Minnesota Fringe Festival 2011

My Fringe

Power Lunch

Urban Samurai Productions

Written by Alan Ball

Producer's website

Comedy

Contains Adult language

For ages 16+

From the creator of True Blood, Six Feet Under, and the Academy Award-winning American Beauty, POWER LUNCH is a furious struggle for control of a new relationship using every trick in the book. It's a dance-fueled fight to the finish, and nothing is off limits. Find out who ends up on top in this darkly comedic gem.

Avi Aharoni
Role: Waiter
Avi Aharoni grew up in West Philadelphia, born and raised. On the playground is where he spent most of his days. Not really. Aharoni is super pumped to be working with USP for the first time! He has also worked with Children's Theatre Co, Theater Latte Da, Stages Theatre Co, Pillsbury House Theatre, 3am Productions, Theatre Or, Dana's Boys, Upright Egg Theatre, 20% Theatre Co, and Stevie Rays Improv Co. On his down time, Aharoni likes people to call him strictly by his last name, and one day strives to bring sexy back. Way to drop the ball on that one, Justin!

Megan Dowd
Role: Waitress
Megan Dowd is thrilled to be performing in Power Lunch with USP. She recently returned to the Twin Cities after completing her theater degree at Concordia College (Moorhead) and her P.G. Dip. in Classical Acting at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. Megan most recently performed in Classical Actors Ensemble's production of All's Well That Ends Well and will be touring with Hampstead Stage Company this fall. Many thanks to the theater artists and supporters of the arts in the Twin Cities!

Matthew Greseth
Role: Man
Matthew Greseth received a theater degree from North Dakota State University and a M.F.A. in Directing from the University of Montana. For the past five years he has been the Artistic Director for USP. He has also acted and directed for nimbus and Chameleon Theatre Circle since moving here in 2004. He would like to thank you, from the bottom of his heart, for supporting the Twin Cities theater community.

Danica Sanders
Role: Woman
Danica Sanders is making her USP debut and is thrilled to be working with such a talented team. Danica moved to the Twin Cities last summer from Los Angeles where she was working in Hollywood and performing with Circus Theatricals, a talented troupe of thespians collaborating under the tutelage of Alfred Molina and Jack Stehlin. A fan of Shakespeare - and with a special affinity for playing some of the Bard's notorious leading ladies like Adriana, Beatrice and Helena - Danica is excited to be exercising her comedic muscles in this quick-witted tale of love and war.

Jimmy LeDuc
Role: Director
Jimmy LeDuc holds an M.F.A. in Directing from the University of Oklahoma. Directing credits include: Women and Wallace, Southern Scenes, Wit, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Collected Stories, Kindertransport, Fool for Love, Cowboy Mouth, Shakespeare’s R and J, String of Pearls, Blithe Spirit, Bright Ideas, Nickel and Dimed, Grey Gardens, and two pieces for Freshwater Theatre’s A Festival of Awkward Moments. He has assistant directed several shows as well including Frozen, The Full Monty, The Wild Party, An Evening of Moliere, Homeland Prayer, The Glass Menagerie and most recently for A Christmas Story at Children’s Theatre Company. Jimmy has also acted in numerous shows including The Rocky Horror Show, I Never Saw Another Butterfly, As You Like It, Corpus Christi, and Enchanted April. He also works as an arts educator, acting coach, audition coach, and also as a voice and diction/dialect coach.

Stacey Britt
Role: Stage Manager
Stacey Britt is excited to be with USP for the first time as stage manager. She has been freelancing in the Twin Cities since she graduated from Bethel University in 2010. Some of her favorite shows to be involved with have been Hamlet and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead at TRP, and Little Shop of Horrors with YAI. In her free time she loves to crochet, see shows, explore Uptown, and hang out with friends. Theater consumes her waking hours and she is so grateful to be a part of the magic! It’s been an absolute joy!

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Interesting Concept
by Kale Ganann Follow this reviewer
Rating 3 kitties
Power Lunch purports to explore the dynamics between the sexes, but it does so through horribly cliched and exaggerated stereotypes. It's funny enough, I guess, and the performers commit themselves to the material, but I only laughed fitfully at the few insights that can be gained through such an overly broad piece. I would likely check out Urban Samurai again, in the hopes that they have a more nuanced piece in the future.

Surprisingly Good
by Mark Long Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
The production may have tightened-up a little since it opened given other reviews.
I really enjoyed this modern identity/relationship tale. It's clever and conceptual. The actors do a wonderful job, and the in-the-round staging works well.

