Minnesota Fringe Festival 2011

My Fringe

Angelina Jolie is a Zionist Whore! or, Plan 9 from Baghdad

Partizan Theater

Created by James Vculek

Producer's website

Political content, Comedy, Satire

For ages 7+

Fringe Encore Award winner! One last show added. Sunday 8:30pm at Intermedia Arts. Don't miss the show that has been selling out almost every performance. When it's gone it's gone. Purchase tickets online at the Fringe website.


Three bungling Iraqi insurgents somehow manage to kidnap an American television correspondent, but quickly learn to their dismay that they might have grabbed exactly the wrong guy.

From the producers of last year's number 4 Fringe show, "The Princeton Seventh."

"Highly Recommended" by Twin Cities Daily Planet

Best show of the Fringe
by Marcus Downs
Rating 5 kitties
Many Fringe shows are so silly and uninteresting, I'm afraid I've become jaded. Sometimes I feel like I'm watching a skit or high-school play. But I always make room for a select few like Partizan Theater Company. Although this year's entry was comical, it was also edgy, high-quality, and intelligent. Kudos to Partizan for saving the Fringe for me!

A Festival GEM
by Susan Thompson
Rating 5 kitties
This show is for sure in my top 3 for the whole festival. It is FANTASTIC. The writing is brilliant and acting is strong. The humor - both overt and subtle - works very well and the final video is icing on the cake of an already delicious show. THANKS for presenting it!!!

I didn't stop laughing
by Michael Lewis
Rating 5 kitties
Most of the times when you see a comedy in the Fringe show, you have a few chuckles, usually with a clever parody or a pun, but most of the time I sit there looking at my watch wondering when the next joke is going to happen. This show had me laughing the whole way through. Some of the jokes were predictable but for the most part, I wasn't expecting what was coming next. This one was the perfect nonsense fun after a long day at work. If you're looking for a deep comedy with a meaningful theme, this isn't it. If you're looking for a fun hour spent laughing non-stop, this one is it.

"A droll, rapid-fire satire with smart dialogue and plenty of laughs." - www.steveonbroadway.com

"America's Funniest Hostage Videos meets Cops in Falluja." - CityPages

"Angelina Jolie is a Zionist Whore!! or, Plan 9 from Baghdad" featured on All Things Considered. Listen to the interview here: http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2011/08/04/atc-fringe-festival/

R1-01048-023A

Joshua Will, Alex Cole, Catherine Johnson Justice and Ari Hoptman


Audience reviews from past Partizan Theater Fringe shows:

“Whatever else you see, see this!....It’s the best I’ve seen so far.”

“This script is one for the ages, possibly, and rendered delectably.”

“Restores my faith in contemporary theater. A well-constructed, intelligent, witty script performed by superb actors.”

“The script was amazing, especially the twist in the second half.”

“This is what I Fringe for. Finally, a show that surprised me! It was bright and sharp and impressive. Go everyone, go!”

“The jokes were hysterical, [but] when it begins shifting into a story about failed dreams, without for a second losing its sense of humor, it becomes something really special. And when it completely pulls the rug out from under the audience, that makes it nearly perfect.”

“Truly terrific theater – a wonderfully acted and terrific and surprising script. I’m SO glad I fit this into my schedule. Thank you!”

Alex Cole
Role: Wheeler
alex-head
Alex Cole, actor, comedian and "apostle of revolution," is an entertainer in the truest sense. For 34 years he has entertained audiences at college campuses and comedy clubs around the country with his personality-driven, real-life stories and songs as well as through an eclectic array of theatre, film and television appearances. Acting credits include the feature film McHale's Navy, TV docu-drama Arrest and Trial, and most recently a starring role in Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival's award-winning Two Harbors by James Vculek. For this performance he won Best Actor at the 2006 Winnipeg International Film Festival. Cole has appeared onstage with rave reviews in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, A Few Good Men, Laughter on the 23rd Floor, Glengarry Glen Ross and in the world premiere production of The Princeton Seventh at the 2005 Minnesota Fringe Festival. This is his fourth appearance with Partizan Theater.

Ari Hoptman
Role: Samir
ari-head
Ari Hoptman is an actor and playwright who has performed at numerous venues throughout the Twin Cities. He has appeared in several productions with Fifty Foot Penguin Theatre and Pigs Eye Theatre, including Twelve Angry Men and Laughter on the 23rd Floor. Other roles include: Neil Simon's Last of the Red Hot Lovers, Picasso at the Lapin Agile (Einstein) and the drama Two Rooms at TRP, The Odd Couple, Biloxi Blues, Sisters of Swing, Art, The Chosen, Autistic License and The Foreigner. He had a featured role in the recent Coen brothers film, A Serious Man. His plays include The President, Once Removed, I Married Odin and The Quick and the Red. This is his fourth appearance with Partizan Theater.

