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Minnesota Fringe Festival

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Heads will roll when Rockstar Storytellers Rik Reppe, Dave Mondy and Courtney McLean interlace three tales of "getting the axe" from the boardroom to the bedroom-mixed live by DJ King Otto.

"AXED! (The Rockstars' Remix)" is part of the Rockstar Storytellers Passport Series. See all eight shows, collect the trading cards, and receive a big prize!

From the boardroom to the bedroom, from relationships to the recession, ranging from rejection to rejuvenation, and in the great tradition of the Fringe, AXED! is an experiment in a new form: combining one of the most basic methods of expression (storytelling) with one of the most modern (electronic music). A storytelling tour de force with a kick-ass soundtrack!

Rik Reppe, Courtney McLean, Dave Mondy - three lauded storytellers with a history of Fringe success - any one of them alone are reason enough to at least be curious about a show. Put them all together, add at in a timely topic and fantastic sounds on the turntables and you've got something that any curious critic has to see. And more importantly: something we know audiences will really love.

All three performers are members of The Rockstars Storytellers: an edgy new collective that has quickly gone "from upstart group to Twin Cities spoken word staple." (City Pages) In AXED!, they keep the immediacy of previous Rockstar shows but add in the music, and choreography, of a truly unique theatrical experience. Or, if that sounds too arch to you, just think of it like this: Stories everyone can relate to... expertly told, with sounds by DJ King Otto that will move your soul (and hips [and ass]).

"The Rockstars, as a group, sport a polished, radio-style storytelling, dripping with coffee-and-cigarette-soaked hipster irony..." (City Pages)

Dave Mondy

Damn Right it's
Damn Right, it's "R" for "Rik"
Photo by Scott Pakudaitus


Rockstar Storytellers 3
Dave, Rik, and Court (and those other Rockstars in the background)
Photo by Scott Pakudaitus

The cast

Dave Mondy
Role: Rockstar Storyteller
"Mondy's charisma and natural storytelling make the show a delicious indulgence" (St. Paul Pioneer Press)

Dave is an award-winning travel writer, as well as the writer/performer of several one-person shows. His production This Love Train is Unstoppable and I am the Conductor won the Best Solo Comedy Award at The San Francisco Fringe Festival. His monologues can be seen at the new online literary magazine, The Smart Set, or heard on Minnesota Public Radio. He has also penned comedy for A Prairie Home Companion. His latest project/masterpiece is The Radio All Stars, a live radio variety show with 6 full-length podcasts. Dave greatly enjoys speaking of himself in the 3rd person.

Rik Reppe
Role: Rockstar Storyteller
"A spellbinding storyteller" (Backstage West)

After years as a performing artist, singer and songwriter, Rik developed a severe allergy to poverty. He returned to school and earned a PhD in economics. He spent time as a lobbyist, started his own dot-com business, which died an ignominious death, and became a successful management consultant. And then some planes flew into some buildings and he decided that maybe there was something more important out there. With his sleeping bag, tent & pickup truck, he spent months on the road, reacquainting himself with the country. That trip gave birth to his hit one-man show, Staggering Toward America, about the nature & meaning of home. In his latest theatrical creation, Glorious Noise, accompanied by a piano player, Rik explores the stores and music of the New Orleans Jazz Fest. Revealing the love, life and loss of the Crescent City in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Courtney McLean
Role: Rockstar Storyteller
"An imaginative writer with a seductive twinkle in her eye." (

