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Minnesota Fringe Festival

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Written by 2005 Nobel Award winner Harold Pinter, two professional killers wait in a seemingly abandoned house for their next "job" until a descending dumbwaiter changes everything for the worse.

Directed by Paul von Stoetzel

Featuring- Ariel Pinkerton & Erik Hoover

Dramaturge- William Heslin

The Pioneer Press 8/4:

"This troubling work by the late Nobel laureate, Harold Pinter, demonstrates how much he had in common with fellow master modernist Samuel Beckett. But there's always the threat that Pinter's existential ruminations will erupt into rage and violence. Actors Erik Hoover and Ariel Pinkerton play Pinter about as straight as you can, donning circa-1957 attire and English accents that betray their class differences. But, in this case, one of the hit men waiting on a job is a hit woman, which makes the male character's bullying even more discomfiting. The comedy is anxious, the duo's timing impeccably precise."
-Ron Hubbard


"Keeping crucial info from view is a Pinter hallmark, and here the famed playwright employs a dumb waiter at a seedy hotel to animate and mystify a tense, terse little tale about a couple of hit persons. Is the hand of God pulling the strings on the old-fashioned room-service device? And why do Ben (Erik Hoover) and Gus (Ariel Pinkerton) get so jumpy when the infernal thing springs to life? Anyone feeling a tad guilty? A nice mix of menace and comedy coexists as these two veterans of small theater in the Twin Cities polish their pistols, crackle their way through Pinter's distinctive banter and wait for someone to come through that door." (Claude Peck)

"It's Erik Hoover, and Ariel Pinkerton, directed by Paul von Stoetzel, doing Harold Pinter's The Dumb Waiter.

That's pretty much all I needed to know. I didn't need the preview. I was already sold on going.

Good actors, good director, good script. Sign me up."- Matthew Everett- Single White Fringe Geek


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Paul von Stoetzel

Harold Pinter's The Dumb Waiter

Sat., Aug. 1 @ 2:30 p.m.
[A] Sun., Aug. 2 @ 7:00 p.m.
Tue., Aug. 4 @ 5:30 p.m.
Thu., Aug. 6 @ 10:00 p.m.
Sun., Aug. 9 @ 7:00 p.m.

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

Venue The Playwrights' Center
For ages 15+
Written by Harold Pinter
genres Drama, Satire
subjects Relationships, Political
features Original music, First-time Minnesota Fringe Festival producer

Overall rating

User reviews

A show with everything working for it
by Florence Brammer Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Great script, great performances, great diretion, great staging -- nothing is amiss here. A really satisfying hour of theatre.

That's about right
by Jesse Corder Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
The accents may be a bit thick at times, but the mood vibrates from funny to tense so quickly you'll be on edge the whole time. And that is exactly where Harold Pinter wants you. Excellent production. Simply excellent.

by emilia aghamirzai Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
What an incredible performance. Harold Pinter would be proud of the remarkable cast and direction style of this performance. From beginning to end I was completely lost in the reality of Gus and Ben's world and their assignment.. Dumbwaiter was mysterious and, hilarious, witty and in true Pinter style leaves you pining for more! Absolutely brilliant! The show has been selling out like hot cakes and for good reason! Sunday is their last performance, so get their early to get a ticket and get ready for a show that is fun, nutty and suspenseful. Amazing work from an amazing artistic team!

worth seeing!
by julie fossell Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
This is one of the few shows that I saw where I completely lost track of time. well done and leaves you with more questions than answers.

Well done
by Val Rigsbee Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
Some of the best work I've seen from either of these actors, this show was executed beautifully. Get there early - this is another one that sells out quickly.

by David Trudeau Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Timing, acting, directing, staging is impeccable in this very well rehearsed gem. We were lucky to get in with the last two tickets.

by Michael Wade Follow this reviewer
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.

by Jim Howitt Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
Great acting, a good script to work with and a great job with a minimalist stage made for an outstanding experience. They lose a kitty for the sometimes hard to understand accents and the fact that the drama could have been heightened with a little slower pacing. But overall this is one of the best dramas I've ever seen at the Fringe.

All around good
by Anita von Geldern Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Just a baffling, intriguing short play performed well, and directed well.
Like the "old school" theater we used to know and love. But not all that old school. Highly recommended.