Catherine Johnson Justice
Role: Margaret
cejj-headshot

Catherine Johnson Justice is thrilled to be appearing in her third production with Partizan Theater, after performing in The Princeton Seventh and Something Witchy for previous MN Fringe Festivals. Other Twin Cities theatre credits include productions with The Guthrie Theatre, Ten Thousand Things, Pillsbury House Theatre, Theatre de la Jeune Lune, Emigrant Theatre, The Jungle Theatre, Workhaus Collective, The Playwrights Center, Thirst Theatre, Illusion Theatre, Starting Gate, Gremlin Theatre, and two self-produced one-woman shows for previous MN Fringe Festivals. Film credits include The Quietest Sound (winner “Best Actress,” Fargo Film Festival), Two Harbors, Light and Darkness, How to Kill a Mockingbird, and Overnight Delivery. Catherine is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and Carleton College.

Joshua Will
Role: Bashir
josh-head
An Emmy award winning alumnus of Dudley Riggs’ Brave New Workshop, Joshua has been an active comedy writer and performer in the Twin Cities for over 15 years. Whether stirring up controversy at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland or warming up the MADtv audience in L.A., Joshua has found it more comfortable to be in front of an audience than having to participate in one-on-one conversations. His sketch comedy troupe, The Recovery Party (responsible for such productions as “Department of Redundancy Department,” “Big Smile Campaign Team” and “Danger! Will/Robinson”), has been called “the funniest damn thing in Minneapolis.” [www.therecoveryparty.com] When not writing self-absorbed bios about himself in long, run-on-type-sentences, Joshua is extremely thrilled to work with his Partizan Pictures/Two Harbors brethren again.

Lisa Dittmann
Role: Stage Manager

Aaron Gelperin
Role: Video

Walter X Sroka
Role: Sound Design
Walter X Sroka has done sound and music for Partizan Theater and Partizan Pictures over the years, and is happy to be working with them again.

James Vculek
Role: Video

James Vculek
Role: Writer/Director

Partizan Theater
Role: Producer
Partizan Theater’s past productions include “Shtick, and Its Relation to the Unconscious,” starring Ari Hoptman and Richard Ooms at the 2003 Minnesota Fringe Festival; the 2005 production of “The Princeton Seventh” at the Minnesota Fringe Festival, with Ari, Alex, Catherine Johnson Justice and James Cada; “Angelina Jolie is a Zionist Whore! or Plan 9 from Baghdad” at the Bryant Lake Bowl Theater in 2006, starring Alayne Hopkins, Sam Landman, Steve Lattery and Alex Cole; “Something Witchy” at the 2009 Minnesota Fringe Festival, starring Catherine, Chris Carlson, and Lindsey Alexandra Hartley; and a remount of “The Princeton Seventh” at the 2010 MN Fringe with Ari, Alex, Alayne and Richard. Watch for the upcoming world premiere of “Carol and Cotten: The T. Eugene Thompson Murder Case.”

Partizan Pictures, Partizan Theater’s film arm, has produced two award-winning features: “Two Harbors,” (2005), starring Catherine Johnson Justice and Alex Cole; and “The Quietest Sound,” (2006), starring Catherine Johnson Justice, Chris Carlson and Michael Tezla. Currently in post-production and awaiting a fall 2011 festival launch is the feature film “The Confession of Lee Harvey Oswald,” starring Bruce Hyde and Jim Lichtscheidl. And in pre-production is “The Nudelmans of Beaver Bay,” starring Ari Hoptman and Alex Cole.

For more information on Partizan Theater’s and Partizan Pictures’ activities, visit www.partizanpictures.com.

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Funny, wished for more time to add to it
by Suzanne Sharrock Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
The spoof (and sometimes well-done accents) of the insurgents and hostage were right on. So many humorous and non-humourous hostage-taking, war-related scenes made this a must see for me. Every character played his or her part excellently. Good choice for an encore. (Actually a couple of the other plays at this venue were horrible, but this would've still encored elsewhere.)The ineptness was a major part of the fun.

Clever premise, great video closing
by Mic Weinblatt Follow this reviewer
Rating 3 kitties
This play about an inept group of insurgents
was a clever idea with skillful actors but it got bogged down in the middle and the bits lost the momentum of a play and became an extended comedy skit that could have filled twenty minutes rather than an hour. The final video sequence,however, was an inspired bit of looniness that almost redeemed the earlier skit.

Ransom of MREchef
by Rick Treece Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
OK, I have to give this 5 kitties because Ari is a friend of mine, but the irony is that I would have anyway. If only all insurrectionists were as hapless as these! I also approve the video closing, but that went on a bit long for my taste.

