Summit Brewing Equal Exchange Minnesota Public Radio Minnesota State Arts Board United Arts Fund National Endowment for the Arts The McKnight Foundation
Button advertisement
Newsletter advertisement
Program catalog advertisement

Show reviews by Steve Budas

The Failed Voyage of the Failed Ororo
Waxing Philosophically by Steve Budas
Rating: 5 kitties
The setting is Sci-Fi, the dialogue somewhat philosophical, but the story line is basic human need for a friend and companion. The puppetry is mostly filmed, but the one live sequence is very humorous. When Ororo and Jean Luc find themselves i the Black Hole together, the realization that it will be forever doesn't sink in for Ororo, the "dumb one." (Think 'Lenny' in the production of "Of Mice and Men.") But wait, what is Jean Luc's story for his being there? How is it they both have been forgotten by family and friends? This mulit-media presentation works, because the visual media supports the story line. Ororo may be 'dumb', but as Jean Luc says, not stupid. The question remains, is Ororo courageous enough to save the Universe? Does he want to? What will be the result? The Universe is saved, but the ending is non-existent.

QUAKE: A Closet Love Story
Fresh Story by Steve Budas
Rating: 5 kitties
This performance truly reflects the "freshness" of the Fringe Festival. Honestly, I think it would have still been great if the two characters had died! The use of the songs was clever and the use of marking time with jars of stale water, also clever. They had the right mix of scripted dialog, earthquake facts, and dreams/fantasy with the songs. I am glad they were able to have it shown at other festivals as well. I especially like the twist of having conversations with the one character's minor "concussion". They were often humorous while challenging to determine the actual conversation.

Ballad of the Pale Fisherman
Subtle Beauty by Steve Budas
Rating: 5 kitties
I did not buy the super pak, so obviously I have not been to dozens of performances, but of the ten I have seen, this show is the only one that received a unanimous standing ovation from the sold out crowd. Now, let me tell you why. Isabel Nelson's telling of the traditional Irish tale of the selky was enhanced with strikingly simple movements by the ensemble of actors. I never felt far from the sea between the sounds and movements created by these actors. The use of mime and movement to embrace the limited adapted script was superb. The subtle gestures were never wasted; the meaning of each one clearly communicated without beating the audience over the head, as most mimes do. It was very well choreographed with scene transitions done so smoothly the audience slipped easily into the next twist or turn of the tale. This audience was so captivated by the performance that moments of utter silence felt quite natural. Each of the actors also were excellent in their character roles, the several they had (including flopping fish and seals) that we never got confused. This is a must see show, but don't be surprised if they sell out - and rush tickets? Forget about them!

Unexpected laughs by Steve Budas
Rating: 5 kitties
Hey, not only is this show funny, but it will allow you to reflect on those little quirks of attachments you have in your own home and daily lifestyle! Wish I knew lots more people to send to this play.

Deviates from the Master Plan / Apprentice & Sorcerer Trip on the Light Fantastick
Good Clowning by Steve Budas
Rating: 3 kitties
This program has two shows. The first is titled: "Deviates from the Master Plan" which I liked a lot. It had good clowning logic, meaning that rhyme and reason had no place here. Once the routine was established it slowly began to unwind, until the continuing unexpected twist brought it to chaos - the kind you can get a lot of laughs from. I encourage them to continue to develop this show and take it to a clown festival sometime. Knowing the time limitation these performers have between acts, it was amazing to watch their set transition into the next show. The transformation was fast, clever and fun to watch. The second show "Apprentice & Sorcerer Trip on the Light Fantastic" was not as enjoyable for me. The story line was convoluted and it lacked its clown logic. Enough said.

$user_reviews .= '

'. stripslashes( $row['review_title'] ).'
'; $user_reviews .= ' by '.$row['reviewer_name'].' Follow this reviewer
'; $user_reviews .= 'Rating ' . $row['rating'].$stars.'
'; $user_reviews .= '' . str_replace("\r\n", "
", stripslashes($row['review_body']) ) . '