Highly recommended
by Jean Salo Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
I saw the opening performance of Dumb Waiter, in a full house, and I was enthralled. It's tight, the pacing is great, the acting is solid, and the direction is inspired. Definitely a show to add to your list.

by Joshua Humphrey Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Clocking in at about 40 minutes, there is not a moment wasted. Acting, direction and set are superb and even the silences carry heavy meaning, always with the threat of a match lighting the powder keg.

Ariel Pinkerton and Erik Hoover give stellar performances, their most minute movements throbbing with meaning. I loved watching both performers, even when they were still, perhaps even because they were still. There was a thrum below their interaction and inaction with each other that vibrated a cord in my chest from beginning to end.

Endlessly engaging. If you're put off by Pinter, don't be. Just sit absorb this thought-provoking theatre from one of the masters of the form. It's fully realized and doesn't make a single misstep.

Much ado about something?
by re gurgitate Follow this reviewer
Rating 3 kitties
Far be it from me to criticize a Nobel award winner.....Screw it, I'm not the kind of person that wants to work extremely hard to arrive at decision of what the play was about, and not have it match anyone else. If vagueness is your thing, you might want to check it out. But I want more meat on my bones. Acting top notch by the way.

An immersive experience
by Aaron Greer Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Really, I was terribly impressed by this performance. No one thing stood out to me as a particular "why", but rather an aggregate of little things: well-done acting, staging, sound and set, even the casting combined to produce one of those shows that’s as much a painting to be looked at as a whole, by one’s ‘gut’, as much as something stimulating to analyze with ones head.
In no particular order I was struck by these things:
• The dumbwaiter was unsettlingly loud . . . in a good way, in a way that added to the feeling of tings slipping further out of control by the characters we see on stage.
• Gus as a woman - cross casting that reveals new ways of looking at existing material is sometimes risky, but almost always interesting, and often cool.
• LOVED that Ben’s and Gus’ beds were just far enough away that it was inconvenient to look at them both at the same time – one had to always look at one or the other, all the time knowing you weren’t seeing something. The alternative – defocusing and viewing the scene as a whole in a way that forces a very different, less intellectual, kind of engagement.
• Cockney accents are odd – even when done well, they’ve been used so much in media that the accent itself risks cliché and parody of itself. I appreciated that (the show was good enough that) I was able to lose this as a distraction after a few minutes.
OK, enough of this. Just put it on your schedule and see it already.

Not my kind of drama, but still...
by Sarah Holmberg Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
Excellent performances by both Ariel and Erik, and a very good production of a script that just wasn't my cup of tea. Love seeing dramas in the Fringe, though. Kudos for that!

Consistently Superb
by Justin Alexander Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
This is a consistently superb production of Pinter's surreal and nuanced script. The performances, in particular, are a delightful study in contrasts.

Not a comedy, enjoyable anyways.
by Marie Odle Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
After the fast-paces shenanigans of other fringe shows it took me a bit to sink into this one. That said, the characters were delightful, truly a joy to watch. I liked that Erik Hoover's character's intensity was matched by Ariel Pinkerton's character's simplicity. It was an odd juxtaposition of methodical vs. instinctual that somehow complemented the other party. I liked it. I think you will too.

comedy of menace
by Dan Pinkerton Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Brisk, well directed staging of Pinter's short masterpiece featuring a pair of young actors who really nail the simple yet complex script. In particular, they avoid the ponderous pacing of so many Pinter productions, and they remember to put the "comedy" in "comedy of menace" (the name critics and scholars apply to Pinter's work). I would heartily recommend this to anyone who's looking to vary their Fringe experience (which is --- hurray! --- mostly original shows) with a lively production of a classic drama by one of the century's greatest playwrights.

Solid work from all.
by Sarah Tomek Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Fantastic acting, directing, dialects. Was genuinely captivated by the dynamic between the two characters on stage.

Did Not Like
by Kassie Church Follow this reviewer
Rating 2 kitties
This one had me looking at my watch more than once during the show. The acting wasn't very good, the accents were distracting, and I was pretty bored. Once I got home I read some summaries and reviews online of the play itself. All I thought to myself the whole time is that if they could have done the play as Pinter had intended it, it would have been good. They just did not get the nuances of the show.

by AJ Sass Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
This was a terrific show. What struck me most was the amount of nuance the performers discovered through course of their dialogue and indeed their dialect. The direction was astounding. Definitely check this one out.

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