Courtney McLean is an actress, stand-up comedian, writer, storyteller, improviser, banjo player, sister, daughter, native Californian, transplanted New Yorker, recently crowned Minnesotan, and "the nerdiest girl Jimmy Gaines knows." Her one-woman shows, "Normal-C" and "Super Glossy!" have been toured to Fringe Festivals across the nation. Courtney has performed with the Women Stand-Up Comedy Cabaret, in Maximum Verbosity's "All Rights Reserved: A Libertarian Rage," at Salon Saloon, and is currently in Girl Friday Productions' "The Skin Of Our Teeth." And also she's playing Mrs. Jewls in Four Humors' "Sideways Stories From Wayside School" during this Fringe! During her tenure in San Diego, she performed with the improv troupe When The Script Hits The Fan and acted on the stages of Sledgehammer Theatre, Actor's Asylum, and the Quentin Crisp. In New York City, Courtney performed stand-up comedy alongside the likes of Jim Norton, Rick Shapiro, Orny Adams, and Laurie Kilmartin as well as appearing on the stages of the Comedy Cellar, Stand-Up NY, Gotham Comedy Club, and the John Houseman 42nd St. Studio Theater. She is currently studying with the Brave New Institute, is a former student at Upright Citizens Brigade, and holds a BA in Acting from the University of San Diego, CA. She is also a co-founder F*cking Cool Women Society in New York City, helps run the Twin Cities chapter, and was the host of "The Freaking Cool Women Society Show!" on KFAI for International Women's Day. Courtney is recipient of the Puffin Foundation Grant 2007 and a sponsored artist under Fractured Atlas.

DJ King Otto
Role: Rockstar DJ
For the last 2 decades Dj King Otto has been a staple in local Hip Hop scenes in Seattle, Vancouver BC and Minneapolis. As a producer, his group "Silent Lambs Project," is winner of the Seattle Area Music Award for best Rap/Hip Hop album in 2000. Also as a Dj, he has been nominated for both City Pages "Best of Twin Cities," as well as The Minnesota Music Awards in their Dj categories. On weekend nights you can hear him spin at The Imperial Room and on the airwaves on KFAI's award winning RSE Radio. With partner Mike the 2600 King, they have released the popular oldies Mix CD "Things Kings Do," as well as setting the musical mood for the short lived live variety show "Radio All Stars."

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Rockstar Storytellers

Axed! (The Rockstars' Remix)

Sat., Aug. 1 @ 2:30 p.m.
Sun., Aug. 2 @ 5:30 p.m.
Wed., Aug. 5 @ 5:30 p.m.
Fri., Aug. 7 @ 7:00 p.m.
Sat., Aug. 8 @ 10:00 p.m.
Sun., Aug. 9 @ 8:30 p.m.

Warning! Adult language

Venue Bryant-Lake Bowl
For ages 15+
Created by Rockstar Storytellers
Web site
genres Spoken word
subjects Relationships, Political
features Multimedia, World premiere, Original script/choreography

Overall rating

User reviews

Go See? Yes.
by Nick Decker Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Three mesmerizing short stories from three mesmerizing storytellers. Rik Reppe, Courtney McLean, and Dave Mondy took turns telling one story each in a chapterized format that left me disappointed that I had to wait, yet reminded me that I needed to hear each of the next stories as well. The encore showing at the BLB, beer in my hand, was the perfect way to end the Fringe Festival.

I'm a Rik Reppe Fan!
by Guy Bock Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
I've been making it a habit to track down Rik Reppe performances since his 'Glorious Noise' show at the Fringe a few years ago. The man is an incredible storyteller/singer.

My only disappointment with this show is that Rik didn't sing enough.

I managed to gather all of the Rockstar Trading Cards available at the Fringe and I intend to cash them in soonest for the 3rd season companion pass to the regular Rockstar Storyteller shows.

Um, it was never mentioned who/what would be the contact point for the trading card offer. Help?

Sets A Wonderful Mood
by Ben San Del Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
By the end of this show, I found myself enveloped by the bittersweet atmosphere it created. I know all the performers, but they still surprised me. Courtney's story was playfully unpredictable and contrasted nicely with the emotional punches of Dave and Rik's tales, making for a great package.

Rockstars Doing What Rockstars Do Best
by Rob Callahan Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Dave Mondy launches immediately into his cool, mellow and lyrical cadence as he recalls the story of two barely-pubescent bffs and their spelunkery into the dark depths of first true love, and the inherent misdirected angst that follows.

Courtney McLean recalls with frantic ardor the tale of a young heroine pushed over the edge and off the grid as Thelma & Louise fist fight deep within her protagonist's psyche in a tale of love growing ever more paranoid until the brutal, bitter end. Her bright energy shrouds the hidden darkness within the story, covering it while it sneaks up on the audience and takes them by surprise.

