Minnesota Fringe Festival 2011

My Fringe

Show reviews by Ryan Vanasse

Comedy = Tragedy + Someone Else
An unlikely but winning mix. by Ryan Vanasse
Rating: 5 kitties
With performers as gifted as Mike Fotis and the Danger Committee, who needs a plot? The titular discussion of comedy isn't worth talking about, but the rapid-fire jokes and hilarious, natural performances by these four talented individuals are. These entertainers tease Fringe, each other, and the audience, and are so nimble (both with fingers and with words), that you'll be delighted by both. This one is especially good if you're a regular fringer--you'll get a whole bunch of extra jokes. This would be a great palate cleanser after a couple of serious shows.

Challenging but well-crafted by Ryan Vanasse
Rating: 4 kitties
This show is Challenging--know that before you go in. I found it inscrutable at the very beginning, and every time I felt like I understood what was going on, the show changed course and I fell back into befuddlement. That said, I've always sucked at the challenging shows, and I think that the execution on this one is good enough to make it interesting if you're into them. Special bonus points to David Philip Norris for his performance. He brings a raw physicality to the role that grabs your attention and holds it fast. Even when I didn't understand what was going on, I was enraptured by his performance. Points also for Darrien Burks and Nicole Christine for their acting. Nicole Christine's performance was very straight and helped to focus the show in its middle section. Personally, this was a 3 star show for me, but I don't want someone seeking a challenging Fringe show to be turned away by the all important Kitties, so I'm rating a 4.

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