Minnesota Fringe Festival 2011

My Fringe

Show reviews by Tristan Miller

Camelot is Crumbling: An Arthurian Nightmare
Brilliant by Tristan Miller
Rating: 5 kitties
“Camelot is Crumbling.” Now I’ve seen this show three times, it’s good, like really good. Written and produced by Phil Low it is a series of monologues told by Lancelot, the moral upright, (more or less) knight of the table round and Mordred, the bastard son of Arthur. Phillip does a brilliant job of switching between the two and using pre-recorded sound clip of stories of Arthur or stories that fit what is being said to enhance the monologues. Lancelot the essentially good knight stuggles to find peace with himself and what he has done, whereas Mordred is a peace with who he is and what he has done and is a monster for it. Both men a wrong about what the believe, but both men are right for what the believe. It’s not so much a story of Arthur and his Knights but of morals and philosophy. So, anyone interested in that and it effects on people should see the show. Philosophy, religion, and myth always seem to blend nicely and this is proof of that. Five out of five, good sir.

The Smothers Brothers Grimm
Genius, comic genius. by Tristan Miller
Rating: 5 kitties
The first show I was was entitled: “The Smothers Brother Grimm,” the name alone got me in the door, but then when I realized it was a Scrimshaw show I was double excited. And my hopes and expectations of greatness were fulfilled! The show, paying homage to many great comics and styles of comedy, including “I love Lucy,” “Loral and Hardy,” and of course “The Smothers Brothers,” was hysterical. That and the acting was good, the woman doing the Lucile Ball impression did a brilliant job. The small inexplicably Asian kid did particularly well for an actor his age. Over all I laugh, I learned and it was heart warming five out of five guys.

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Dr. Jekyll
Magnificent! by Tristan Miller
Rating: 5 kitties
“The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Dr. Jekyll.” Now, this show was fantastic, it was subtle, dry and very, very funny. So, you know how I complained about the actress playing Lady Macbeth in “The Video Game remix?” Well screw that! She is brilliant in this which more than makes up for how annoying I found her character in the other show. Very poised, gentle and calming in the ridiculous senario of Doctor Jekyll only thinking he’s a monster. Well done miss! And Tim who was Macbeth, “The Video Game Remix” did a fantastic job as well. Cute, bumbling and endearing his Doctor Jekyll made you really, really want him to win in the end. Ben who is a genius comic was, well, a genius comic in this. Very funny, very clever, very strong performer. The other woman, whose name I don’t know did an equally stunning job a Mary. Sympathetic even when beating the crud out of people. So over all, a strong, funny show with very strong actors. Congrats kids! five outta five!

Macbeth: The Video Game Remix
Everything.....For a horse.... by Tristan Miller
Rating: 4 kitties
The third show I saw was “Macbeth: The Video Game Remix.” Now, I went in with high hopes and parts of those hopes were dashed and parts were gratified. I’m not much of an MMO-er so, I guess that’s my main issue with the show. The references I got, (particularly the Shakespearean ones) were hilarious. I’ve not said the words: “LLLLEEEERRRROOOOYYYY AH-JEEEEENNNKIINNSSSS” as much as I have now. The lead male did very well, incredibly endearing and sweet. The lead female did very well as well, but unfortunately her character was just so obnoxious to me I couldn’t stand her. But! The Actress did well. The supporting cast also did well, but as I say a lot of the references went over my head. So….four and a half out of five guys.

Uncle Tom's Condo
Fun, funny and raises good points. by Tristan Miller
Rating: 4 kitties
Okay, so I saw "Uncle Tom's Condo" and it was good. Weird, silly, a bit scatter-brained at times but good. Clever points, pretty funny and I didn't fall asleep. There were some issues with lines but nothing that stopped me listening to the performers. The political points brought up in the show seemed well informed and made sense, so hood job with that. I had no idea what to expect from this show so I was pleasantly surprised by what it was. So three and a half outta five.

Hamluke
Take your kids. by Tristan Miller
Rating: 3 kitties
“HamLuke,” where Star Wars meets Shakespeare. It was…..Cute? It had a lot of references to Star Wars and by references I mean exact dialogue. That was my main issue with it, I was hoping that the references were going to more….subtle. But one thing this show did well was impressions of the actors, the guy in charge of bringing to life Jar Jar, I believe the Emperor, and Tarkin did this to perfection. The man who played the Yoda character also did this very well. The man who played HamLuke also did very well at doing a Mark Hamill Impression and was a fairly convincing Hamlet as well. So props to you, guy whose name I haven’t and will not look up for the point of this review. The main thing I have to say is, the more obscure the reference the better and this is not the fault of the company or the actors considering it was a working script. But as I say issue I have is more with writers less of the cast. Also this is a brilliant kid friendly show. Take your kids, but show them the real Hamlet when they're older.

William Shakespeare's Rape of Lucrece
It's pretty okay. by Tristan Miller
Rating: 3 kitties
“The Rape of Lucriece,” which was not funny, nor should it been. it was adapted for a Shakespearean poem, I am not way implying that Shakespeare isn’t funny he is just not in the one. Now where was I? Ah, yes. The acting was….Off for bits of the play, the fact that they had one person playing the storyteller and a few of the characters got a bit confusing, the male actor though often compelling lack in certain areas such as diction and lack of pauses. He also had a tendency to barrel through his lines which with Shakespeare just made it harder to understand. But he seemed to know what he was saying which is key to performing The Bard’s work. The young woman I had only a couple issues with mostly her repetitive gesturing and really that’s about it some of the character’s choices bothered me but that’s not the fault of the actor, she was compelling, spoke well, engaging and very nice looking, so no complants here. So, three and a half.


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