Minnesota Fringe Festival 2011

My Fringe

Son of a _____!

Paper Crane Theatre

Created by Levi Morris

Producer's website

GLBT content, Dance, Comedy, Drama

Contains Adult language

For ages 16+

Check out what ROHAN PRESTON of the Star Tribune called "...an earnest, tender coming of age story by a self-admitted mama's boy..."

A hilarious, tragic, and heartwarming journey through one man's fragmented memories. This show redefines motherhood through live music, movement, and the shared eccentricities of a mother and her artist son.

It is easy to assume that Son of a _____! is meant to be filled in with Son of a BEEP. But after experiencing this world premiere production, that empty space might be occupied with something surprising.

Our show highlights the absurdity and vulnerability of how one mother handles life's problems and how one son grows from boy to man to artist. Mundane occurances take on hilarious and eccentric twists--most parents don't duct tape their children to the floor just to teach a lesson. And as time rolls on, boo boos that were once solved with a simple kiss on the hand turn out to be bigger than either mother or son imagined. Neither have the power to change life's problems, but together, they discover how their shared experience molds each into what they have become.

Featuring original music and an original script, we use experimental narrative structure and repetition in movement and sound to reflect on the stark, hilarious reality of mother- and childhood.

Levi Morris
Role: Son/Mother
Levi Morris is ecstatic to be working on his original script with Paper Crane Theatre in the Minnesota Fringe Festival. Since graduating from Augsburg College in 2010, Levi has worked with a variety of artists and theatre companies including Elemental Ensemble, Paper Crane Theatre, and the Bedlam Theatre among others. Levi enjoys spending time with friends and family, all artistic mediums, and eating until he physically can not eat more. Levi loves awkawrd moments and interactions, as long as they aren't his own...but they usually are; in which case Levi gets agitated, sweaty, and uncomfortable. Thank you to those who are supportive of the arts and my artistic journey. You keep me happily employed!

Elizabeth Behnke
Role: Mother
Elizabeth Behnke is delighted to be a part of Paper Crane Theatre's second production, and to be participating in her second Minnesota Fringe Festival. This fall, Elizabeth will be a Junior at Augsburg College where she is a Theatre Major with a Double Concentration in Performance and Directing/Dramaturgy. She aspires to become a collaborating, singing, dancing, performing theatre artist, and to meet a penguin. Thanks to my many supporters.

Sarah Gillund
Role: Musician/Ensemble
Sarah Gillund is not a professional...professional piano player, that is. Piano has been a favorite hobby of hers since the age of seven. Sarah is a recent gradute of Augsburg College and is looking for a career in non-profit work. Sarah enjoys the arts, spending time with her friends and family and LOL cats.

Kathleen Watson
Role: Musician/Ensemble
Kathleen Watson has created and performed original music for several local theatre companies including Augsburg College, Paper Crane Theatre, Bedlam Theater, and a variety of others. She enjoys theatre, hiking, and hula-hooping. Kathleen grew up in the cornfields of Nebraska and moved to the big city to get smart. She misses her ma and pa greatly but hopes she doesn't have to move back in with them after she graduates from Augsburg College in May.

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Son of a...disappointment
by Scarlett Wood Follow this reviewer
Rating 1 kitty
Levi Morris weaves a glorified and unoriginal story about himself in this show that dragged beyond its actual run time. The story seemed unauthentic and studied--with actions and vignettes that was bent on being "arty." Elizabeth Benhke was severely under utilized and did not appear as influential in Morris' story as the play would suggest. The only real interesting part of this show was some of Benhke's movement and harmonization pieces with the two musicians. Otherwise this was a self-important and entitled autobiography under the guise of a tale about a boy and his mother.

I Wish I'd Seen It Earlier in the Week
by Kale Ganann Follow this reviewer
Rating 3 kitties
I might have taken to it better in that case. As it was, the majority of the play is about thirty seconds story, one to two minutes of interpretive dance to get to the next piece, rinse, repeat, repeat, repeat. The story being told is a tale of a relationship between boy and mother, and the vignettes do serve to illustrate it, but something lacked in the execution. Like I said, perhaps I was overtired at this point in the week - it was show 49 - but... I look forward to seeing the creator evolve though. He has great potential.

Son of a Confusion
by April Gage Follow this reviewer
Rating 2 kitties
This show wasn't bad, but it also wasn't good. I will admit I don't understand interpretive dance which consumed a portion of the show. The set and props also made no sense to me, I had to think hard trying to piece together their symbolism and I had to think harder then I really wanted to. I just couldn't get the message. The music was a pleasant touch, and Levi was an entertaining performer. With some tweaking this show could be a win. Overall, you aren't missing much by not seeing this.

