Minnesota Fringe Festival 2011

My Fringe

Tales from the Twisted Cities

New Voices Theatre

Written by Reginald Edmund

GLBT content, Mental health, Drama, Sci-fi/Mystery/Horror

Contains Adult language

For ages 16+

Nominated by Fringe Famous for 2011 Outstanding Play

This show is Reginald Edmund’s twisted love letter to the Twin Cities, and I really liked it. Edmund is a bona fide up-and-coming playwright (I will resist the catch-all “emerging”, but “up-and-coming” maybe doesn’t convey the clever, quick, funny, thoughtful writing – Edmund is clearly a master of the craft), and Jay Dub is a local legend, and that writer-director pairing is really successful. -FringeFamous.com-

TALES OF THE TWISTED CITIES

Two short plays, Saint Anthony and Main; and The Art Project, comprise the project Tales of the Twisted Cities which officially opens at the Minnesota Fringe Festival on August 5th.

Directed by Ivey Award winning actor/director James Austin Williams, the evening of short plays written by two-time Many Voices Fellow, Reginald Edmund, the two plays will run from August 5th to August 14th in the U of M Rarig Center Arena. The cast features Darius Dotch, Adam Western, Heidi Berg, Michaela Day, and JoNae Villeneuve who will be expressing their talents by performing multiple roles.

St. Anthony and Main is a psychological thriller that tells the story of two lovers, Malcolm (Dotch) and Christie (Day) who get lost on St. Anthony and Main. However, not everything is what it seem.

The Art Project, is a haunting tale of a young grieving sculptress (Villeneuve) from St. Paul is commissioned to create her greatest masterpiece from a mythic marble.

Find out more about Tales of the Twisted Cities

Heidi Berg
Role: The Strange Woman / Nzuri

Michaela Day
Role: Christie

Darius Dotch
Role: Malcolm / Mr. Zeus Osiris

JoNae Villeneuve
Role: Mississippi / Eve

Adam Western
Role: J Crew Guy / Moses

James Austin Williams
Role: Director

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Half of a Great Show
by Kale Ganann Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
Tales from the Twisted Cities begins with a doozy - a surreal, nightmarish piece that deals with a couple lost around St. Anthony and Main, and is creepy, funny and gripping. If that piece had been it, I would have rated this five kitties - unfortunately, there's the second piece, cribbed from Ovid's Metamorphoses (at least they wear their influence on their sleeve), that is a lazy and self-indulgent piece that brings the whole experience down. Next year, I hope we get more of the first from this crew, and less of the second.

One gem, one nice try
by Fringivitis Vulgaris Follow this reviewer
Rating 3 kitties
The first piece was a solid, well-crafted, well-acted story. The area near Main & St. Anthony starts out as the location for a lovers' stroll and ends in mystery and tragedy. The second story is a variation on the Pygmalion myth, but the main character never gets fleshed out enough to be believable. Both tales are in contemporary language. It was good to see something that comes from a "melanin-rich" environment too.

Twilight Zone episodes
by Rick Treece Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
Good cast. Took too long to get to the point. Not sure the details of the 1st plot jibe with the actual time of the bridge collapse. This material might work better as film/TV where a better sense of mood and claustrophobia could be created.

A study in loss
by Kevin McIntyre Follow this reviewer
Rating 3 kitties
Two stories revolving around loss and the I35 bridge. The acting was solid, the pacing a bit slow. Recommended for those who enjoy an emotional performance.

I Wanted To Love It
by Michael Merriam Follow this reviewer
Rating 3 kitties
Good acting and set design, but the script, though it has bright moments, lags in places. I wanted to love this show with its Twin Cities stories. I did like it.

See this play!!!
by John Prince Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
It was astonishingly beautiful show. Probably in my opinion one of the most impressive pieces at the fringe this year. I think it suffers from the typical highs and lows that you'd find in a new playwrights work, but other than that I felt the piece was masterful and the themes this two play series are tackling are huge and timely. The entire cast is impressive. If you see this show prepare yourself for a full range of emotions. Ranging for gasping for breath funny to holding back sobs.

Ghosts by the river
by Dixie Treichel Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
I like the surreal quality of both stories and the ghost connection to the river and the bridge collapse. They both have a Serlingesque quality that is not yet developed. I do think the first story is stronger than the second. Also it was good to see a non-stereotyped lesbian couple in the second story. Both stories were imaginative and engaging.

2 stories of loss.
by re gurgitate Follow this reviewer
Rating 3 kitties
I feel it was worth the time spent viewing these Twilight Zone styled plays. The main issue I have with the production is that so much more could have been done with the atmospherics/set to reinforce the supernatural feel. As presented, those effects were reduced to some lighting changes, which were not enough to bring it out of the ordinary.

