Minnesota Fringe Festival 2011

My Fringe

Change Your Underwear, Change Your Life

Swell Gal Shows

Created by Mary Hirsch

Producer's website

Seniors, Solo show, Comedy

For ages 16+

A Pioneer Press "MUST SEE"

Self-help or self-hell? After decades of reading self-help books, Mary Hirsch discovers she's from Pluto with the wrong color parachute and no cheese for anyone to move. Guaranteed to curdle your chicken soul soup.

Mary has years, and years, and years, and years -- well you get the picture -- of experience in the world of self-help or, as she refers to it, analyterature. In this show she will reveal what she has, and hasn't, learned along the way as well as her own words of wisdom (using the word "wisdom" very loosely in a way that is NOT legally binding).

CHANGE YOUR UNDERWEAR; CHANGE YOUR LIFE isn't just another fluff show -- it has some redeeming features. Audience members will learn:

a) what messages the Brazilian government would like to have printed in your underwear;

b) one of the best places to pick up men if you have absolutely no self-respect left in any bone of your body;

c) what your underwear says about you (mostly behind your back) and what you can do to change that if you have no other goals before you say hello to death;

d) what Oprah believes you should do to beat the blues -- even if it means you could end up in traction.

Please take note of the following warnings associated with CHANGE YOUR UNDERWEAR; CHANGE YOUR LIFE:

1) By order of everything that is decent under heaven - there will be no nudity in this show.

2) There may be some salty language but no words will be used that are not anatomically correct ("peepee" is anatomically correct isn't it?).

3) There will be two shows at 8:30 p.m. which is darn close to Mary's bedtime, but she will try extra hard to stay awake and hope you will do the same.

4) No animals were harmed in the production of this show, although Freckles, Mary's beagle, claims that she has been ignored and there has been a serious crimp in her rolling in the grass at the park time. The ASPCA is investigating.

BONUS: Every person attending will get a free copy of Mary's book "I Wake-Up Beautiful (And Other Fantasies)."

Mary Hirsch
Role: Star, Queen Bee, Swellest of the Swell Gals
Mary Hirsch is a writer, comedian, and swell gal. She attended the University of Minnesota where she received a degree in creative writing while meeting many manic depressives who wrote about the bleakness of life. She ignored everything her classmates told her about being more serious and pursued a life as a humorist and creative troublemaker. In her journey she has done many creative things, most of which can’t be put in writing, but some of the more acceptable things she has done include:

Has been the Minnesota Fringe four previous times with sellout shows each year including "Pull Yourself Up By Your Brastraps," "If I Don't Marry Davy Jones I'll Just Die," and "I Wake-Up Beautiful and Other Fantasies.

Wrote for Garrison Keillor’s nationally syndicated show A Prairie Home Companion, was a columnist with the Minnesota Women’s Press, and in 1998 won the Vivian Castleberry Award from the Association of Women Journalists for my writing. Was a humor columnist for the Southwest Journal from 1989 to 1999 and in 1995 won first place from the Neighborhood and Community Press Awards for best on-going column. Has written several books including: A Treasury of Office Humor, I Wake-Up Beautiful…And Other Fantasies, and It Can Never Be Too Cold: A Collection of Minnesota Humor.

Mary can play the “Beer Barrel Polka” on her hands, walk like a penguin, touch her tongue to her nose, and sing the entire score of The Music Man.

Dean Johnson
Role: Muscian, Sidekick, Swell Guy
Mixing humor and music, Dean Johnson has appeared in comedy clubs, banquet halls, and special events throughout the United States, in Canada, and the Cayman Islands.

Dean has served as both guest and host on numerous radio and TV programs, and has appeared on stage with a wide range of well known personalities including The Smothers Brothers and Louis Anderson.

Minneapolis Star-Tribune critic Colin Covert writes, "Johnson mixes homespun observations... with some sly satire worthy of Steven Wright."

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nice chemistry,funny stuff!
by Vicki Joan Keck Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
Mary is a very funny woman, and teamed up with Dean Johnson whimsical accompaniment it was a truly enjoyable hour. This tongue in cheek look at the self help genre is riotously funny, especially watching the asl interpreter signing such words as penis and orgasm. I'd give it 5 stars if Mary would be off book!

Can't go thong with this show
by Gregory Abbott Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
The highlight of the show for me was probably not even in the script when the guitar player noticed what he would say would be signed to the audience and that the poor signer would have to sign his bawdy self-help descriptions. I now know how to sign "flaming orgasm." There are those little moments in Mary's self-help standup show that made it worthwhile. She's sharp-witted, giving so-called self-help gurus a big wedgie.