"...Some experiments fail"
by Clayton Summitt Follow this reviewer
Rating 0 kitties
Any interesting concept for a performance. Unfortunately Urban Samurai failed to deliver the goods. A very distinct lack of connection between the two main characters, a script that changed course far too many times while resting far to heavily on stereotypes never gave this play a chance to take off. Weird for weirds sake can be fun, or ho hum. Power lunch took the latter.

Strong arrows miss the target
by Zannah Martin Follow this reviewer
Rating 3 kitties
The cast was impressive. The delivery was fluid. The playwright was experienced. The play has been published. All elements for success, but ... too many pieces that didn't fit together. Didn't know if I was supposed to laugh or cry at transgender issues. Was that supposed to make us realize that we are all on a spectrum of sorts? The characters didn't develop but kept yelling at each other. Just didn't work for me.

Great Time
by Gary Williams Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
I love Alan Ball and I loved seeing this play. I had a great time and the actors seemed to really enjoy being onstage while fully inhabiting their characters.

Unique, Talented and Engaging
by Lola Bola Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
I fully enjoyed this production. I loved the element of dance that was involved because what is any relationship but an awkward/sexy dance? The characters were compelling, the script was fantastic and the direction was superb. I absolutely recommend it as it's a great contrast to a lot of what is currently out there.

Entertaining, fast-paced show
by Nanette Stearns Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
Alan Ball's work is always entertaining, dark, multi-layered and this is no different. Shifts in perspective and gender identity, along with compelling dance music, skilled acting and fast-paced writing combine to make for an enjoyable presentation. We didn't plan to see this one but really enjoyed the acting and characters.

More like a Power Buffet
by Robert Baril Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
The show itself is very fast paced, with lines rapidly fired back and forth like lasers in a Star Wars fight. The material itself is cerebral, and there were times where I thought a slower delivery may have enhanced the impact of the clever jokes. The acting was well done, but since the material is loaded with gender ideology, symbolism, role-reversals, and rapidly changing opinions and beliefs, it takes a long time to really care for the main characters. Toward the end, however, the antagonistic protagonists become flushed out. Very enjoyable and rewarding for those ready to pay close attention.

Surprised Me
by Jack Silverman Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
Didn't know what to expect but the story was entertaining and the acting was very good. Picked this show because of theater location and following show on the schedule. Was very pleasantly surprised. Kind of fun to see two random people get together over lunch and get "off" on each other.

Leduc hits the BALL outta the park...
by Mykel Pennington Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
An extremely well acted/directed show written by Alan Ball, author of American Beauty and creator of my favorite shows, Six Feet Under and True Blood. This show is complex, funny and entertaining, not to mention smart. Go see this play! Worth your time!

I didn't have a ball.
by Richard Jackson Follow this reviewer
Rating 2 kitties
I'm a huge fan of Alan Ball's "Six Feet Under". I'd never seen one of his plays and was psyched to see this show, but left very disappointed. Somehow, the show felt dated. I'm still scratching my head trying to figure out why, but this very theatrical piece left me cold. Fine work by the cast is wasted.

Power Lunch
by Richard Hovel Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
A clever and witty look at the tangled and confusing powers of attraction in the realm of passion and love.

Difficult Material
by Chet Taylor Follow this reviewer
Rating 3 kitties
Kudos for attempting such a challenging script, but unfortunately, the direction and performances fell somewhat short.

Great Absurdist Escape
by Mark Kreger Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
A solid and hilarious production. Well acted, fast paced, and extremely funny. See this show!

Tempting to Lunch Like This
by Jon Skaalen Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
Alan Ball’s comedy is a great example of fantastical “what-iffing” for four actors, two tables and four chairs. Urban Samurai’s cast unleashes their inner “oh-what-the-heck-let’s-go-for-it” spirit to find the funnybone of these absurd escapades. I felt the nearness to truth or serious underlying ideas may have been a hair off, but the satire was spot-on. Ah, if we could only give ourselves leave to forego our business demeanor and adopt this vibrant throw-caution-to-the-winds approach to the art of meeting people. Bring on the ethereal music, the magical mirror ball and the waitstaff in touch with their chest hairs who are ready to minister to our innermost needs!

Cleverly written and well executed
by Chris Friedlieb Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
Another look at the battle of the sexes, but really, with no losers... Not a dance show per se, but there was tricky choreography when balanced with dialogue; it would be easy to trip up... All the actors were good, especially the "lucky couple".

Powerful & Entertaining
by Liz Blank Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
Well executed dancing with well sparsed potential dating exchanges.

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Schedule
Friday, 8/55:30 p.m. 
Saturday, 8/67:00 p.m. 
Wednesday, 8/1010:00 p.m. 
Friday, 8/128:30 p.m. 
Sunday, 8/141:00 p.m. 
Venue

Theater in the Round venue information
245 Cedar Ave.


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