Fluff but really good fluff
by Will Weisert Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
After the Princeton Seventh, I'd expected a bit more depth from this troupe. While it was basically a one-note comedy, the troupe pulled everything they could from the script, ending with a hilarious set of 'outtakes' from a hostage video. If you're in that part of town for the encores, this wouldn't be a bad choice.

Another quality Ari Hoptman joint
by Erica Mauter Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
Funny, Clever! Each of the four chara.ters held their own and played well off each other. The ending was perfect; it reflected the essence of the show while adding a nice change of pace to keep it interesting.

Fabulously Fun Hour
by Marla Kapperud Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
This show had me laughing from the beginning to the end. As one reviewer said, it is comic relief from the wars. No one is better at playing the arrogant, bombastic, clueless American than Alex Cole! Ari's mastery of nonverbal communication is pure delight. The cast worked well together, great timing. And, of course, it all starts with a great script. Kudos to Jim Vculek. This was a delightful show, one I'd love to see again. My smile lasted for 10 minutes after the show, until the news of the world (BBC) beat it out of me on my way home.

Even Insurgents got to make a living
by Nathan Curland Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
Funny from beginning to end. Better Mid-east accents would have helped but the simple good hearted incompetence of the characters made it worth while. The epilog dragged out a little longer than needed.

An Insurgency by Any Other Name
by Kale Ganann Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
Some friends told us that Zionist Whore was not a play to be missed, and while we certainly felt there have been better this year, this was an extremely fun play. The play really goes off the rails once Alex Cole's American wanders onto the scene, and becomes the unwitting hostage of these witless insurgents. A very funny evening.

Insubstantial but Fun
by Bill McTeer Follow this reviewer
Rating 3 kitties
A "caper gone wrong" show in an unusual context. If you can wrap your mind around the idea of terrorism as a day job with a boss, co-workers, upper management, and an odd "compensation" schedule, you'll find this show engaging. This is a fun little show with some nice dialog, likable (but stereotypical) characters and hardworking actors.

Not Up to Snuff
by Amy Sheppeck Follow this reviewer
Rating 3 kitties
Call it "Plan 9 from Bagdad" and pump up the character personalities to make the comedic lines POP! This show is really good, don't get me wrong. I laughed at the jokes and banter but it just felt bland. Remember the characters in Hogan's Heros or McKale's Navy? These guys need forget subtle and go for the rediculous. The guy who played the hostage has the right idea. This show could be over the top funny if all the actors would go full tilt.

Very Good
by Ronny Cary Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
This shaw was really good, but not my favorite. Not really a message that I could decipher, but that's okay. Performances were great and script was very fun. I recommend it.

Seriously Funny
by Meghan Hogan Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Loved every minute of it! Characters ill-suited to their jobs as insurgents make for great comedy in this cleverly written play. Kudos to the actors for their well-timed deliveries, they had me cracking up until the very end.

Fast and Funny
by Douglas Heeschen Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
Hilarious premise and fantastic delivery. Great light comedy. Throw in a theme and it could go all the way.

Comic Relief From War
by August Berkshire Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
This just edged into a 5 due to the wonderful performances of the actors. This reminded me of Hogan's Heroes, and you can only stretch the joke of bumbling terrorists so far. This show is selling out, so get there early or make reservations.

yea!
by Mark Browning Milner Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
alex and ari and catherine and joshua (and james), doing what they do best. who woulda thought bickering insurgents would be so very funny? do. not. miss. this. show.

Clever oh so clever
by Ed Reilly Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Funny, clever, irreverent! Top-notch acting with impeccable comedic timing and delivery. You will find yourself laughing start to finish! Envision "2011 Hogan's Heros" meets "No Reservataions!"...

Yes she is!
by Kara Greene Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Loved this show. Very smart and funny. I'll have to watch out for more from Partizan Theatre.

Best show of the Fringe
by Marcus Downs Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Many Fringe shows are so silly and uninteresting, I'm afraid I've become jaded. Sometimes I feel like I'm watching a skit or high-school play. But I always make room for a select few like Partizan Theater Company. Although this year's entry was comical, it was also edgy, high-quality, and intelligent. Kudos to Partizan for saving the Fringe for me!

Partizan rocks
by Vicki Joan Keck Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Such a funny script and so well acted. Loved seeing Ari Hoptman as a bumbling insurgent leader - the blind leading the blind! Alex Cole is heee-larious as the American who stumbles into their den. Mayhem ensues, with some great pop cultural references. Anyone looking for political satire must see this!

A Festival GEM
by Susan Thompson Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
This show is for sure in my top 3 for the whole festival. It is FANTASTIC. The writing is brilliant and acting is strong. The humor - both overt and subtle - works very well and the final video is icing on the cake of an already delicious show. THANKS for presenting it!!!