Just Beautiful!
by Russ Dugger Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
Levi Morris has created a piece that, true, is about his life. Some may say it's self absorbed. Maybe at face value. The stories that Levi tells all center around the real star of the show: his mother. Or rather how his mother has affected his life. How she has wriggled her way into all of his major (and minor) life events. You may wonder how getting a tail-bone cyst removed has anything to do with a mother's love but trust me. It all ties in. A wonderful, funny, beautiful, sad piece performed by a wonderful, funny, beautiful, (not sad) cast! A must see for Fringers!

Beautiful and Touching
by William Beeman Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
This is in effect a one-man autobiographical show with Levi Morris presenting lyrical and poignant episodes in his struggle from childhood to young adulthood, aided by his matter-of-fact mother, whom he internalizes--often mistakenly. She turns out to be far more understanding in most cases than he imagines her to be, and she is wise, wise, wise. The presentation is loose, but well acted by Morris, who is indeed a theater artist, aided by a wonderful supporting crew--his "mother" and two marvellous musicians.

the numbers added up
by Evelyn Blum Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Levi Morris is a performer to follow, or at least will be followed by me now! There was motion and warmth and truth in his story, and its one of the best I have seen so far.

Self Absorbed
by David Trudeau Follow this reviewer
Rating 2 kitties
Levi - the author, producer, director and star creates a show about himself. His mother is really a peripheral character who is a vehicle for Levi telling us about the traumas of his life, one of the main ones being getting a cyst on his ass lanced, which frankly I don't want to know. There are props and devices - such as numbers appearing on the set peices and costumes, a crumbling mask, memo pads strewn around the set - that never quite explain themselves. The play closes with a very nice watercolor/drawing of Levi and his mother, which I enjoyed more than the play. My wife liked this treatise about strong bonds of motherhood more than I.

Son of a ...
by Ann Sellman Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
The play was very captivating! I believe everyone in the audiance could relate to the
emotions Levi was trying to communicate.
It took you through laughter, pain, attchment,and fear, while still maintaining a strong thread of reality. We have all experienced the ups & downs of growing up, this play is a unique snapshot into one young man's life. Very entertaining & direct. The music was a fabulous transition into the different scenes. His facial experssions & connection with the audiance makes him a natural for the audiance to relate to. A must see play!!

An artist to watch
by Timothy Otte Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
Levi Morris is a born storyteller, as he'll tell you himself in this wonderful memoir of a show. Morris' physicality and expressive face bring to life the woman that has clearly influenced him as a person as well as performer. Elizabeth Behnke complements the movement sections of this production well, though it's hard to buy this young-looking woman as a 51-year-old mother of 6. Sarah Gillund and Kathleen Watson round out the ensemble with original music that couldn't be more suited to the show. Some of the vignettes could use some polish to bring them from stories to cohesive narrative, but the heart is there and Morris knows how to tell them. I look forward to more of his work in the future.

The Best show of the Day!
by Ricardo Garciaherreros Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
If you are looking for a challenging, moving and multifaceted show to watch, this is probably one of the best choices that the Fringe has to offer. I was impressed by how realistic and genius this show was. The acting was very well executed, the music accompanied the stories wonderfully and the plot accomplished its purpose of successfully creating a world that might be more common that what you can imagine!
This show breaks with your standard fringe comic show and allows you to travel with both actors to a story telling that will touch you forever!

Loved it.
by Maren Lund Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
This show is one that will stick with me. I found myself laughing straight through my tears at some points. This retelling of a man's boyhood with his mother made for a beautifully expressive and honest look at what motherhood and childhood boils down to. The movement and music added an entire element unto itself. I highly recommend this show to everyone, and suggest they bring their moms with.

Fun Show!
by Ron Behnke Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
A great blend of movement, music and drama. Poignant and funny - very entertaining!

see this show
by Brianna O-C Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
dear possible viewer of Son of A_____!,

you are in for a treat.
Levi Morris weaves a chaotic tale of a storyteller, accompanied by his mother, played gracefully by Elizabeth Benhke. A duo of gorgeous musicians completes the performance quartet.
Movement is a large and refreshing part of this performance, Levi creates the beautiful bond between mother and child with modern dance and the harmonies you remember your mother singing under her breath as she did her everyday activities. While I would call this production primarily a comedy, there are many touching moments, as mother and son explore their relationship.

If you like storytelling, wildly expressive performers, Auggies, or modern dance this human experience is just for you.

Do it!
by beth cullen Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
I just got back from seeing this show, and it was pretty rad! Awkward, funny, and mildy depressing, it's one man's story, but it takes four people to tell it. The music was absolutely sad and beautiful, and shared a near equal part in conveying the emotion/message of the actors. Intensely passionate moments are sprinkled throughout the play with conversely peppered odd-humored laughs. Aside from the reasons listed, I recommend it for anyone who likes audience participation or has a pulse!

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Thursday, 8/47:00 p.m. 
Saturday, 8/67:00 p.m. 
Tuesday, 8/910:00 p.m. 
Thursday, 8/115:30 p.m. 
Saturday, 8/138:30 p.m. 

Augsburg Mainstage venue information
2211 Riverside Av (theater entrance at 22nd Av S and S 7th St)

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