Rik Reppe juxtaposes the soft, sympathetic sensibilities of his story against his own quick, gritty style as he builds a world in which true happiness can be (and sometimes actually is) found, pulling the listeners in like a siren's song before dashing them hopelessly against the cold, jagged rocks of lost love.

All three stories are pretty good on their own, but each reaches greater heights with support from the other two. Expect three drastically different stories, told by three very different voices, segmented and mixed together in the trademark style of the Rockstar Storytellers.

Two out of three = 4 kitties
by Stef B. Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
Courtney's story was disappointing, in that it was clearly fiction and still not very original. Her delivery was also mediocre (though it did improve as the performance progressed). Dave's story was entertaining, engaging, and humorous; his brilliance was not so much in his story, but in his terrific word choices and creation of imagery. Rik's story was simply amazing - he was the "hero" of the evening. Brilliantly crafted, nuanced, and punctuated by some freaking amazing singing - I can tell he is a professional writer; and a wonderful storyteller, too. Thanks to the whole crew for a uniquely formatted show, and a great Fringe experience.

by Curt Lund Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Full disclosure: I share stages with these three on a semi-regular basis. And full disclosure: I've seen a lot of work by all three. And full disclosure: I frakking WISH to geezus, the next time I'm on a stage with any or all of them, that I can hold a candle to what I saw tonight. Three great pieces, packaged brilliantly, the whole greater than the sum of its parts. Will undoubtedly stay with me for some time.

Good Stories
by Mickey Foley Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
Mr. Mondy's story was my favorite. He possesses a rare insight into the confluence of religion, adolescence and sexuality. Mr. Reppe's tale insinuated itself into my heart until, despite myself, I actually cared about the characters. I enjoyed Ms. McLean's narrative, until I realized it was fiction. This revelation never occurred with the other 2 yarns. Luckily, my BS detector didn't go off until the final chapter. Although I don't think most people are as gullible as me.

Some pretty good storytelling
by Meaghan DiSciorio Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
This show wasn't really what I expected, but it was still super entertaining. Rik Reppe is fabulous and Dave Mondy was also great. Courtney McLean, was good, but seemed a bit disconnceted from her story and suffered from not having it memorized. Overall a good show, worth the time.

Rockstars rocked
by Marne Gerdes Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Loved the show, loved the new format with the Rockstars taking turns and also the addition of the DJ. Could definately relate to Dave's story the best, but really found Rik and Courtney's story's moving as usual. Great job as usual Rockstars. If you haven't been to a Rockstar show, I highly recommend it!

Loved the remix
by Jennifer Abbey Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
I'm a RS fan during their regular season and I'm never sure what I'm gonna get as they continually try new formats. This one was great with the weaving of three stories and the presence of the DJ on stage. Courtney was fine on 8/2 - I disagree that she was "barely present." Everyone has their off nights during Fringe, right?

Courtney Bad. Rik and Dave Brilliant.
by Mark Long Follow this reviewer
Rating 3 kitties
See Courtney in the Sideways Stories, she was barely present for this performance. Rik and Dave delivered riveting rants of very interesting and compelling stories.

Just tell me a good story.
by Christopher Kehoe Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
Rockstar Storytellers are slowly becoming my new addiction, and AXED! is a great sushi sampler for the uninitiated. Three widely different narratives allow a little something for everyone. And once you become hooked, go out to the other Rockstar solo shows.


Three very engaging storytellers
by Erika Klein Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
The most apt description of "Axed!" I've read is that it's a real-life "This American Life". Reppe, Mondy, and McLean (and DJ King Otto!) are all incredibly gifted and entertaining and present an engaging hour.

two out of three aint bad
by David Trudeau Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
One story teller stellar with high interest and imagery and clever unfolding of a tender plot enhanced with damn good singing. One good with church camp adolescent flashback I could relate to. One poor with incoherent, unbelievable plot and characters and not even read well from the notes nutzo fantasy.

Loved it!
by Melissa Beukema Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
All of these storytellers had a different vibe - some funnier, some more pensive - and yet were perfectly united in their ability to capture the audience. I laughed quite a bit and at one moment actually got a touch choked up - signs of a great emotional connection.

The DJ was awesome!

I look forward to seeing more of their shows in the future.

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