Clever but...
by Will Weisert Follow this reviewer
Rating 3 kitties
The stories are good but this one fell just a little flat for me. To be fair, so many of what audience reaction judged as the funny bits, and there were a lot, relied on the shared experience of a female upbringing. Don't hesitate if your significant other wants to see this show.

by Larry Ripp Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
To start with, I'm a guy and guys will like this show. Women will LOVE this show. It's a chick flick on stage. Not a play or "show" but a standup act with a couple of very funny songs thrown in to make it seem like a show. Why "Underwear" makes the cut for me is the fact it just is so damn funny. Mary Hirsch knows her way around a joke and a funny concept. Again, it's really slanted towards women but there's laughs aplenty for all and it's good,dirty underwear fun.

Mary has a winning show!
by Charles Steffey Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Mary is a great story teller and has a wonderfully twisted mind - useful in interpreting and decoding the advice forced upon us in self-help books and other works of fiction.

my face hurts too!
by Molly Ingebretsen Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
my face hurts too!
from decorate your weiner kits to the kegel polka sing-a-long, the whole show had us laughing from start to finish. to our delight our 88 year old mom also had one belly laugh after another! you rocked it, mary! thanks.

Panties, Penises and Puns, Oh My!
by Amy Sheppeck Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
Most enjoyable, cleverly concieved and well balanced with slices of musical asides.
Mary is obviously one of those women who provide comic relief to everyone she encounters as the audience seemed to know her and many came to support her. I gave the show 4 kitties because Mary seemed a little nervous and could have been a little more polished.
Nothing to sneeze at for her first Fringe Show/Performance. I'd love to be part of anything this whitty woman contrives.
GO MARY! I rode those kegels all the way to the next rest room.
Trust me...if you are older than 45 go see this show but make sure you empty your bladder before it begins because you are going to laugh that hard!
P.S. My hard to crack hubby laughed harder than I did!

Laugh Out Loud
by Zannah Martin Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
How Mary delivers her hilarious material with such a straight face, I'll never know. Pulling her material from our own lives, aging at that, she gives it a quarter turn and has us holding our sides and crossing our legs.

My Face Hurts
by Jeanne Burns Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
I laughed so hard and for so long during this show, my face hurt. You know the feeling, don't you? And thanks to the Kegel Exercise sing-along song, I didn't need a change of underwear by the end. If you want to have a great time and not hear any jokes about breast gawking or balls, this is the show for you.

Mixed feelings, but that's just me
by Liz Oppenheimer Follow this reviewer
Rating 3 kitties
I'm not one who cares much for stand-up comedy which is why I give this 3 kitties. At the same time, the fact that I sat through the show and let out a few laughs is a good sign.

So is the fact that the staff and volunteers added an extra row of chairs to accommodate the sell-out crowd. That may be a better indicator of earned kitties than my own rating.

Sold Out!
by Fringenheit 451 Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
The fact that this show sold out its second performance and sent the ushers scrambling to set up more chairs probably means I don't need to write a review -- Mary's natural hilarity will speak for itself - but I'll add my voice to the others who sing her praises. Totally, belly-laughing funny, this production is. Lines and descriptions that I'm sure will stick with me for days ("There's no incontinency support group because no one wants to hold the meeting at their house..."). Adorable, real-person, authenticity onstage. My only critique would be that a director would be helpful for putting a teeny bit of polish on stuff like the visual aids (the pictures Mary was using weren't visible after the first row or two of seats), the music stand that Mary never used (go Mary!) but that still sat in a place that blocked her from the audience sometimes, etc. Just minor stuff. And now I'm going to go look at my reflection in something shiny....

by Amanda Symes Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Mary Hirsch took the audience on an unforgettable and disturbing ride. If starting a show by throwing underwear around doesn’t suck an audience in, I don’t know what will. “Change Your Underwear, Change Your Life” will have you laughing so hard, you will require a change of underwear by the end.

Get Your Kegel ON!!!
by Liz Blank Follow this reviewer
Rating 3 kitties
This dynamic duo had me laughing and entertained. Nice comedy, music and props.

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Thursday, 8/48:30 p.m. 
Saturday, 8/67:00 p.m. 
Monday, 8/85:30 p.m. 
Thursday, 8/115:30 p.m.This performance is ASL interpreted
Saturday, 8/138:30 p.m. 

Gremlin Theatre venue information
2400 University Av W

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