Tales from the twisted cities
by Robert Samuelson Follow this reviewer
Rating 3 kitties
Well written and well paced. A hell of a lot better than the last play I saw at the Guthrie.

Minnesota Needs More of This
by Joy Gullikson Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
How wonderful to have such great acting in these two stories that have classic themes, yet are well adapted for our Minnesota specific grief. The 35W collapse should not be forgotten. I am glad this playwright helps us remember.

Haunting Rememberance
by Julie Kemna-Edner Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Both of these plays were intense and emotionally captivating! I really enjoyed how the story line was drawn out in the first play, slowly providing information about what was going on, pulling you into their relationship. In the second play, I already knew the premise, so I was able to allow myself to be pulled into the emotion of the female lead. The first play left me empathizing with the sad, angry and lonely male lead and the second play left me feeling joyous and uplifted by the last dance! I really enjoyed this show and look forward to seeing more of Reginald's work being performed!

Great Show!
by C. Voigt Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
The acting in this show is excellent--both acts. It took a long time to figure out what was going on in Act I, but pulled together very nicely. In Act 2 while it was predictable what would happen (because of Act I) it therefore allowed me to enjoy and appreciate the depth of the character development portrayed between Eve and Moses, and Eve and Missouri and to feel the pain of Eve's loss. It moved me to tears. I would highly recommend this show.

Acting outstanding!!!!
by Emily Duncan Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
The acting is phenomenal in this show. Complete commitment, clear objectives and nice growth of relationships. Act II is especially touching in the last 5 minutes of the show. Beautiful relationship to watch on stage. I don't understand at all the 2 given previously for this show as the acting is some of the best I've seen at Fringe. I think people are cinfusing lack of writing in the relationships for the relationships on stage themselves which I think the actors did beautifully with what they had then made it even more. Convincing, heartfelt performances and production!!!

This play has twists and turns
by John Penn Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
There is plenty to get excited about with this Fringe show. This show is fearless, pumped-up, powerfully acted, massively energetic and thoroughly enjoyable. The two plays reveals a young writer with amazing talent (although I also agree that the wolf bit didn't quite work), his writing has amazing relationships and thoroughly engaging stories that pull you in instantly. This show was one of the rare moments at the fringe where I've actually seen that has some passion and heart to it combined by some fantastic acting. I was moved.

Surprising and thoughtful
by Garry Geiken Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
The first of the two pieces started simply, but pulled me in to its mystery. I thought the suspense was nicely drawn out, as just enough information was doled out to keep the audience on the hook.

In the second piece, I enjoyed the Moses character and the rapport between him and Eve. But it is the relationship between Eve and Nzuri that makes this piece work, and their genuine affection for one another was evident and redeeming.

Some small tech bumps that will be ironed out, but overall an engaging introduction to an emerging playwright.

Mystery at the Fringe
by Florence Brammer Follow this reviewer
Rating 2 kitties
Mystery is an under-represented genre at the Fringe, so I was looking forward to seeing this two-story bill. The first of the two playlets was well-acted and engrossing for the most part, despite a few missteps in the script (including, as noted by an earlier reviewer, the appearance of the wolf). The second piece just didn't come together at all, though. The script was disjointed and unengaging, and the characterizations were unconvincing.

Great acting!
by Amber B.V. Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
I thought the show was acted amazingly! Also, they used the round space surprisingly well and really commanded the stage. This is definitely a must see to see some great, thought out relationships on stage. The only reason I'm giving the show a 4 is I wasn't in love with the writing at times, though I think it is on to something that could be great. However, the actor's did great work with what they had (as well as the direction), and this is a must see for some fantastic acting!

Tales From The Twisted Cities
by A Marie Simpson Follow this reviewer
Rating 3 kitties
Interesting to have the 35 Bridge collapse as a theme. The first story was more engaging than the second.

Well done
by Marlys Simon Follow this reviewer
Rating 3 kitties
Engaging, with a first story that held our attention (except for the wolf, which didn't really work)and we were impressed by the acting. The second story was a bit predictable (although the Lesbian theme added a nice twist), but the two main characters did a wonderful job of adding life to it. The Missouri character seemed miscast and mis-dressed.

Good, not great
by Emily Antin Follow this reviewer
Rating 3 kitties
This is a good show for the first half. It is a two play show. The first play is fantastic, very well done. The second play lacked in character development and emotional attachment to the main character. Overall just a good show to see.

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Schedule
Friday, 8/55:30 p.m. 
Sunday, 8/77:00 p.m. 
Wednesday, 8/1010:00 p.m. 
Thursday, 8/118:30 p.m. 
Sunday, 8/142:30 p.m. 
Venue

U of M Rarig Center Arena venue information
330 21st Av S, Second Floor


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