Well executed :)
by Evelyn Blum Follow this reviewer
Rating 3 kitties
Exactly the type of Terrorist group one would find if it was full of fringe artists! This was light and funny and was the very perfect way for me to end my evening last night!

must see
by Jana Kramer Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
This is the kind of show you always hope to find at the Fringe. Fantastic comedy. Great writing and some of the best actors in the Twin Cities. The video at the end is the perfect cherry on this sundae.

War's timeless humor
by David Trudeau Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
Not quite another Princeton Seventh with its richness and complexity, this show creates its simple comic situation with Iraqi Jihadis who are trying score points by making a terrorist video for Al Jazeera with a captive GI. They stumble into a snag of a camy wearing Food channel correspondent who then tries to tutor them on proper video shoot. The jokes are not always all that funny or subtle but if anything, it says that the Iraqui war is now stale enough that we can make some good comedy of it. When we can laugh at the enemy he has lost his terror grip altogeter.

had a couple moments...
by Holly Brimhall Follow this reviewer
Rating 2 kitties
This show had a few semi funny moments...but overall, don't waste you time. It they repeat themselves a lot. The jokes are stale or just bad. I feel it could have been over in about half the time as well.
You can go...but don't expect much.

OH So FUNNY!
by Larry Ripp Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Here is a show that would fit right in with any first class comedy sketch group like Second City. And THEY are at the Top of their profession. What I'm saying is this show has Ari Hoptman and company deliver a New York style show thanks to the wit and professional quality writing by James Vculek. I've seen 5 shows so far and this one is By Far the best and most professionally presented. It's so good it all looks just too easy. That's an illusion of course. First rate comedy is heavy lifting that seems to be effortless. What a joy to have this stuff wash over me in a continuous wave of mirth. I feel good all over. Congrats to a brilliant cast, a brilliant script and may you win Best Of The Fringe.

very enjoyable
by Jillian Michaelree Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
Super pop culture fun. I was really worried in the first 5 minutes, but the odd casting and almost Russian-sounding, slippery accents actually added to the hilarity. Solid story-telling, awesome characters, good acting. I think the title is off-putting a bit, because the play is not as crassly South Parkian as the title sounds. I think just the Plan 9 from Baghdad sums it up... the Angelina bit was just a funny line.

Almost perfect
by Kathy Ahlers Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
Four-and-three-quarter kitties for perfect casting, great direction and working-together mojo with lots of laughs. These are high-quality actors. You do NOT have to know much about celebrities to enjoy this show! Docked a quarter of a kitty for an actor who sometimes drifted out of his accent, but this did not distract greatly from the play.

Very clever
by Brooke Hart Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
Very well-written and executed (no pun intended). Clever idea and quite funny. These a great actors who don't miss a beat.

Great Play
by Nancy Goldstein Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Clever script and great acting by all. I wish I could give it 10 kitties--it was that good!

Hilarious writing and great acting
by Philip Geller Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Ari Hoptman, Alex Cole, Catherine Justice, and Josh Will are amazing. I plan to see this show again. And I need to see the video at the end many more times--absolutely hilarious! This is the fringe at its best.

Great material, superbly delivered
by Charles Steffey Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
The writing was superb and the delivery was fantastic. Each actor was outstanding and their timing together was spot on. Although some of the humor was predictable, there were hilarious surprises.

Just another day on the job
by Katherine Dugarm Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
The setting could have been any work environment with a supervisor and some workers who mostly get along and who have their personal quirks. This play happened to take place in a insurgency cell in Iraq. If there was a larger point to this show, I didn't get it.

At some points I laughed until I cried. When I saw the show, only 3 of us reacted to the Orson Bean reference.

Two great titles, one great show
by Scott Jackson Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
The writing was sharp and satirical. The roles were perfectly cast and the acting was spot on. Not as interesting a concept as 'The Princeton Seventh', both just as well done.

I didn't stop laughing
by Michael Lewis Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Most of the times when you see a comedy in the Fringe show, you have a few chuckles, usually with a clever parody or a pun, but most of the time I sit there looking at my watch wondering when the next joke is going to happen. This show had me laughing the whole way through. Some of the jokes were predictable but for the most part, I wasn't expecting what was coming next. This one was the perfect nonsense fun after a long day at work. If you're looking for a deep comedy with a meaningful theme, this isn't it. If you're looking for a fun hour spent laughing non-stop, this one is it.

a little too cute
by beth SOLLE Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
sometimes funny. sometimes merely racist. mostly satirical. made me laugh out loud a few times but also look at the time.

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Schedule
Friday, 8/55:30 p.m. 
Sunday, 8/710:00 p.m. 
Monday, 8/88:30 p.m. 
Thursday, 8/118:30 p.m. 
Saturday, 8/134:00 p.m. 
Sunday, 8/148:30 p.m. 
Venue

Intermedia Arts venue information
2822 Lyndale Ave. S


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