Minnesota Fringe Festival 2011

My Fringe


Brave Little Productions

Written by Andrew Brady and Robbie Lyman

Producer's website


Contains Loud noises/gunshots

For ages 12+

When dozens of toasters go missing from stores all across Manhattan, New York needs a superlative sleuth to solve the crime. The city needs a gumshoe with gumption, gusto, and grace to ensure that the devious delinquent is detained. Unfortunately, when New York needs a hero, New York gets Percy Irving--a bumbling investigator whose only larger-than-life attribute is his ego. When the toaster store of the lovely ingénue Vicki Strudelle becomes the next victim of the city-wide thievery, Irving sets out in pursuit of the culprit. Armed with considerable resources (one secretary, tons of newspaper clippings), detective Irving sets out to bring down the notorious toaster thief known only as the Toastmaster. Join Irving as he stumbles his way through a fresh twist on the traditional detective flick, complete with colorful characters and a ridiculous evil scheme for the ages. Toasted: burning the classic whodunit--one slice at a time.

"A classic detective spoof" - Chaska Herald

"Sharply written" - Chanhassen Villager

"I laughed at these young actors soliloquizing, monologueing and tripping over themselves...I'd bring my kid and watch it again." - Pioneer Press

Black Logo Rounded

First performed in the Guthrie Theatre's Dowling Studio, this tongue-in-cheek spin on the classic hard-boiled detective story will keep you guessing and keep you laughing!

Taylor Diles
Role: Detective Percy Irving
A student of Iowa State University, Taylor has spent the much of his life on the stage. Majoring in journalism while still devoting time to acting and comedy, his two career options involve becoming Stephen Colbert or living out of a cardboard box. He's well aware that the latter is much more realistic.

Lily Podany
Role: Doris
Lily began her acting career as a 2nd grader through Prairie Fire Children's Theatre and has never looked back. She has yet to miss a school production since, portraying roles such as Eulalie MacKecknie Shinn in "The Music Man", Ms. Hannigan in "Annie", and Patty Simcox in Grease. She hopes that the audience enjoys watching the show as much as she does acting it!

Lauren Beck
Role: Vicki Strudelle
Lauren is currently a student at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Most recently, she has starred in the roles of Rosa Budd in "The Mystery of Edwin Drood" and well as Rizzo in "Grease." She is very excited about "Toasted" and can't wait to work with other talented actors and directors.

Zach Bolland
Role: The Toastmaster
Zach has been on the stage since he could walk, doing numerous dance and community theatre performances. His favorite roles include Duke Orsino in "Twelfth Night" and Durldes/Master Nick Cricker from "The Mystery of Edwin Drood." He hopes the audience enjoys watching him portray his character--The Toastmaster!--as much as he enjoys performing it.

Robbie Lyman
Role: Writer/Director
Robbie is a student of Columbia University and has been involved in theatre for years, where his first role (Rapunzel's Prince in a water-down "Into the Woods") saw him donning his sister's tights. Somehow that didn't scare him away; he still loves writing, acting, directing, and putting the R before the E.

Andrew Brady
Role: Writer/Director/Producer
Andrew, performer and director of ten years, has played the part of supreme coordinator for "Toasted". From its debut at the Guthrie to its new home in the Fringe, he has discovered the difficulties in working with children, animals...and actors.

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Come on people. drama-writing is better
by Suzanne Sharrock Follow this reviewer
Rating 1 kitty
I expected to be pleasantly surprised. Premise was cute, but nothing made sense or hung together. Clearly has the germ of something funny in it, but a group of high-school sophomores sitting around dreaming up a goofy play perhaps under some "influences" just didn't add up to any believability. A few good cameo appearances, but otherwise just trite, tried, and predictable dull. But not really dark, it's one redemming merit. Nah - bottom of my list, almost.

Cliche cliches
by August Berkshire Follow this reviewer
Rating 2 kitties
This is a show that responds to the cliches of detective fiction with cliches of its own. Two minor plots twists elevated it from a 1 to a 2.

by sarah havlicek Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
This was a very fun show to watch. It was funny and enjoyable. It had a plot twist and it was easy to follow. I enjoyed watching this show, it was very well put together. The one ting i didn't care for was one of the characters, she rubbed me the wrong way.

A Cute All Ages Show
by Kale Ganann Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
Brave Little Productions has a cute wisp of a play on their hands here. It's a bit shrill at times - some of the shrieks and cackles will curl your toes - but it plays clever with the mechanics of the pulp PI's world. The ending is very Fringe-y, and not necessarily to its benefit. Still, it was a fun time - not highly recommended, but if you're looking for something to fill that final slot, well, everything's good on toast, right?

Toasted, Ladies and Gentlemen.
by Hannah Olevson Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
Toasted is a delightful comedy about the bad, the good, and the plain toasted. It's a show full of puns and is an evening of enjoyment!

