back and have fun.
Note: Saw this on Sun and NO rush were allowed in. Sold out show. Be Warned.

Must See
by J Emily Peabody Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
The first break in character worked fine, but I didn't think the second one worked as well. Everything else, totally amazing and totally fun. Good show for the kids too.

I'll admit it- laughed so hard I snorted
by Sarah Tomek Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
I need to applaud John construct and perform this show on his own is a fantastic accomplishment. The laughs start before he even makes his memorable entrance.

Woo hoo!
by Kristi Lawless Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Thoroughly entertaining--really, quite amazing. I want to see it again!

Spared no expense...
by Joel Liestman Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Never has a pool noodle been used for such unbridled emotion. Skelly is wonderful for he doesn't impersonate the characters but breaks them down to their essence, hence the funny.

by Mo Perry Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
One of my two favorites of the 2009 Fringe so far, Jurassic Dork popped up on my radar out of nowhere and promptly bowled me over like a frassy T-Rex. John is hilarious, self-deprecating, wildly energetic, and spot-on in a wide array of character impersonations. He brought the movie to life and added his own personal flair. Just the kind of brilliant, wacky creativity I want to see at the Fringe. Hoorah!

Skelley does everything and more
by William Beeman Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
John Skelley deserves all the praise he has gotten for this one-man show. It shows him in controlled mania as he, using props, unexpected toys and sound effects re-creates Jurassic Park with all the characters, raptors and over-the-top self-importance. This fine physical and comic actor also has a wonderful sense of theatrical irony as he breaks the fourth wall, recruits from the audience (disclaimer: I was hauled stage on Sunday at 1:00) and creates his own personal comic drama in completing the piece. This performance will go a long way to advancing Mr. Skelley's already established popularity as a performer and creative artist.

Hold on to your butts...
by Cari Focht Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Wow. When I heard about a solo show about the epic movie of my youth, I just couldn't imagine one person taking me back...but whow! John was hilarious, and still didn't take away from the glory that is "Jurassic Park". He played EVERY major character to the T, and didn't leave a stone unturned. This show is a must see!

Very Funny!
by Christopher Kemp Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
John Skelly did a great job of capturing the essence of Jurassic Park. He artfully guides you through the story moving you from place to place using great impersonations and cleverly humorous props.

Great Characterizations of Actors
by Alan Farnham Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
John Skelly really puts his heart and soul into this fun show. It has been forever since I saw Jurassic Park but it all came rushing back in Jurassic Dork. The vocal and physical characterizations made it so easy to follow which character was who and I laughed a lot. I would recommend seeing this show. John is a clever entertainer.

Jurassic Dork
by Sandy Wolfe Wood Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
This was outstanding...funny, smart, well-acted. We would definitely recommend this to others. A must see.

I may be a dinosaur but...
by Peg Daly Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
This is a VERY funny show. It has been awhile since I've seen the movie but John Skelley is just so manic and clever that it brought it all back. Our group spanned from 53 to 14 but we all laughed really hard, the whole show. John is a great mimic and his Jeff Goldblum is the best. It is a lot like a Guthrie experience, with toy jeeps and dinosaurs. He is a very, very talented guy. Highly recommended!

Don't Miss This
by Jimmy LeDuc Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
This is a stellar piece. John Skelly kept me laughing the entire time as he recreated this film. So so so funny, don't miss it! Put it on your Fringe schedules now!

Hold Onto Your Butts
by Emily Gunyou Halaas Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
The moment I thought I couldn't be surprised, John expertly and sensitively opened a proverbial can of worms and threw them at the audience. Self-proclaimed 'semi-steadily employed, unrecognizable Twin Cities actor' John Skelly is the real deal. Please, someone do us all a favor: hire him and put him front and center!

Impressive retelling
by Josh Feist Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
Good for a few hearty laughs, particularly the cute stage adaptations of complex, multi-million dollar cinematic effects. John captured the cheesy dialogue and moments from the movie and turned them into some fun parody. The Jeff Goldblum impersonation did it for me.

