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Show reviews by Melissa Beukema

Can Michael Come Out and Play?
What's in a Name? by Melissa Beukema
Rating: 5 kitties
Mahmoud is back with another excellent Fringe show. I like that he uses the space more fully than many other storytellers I've seen. His story is engaging and thoughtful. I appreciate that although it is a personal tale the audience is moved to think beyond one person's experience.

Excellent as Expected by Melissa Beukema
Rating: 5 kitties
This is a great show complete with solid writing, acting, and directing. I would expect nothing less from a Ferrari McSpeedy production.

Bite Me Twilight
Fabulous by Melissa Beukema
Rating: 5 kitties
I've recently come out as a "Twi-hard" and absolutely loved this show. As we left I overheard someone say that they didn't think someone who enjoyed the books would like the show. I beg to differ. Provided one has a sense of humor and can be honest that the series isn't high literature a good time is sure to be had. Tom does an excellent job parodying the story while infusing it with the occasional current political commentary. Yet again his energy is through the roof and he is well complemented by Jill James. This show sold out before they got to any Rush tickets - I'm very glad I reserved my ticket ahead of time and encourage you to do the same.

Zombie High School
Wow! by Melissa Beukema
Rating: 5 kitties
I attended this show expecting light entertainment. Instead I left surprised at just how much I loved it given that I'm not a zombie aficionado. First, there is the undeniably superb singing. Truly that makes the show worth it in and of itself. Second, I was struck by how much I cared about the characters. This is difficult to accomplish in a 50-minute show, particularly one about zombie high school students. I hope buzz builds and their audiences just get larger so more people can enjoy this fantastic show.

Taiko BAM!
Amazing! by Melissa Beukema
Rating: 5 kitties
I've seen a lot of good shows this year but this is the only show where I gave a standing ovation. I had seen Taiko before but never with a group of this size or quality and was completely blown away. The whole art form, which includes music and choreography, is captivating, especially when presented by this group. The blend of discipline and loose expression was an absolute pleasure to watch. Even the performers' facial expressions were a key part of the show for me. Their sheer joy in taiko was evident and spread quickly amongst the crowd. I also enjoyed watching the way they communicated with each other with respect and deference for rotating, shared leadership. I cannot say enough good things about this show - don't miss out!

Mike & Matt
Storytelling Runs in the Family by Melissa Beukema
Rating: 4 kitties
I enjoyed both Matt & Mike's stories although their styles are quite different. As usual, Mike cleverly brought his humorous take on the everyday to the table. I was especially engaged by Matt's story given his use of the stage and building of suspense by moving back and forth in chronology. I would love to meet their parents! It would also be interesting to see them try telling a story together/blend their different styles.

A Sad Carousel
One of a Kind by Melissa Beukema
Rating: 4 kitties
Sad Carousel struck me because it's so different from other Fringe offerings I've seen this year or in years past. It's absurd and offensive in a clever and hilarious way. I can't give 5 kitties because I had a hard time hearing all of the actor dialogue (the voice overs were fine).

The Quest
Strong Concept by Melissa Beukema
Rating: 4 kitties
I love the concept of this Fringe show and enjoyed the performance. I wish it had a little more polish to it (little more listening between improvisers?) as a couple subplots were dropped along the way. Overall a fine show.

Match Game Minnesota
What fun! by Melissa Beukema
Rating: 4 kitties
I was lucky enough to be chosen as a contestant at the Sunday evening performance, but I can imagine that from any audience position this is a fun show. The panel was hilarious and showcases some of the best local talent. Nate did an excellent job as our host down to his microphone. Although the show would be worthy any time, my husband and I felt it was especially nice following a series of other shows - as a lighthearted game show it's an excellent palette cleanser.

Cosmo the Musical or How to Ruin Your Life by Having Unrealistic Expectations
Enjoyable by Melissa Beukema
Rating: 4 kitties
Cosmo is a fun production that reminds me of how glad I am that I stopped reading the magazine. This parody points out the flaws of holding too tight and fast to the rules of seduction laid out by the consumerist female how-to guide that is Cosmo. The casting was very well done as everyone fit and performed their roles beautifully. My one minor criticism is that the show ended very abruptly. See it for the laughs, the clever songs, and the insightful commentary.

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