Minnesota Fringe Festival 2011

My Fringe

Show reviews by Jen Tuder

Tempests
Game Over, Man! Game Over! by Jen Tuder
Rating: 5 kitties
I absolutely loved this show. I adore both The Tempest and Aliens, so it was a perfect fit for me. The final battle between Miranda/Ripley and Ariel/The Queen is more than worth the price of admission. The cast does an amazing job of recreating the horror of the aliens without the benefit of industrial light and magic. Wonderful work!

Highlander: The Musical!
Geeks of the World, Unite! by Jen Tuder
Rating: 5 kitties
Like any parody, it will mostly work for those of us who are fans. Given the cult status of this film, and the foot-stomping reception from the audience tonight, I'd guess there's more than a few of us out there. The cast enjoys the biting lyrics and revels in the plot's holes. Grab your broadsword and kilt, and prepare to be entertained!

Red Resurrected
Gorgeous by Jen Tuder
Rating: 4 kitties
From a Facebook message to my friend who had to leave in the middle of the Fringe: "Red was gorgeous. Just actors' bodies and voices making a whole town, a forest, a pack of wolves hunting a deer, a fire.... Plus, they used haunting, a cappella renditions of Appalacchian folk music. Why aren't you here?!" I agree with assessments of the ending, but the path through woods was magical nonetheless.

Your Responsibility for Sex Failure
Camp-i-licious by Jen Tuder
Rating: 4 kitties
This is such a fun, tongue-in-cheek show. The cast truly enjoys displaying the outdated language and sentiment to the audience. Ms. Bergen's performance as Nurse Crawford is exceptional, her wide-eyed devotion to her doctor's needs deliciously sardonic. I gave it four kitties because the end feels a little unfinished. The script is delightful overall, but the ending just didn't seem to strike the right note. That said, this is a truly fun show that I would recommend to others.

The Beasts
And it has puppets! by Jen Tuder
Rating: 4 kitties
The premise is excellent: a simple, but profound decision to open a door to the unknown is debated amongst those on each side. The monologues that represent the various sides of the issue are good overall. The wolf's lecture, the self-defense presentation, and the archaeologist's analysis of ancient graphic art were all stand-outs. Some of the other monologues could have been trimmed, mostly for the sake of pacing. This is a fun and thought-provoking show that deftly avoids becoming heavy-handed. And it has puppets!

Hauser Dance Unraveled
Enchanting by Jen Tuder
Rating: 4 kitties
The Hauser Dance Company presents a delightful performance filled with humor and startling imagery. Falling cutlery, disembodied limbs, and screeching monkeys are just some of the charms of this show.


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