If only there were more kitties to give
by Benjamin Rosenbaum Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
John Skelly puts together a powerhouse performance that will leave you in awe and wonder that the rich world of "Jurassic Park" could be recreated by one man. The show is creative, fun, and laugh-out-loud funny! I gaurantee that you will get more out of it than you expect. It is fun if you know the film, and still very enjoyable if you don't. Go see this show!!!!

by Joanna Harmon Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Tour de Force of a one-man show!

Run. Do not walk.
by Emily Shain Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Let me preface this by saying that I saw the movie ten years ago and was skeptical about whether the material would do it for me. An hour later, I left the theater with sore cheeks from laughing so hard. Skelley takes the audience on a whirlwind adventure from the opening moment to the curtain call and leaves us all wanting more. His comedic timing, specificity in characterization and ability to guide the audience through a slew of emotions is incomparable. There is something in this performance for everyone! Do not miss this hit!

Hell Yeah!
by Amy Rummenie Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
John Skelley combines outright hilarity with the dazzling skill of making the story his own.

The only points where I wasn't grinning were because I was laughing-- there were tears of mirth on two occasions. See this!

Encore and yes I want more!
by Max Polski Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
John Skelley is a true talent. No c.g.i, or massive mechanical dinosaurs, John is able to tell the story in a very clever manner. If you want to laugh and enjoy a pass time this is the show to see. John captures the essence of over 10 different characters like a young Robin Williams. My personal favorite is his Jeff Goldblum impersonation. Johns impersonations are so specific the story just takes off and you better hold on to your butts cause its a real fun ride. Go see this show. I guarantee laugher!

Jurassic Dork is INcredible!
by Iman Milner Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
JOhn Skelley's performance was simply spectacular! He was witty, funny, honest and raw. I enjoyed every second of the show and he displayed a wonderful wonderful variety of technique and raw talent. He has mastered the line between honest moments and humorous entertainment. I loved the show and plan on seeing it again very very soon. I would recommend it to EVERYONE taking part in the festival! Its GREAT!

when an obsession goes horribly right
by Florence Brammer Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Fringe show descriptions are often ambiguous about the shows' content ("Like Fantasia, except with words" . . . "A play about love. And kicking puppies.") And that's fine, it's artful and intentional. But this show's description is exactly what you get: a one-man, one-hour, scene-by-scene rendition of Jurassic Park. (In the interest of full disclosure: "Jurassic Park" is one of my favorite movies. I could almost recite it verbatim.) This show is hysterical for its obsessive and "dorky" attention to detail, its absurd literalness, its snarky asides and its great sight gags. Really, really, really fun. (Just an aside: based on some chatter I overheard after the show, it seems that being familiar with the movie might be important to enjoying this show.)

An excellent way to start the Fringe
by Sarah Holmberg Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
I was going back and forth between 4 and 5 stars, and I realized that if he could keep me as entranced and entertained as he did at 10pm after a long day of work, tech and rehearsal, he earned the full five stars.

John Skelley's performance was excellent, and his timing was spot on. Highly recommended.

Sure To Be A Sleeper Hit Of The Fringe
by Sid Solomon Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
John Skelley pulls off a bravura performance, recreating the entirety of Jurrasic Park with his own unique style and sense of humor. He had his opening night audience in stitches. GO. SEE. THIS. SHOW.

A Tour De Force of Impersonation
by Justin Alexander Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
John Skelley is a gifted and funny mimic. He perfectly recreates Jurassic Park scene by scene, combining his own precise impersonation with clever prop-work.

Where the show really begins to shine, however, is when Skelley uses his recreation of the film as a foundation for satire and commentary. Unfortunately, the show is half over before Skelley really starts to make the material his own.

However, this is -- in the grand scheme of things -- nothing more than a quibble. The show is enormously entertaining and well worth your time.

In particular, Skelley's perfect sense of timing -- both dramatic and comedic -- weaves a finale that literally propelled the audience into a standing ovation.

And so I say, once again: Bravo.

I loved it, it was much better than cats
by Thomas Janik Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
We loved this show! It's perfect for all Jurassic Park fans. Lots of laughs and surprises. I'm going to see it again and again!

Bloody Good!
by Sue Stavig Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
OK, no real blood... but John Skelley brought just about everything else to this inventive show. This dino-drama rocks!

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