Go! You won't be sorry! (:

by re gurgitate Follow this reviewer
Rating 3 kitties
If you have a very simple story, great acting can sometimes salvage it. Nope.

Jam this toast into your sched!
by Caity Robertson Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
Toasted has been a long transforming road for its actors and directors. Making this one act into an hour long production did not disappoint. With limited time and resources, they definitely rose to the challenge of an imminent production and created an overall very entertaining show!
Full of wit and four very memorable, bold characters, you are bound to start and end with a smile (even if it's just reflecting on one of many ridiculous puns from our ace detective).

Walk in with a smile, support the arts and these students in their first fringe attempt, and you will leave burning with the afterglow of a wonderful evening satire :)

by Amy Jensen Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
I thoroughly enjoyed this!! I thought "Toasted" was incredibly brilliant, unpredictable, clever, and a hoot! :) I was definitely craving some toast afterwards.

Very Impressed
by Allison Cress Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
After seeing the show twice, I'm very impressed by what Brave Little Productions has to offer. The script is witty and delightfully punny, and the actors have excellent chemistry. The physical comedy of the Toastmaster is brilliant. I hope to see these guys again at Fringe next year; I cannot wait to see what another year of experience entails.

by Lewis Mundt Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
Toasted is the show it needs to be. A sometimes-slapstick farce on old detective noir bits, it fills all the right buckets with its one-liners, stock characters, and snappy pace.

That said, I'm glad I knew what I was getting into before I went; if I'd expected maybe a more-seasoned cast and tighter execution, I may have been disappointed. But in its context, the play doesn't get away from itself. Where it might be easy to lose control of roles like The Toastmaster and Victoria, the actors keep their quirks in check and compose their movements carefully to make for a comfortably reined-in performance. Very few steps are out of place.

Performers and writers both, these folks are on a good track. Catch it if you've got a night free.

Actors Are Killer, But Too Much Filller
by David Peterjohn Follow this reviewer
Rating 3 kitties
Toasted is a decent farce where a noir detective takes himself far more seriously than his cases and his abilities warrant.

The problem is the script. It has some really clever moments, but overall falls flat in many places. There is no dramatic tension, making it hard to invest in the story. Characters talk about their problems but don't have actions for them. There are also long moments of non-action joke sections that are unnecessary to the story. The secretary's character has little establishment, and thus her twist reversal doesn't matter much.

The young cast is sharper than their years. When supplied with Toasted's handful of clever lines they boost the play into interesting territory.

I wish it stayed there. Needs rewrites.

A very fine first production!
by Jen Farrell Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
I must confess up front that I may be (read: totally am) biased. As these students' high school theater director, I have worked with them on many shows and have come to know and appreciate their incredible talent, work ethic, and creativity. I believe all of those traits are on vivid display in this production. The writers/directors created a script that is fun, clever, and incredibly witty and clearly had fun with directing the piece. The actors created characters that are funny, over-the-top, and entertaining. Are there parts of the show that could be better? Yes, and that will come with time, experience, and education. For now, at this moment, these students have a show that is fun and entertaining, and you should check it out!

This play buttered my toast xD
by Sue schmidt Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
This play was hilarious! Everyone did such a great job; we're really proud of all of you :)

by Austin Gumbiner Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
I first saw toasted when it was originally performed at the Guthrie. I thought it was absolutely wonderful then. But in the few months since that night, these writers and actors have come so far. I did not think they could improve on what they already had, but I was proven wrong. The actors are wonderful, and the writing is clever and witty. A very large improvement on what was already a wonderful show!

First time goer
by Barb Oswald Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
A first time great experience. REALLY FUNNY!! The young cast did a great job. They were cute and funny. It was hilaris and wish everyone a great future in acting and writing because you can tell they really love the art.LOVED IT

Mmmm, Toasted!
by Eric Wentling Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
These young playwrights and actors really bring a fun script and performance to the Fringe. This group proves that relatively inexperienced folks can put on a clever and enjoyable show. Yes the acting could use a bit of polish, but I laughed and smiled my way through this whole play. Highly recommended.

Cleverly written and casted
by Renee Beck Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
If you are looking to be entertained and laugh out loud, for sure come to this show. It is cleverly and creatively written and perfectly casted to entertain you. It is mystery that keeps you guessing and laugh out loud hilarious. Go see it, you will not be disappointed.

by Barb Boersma Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Cute story with fun, unexpected plot twists. Great chemistry amongst the actors. Superb timing. Fun to watch some up & coming talent and look forward to their shows in years to come. It's obvious they were having a good time which made for an enjoyable evening for the audience, too.

Wonderful Performance!
by John Thomason Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
I thoroughly enjoyed Toasted. The performers were funny and worked well off one another. The dialogue was quick, snappy, and entertaining. The story was humorous and fun to follow. My favorite part was finding out at the end that some parts of the play were improvised on the spot! However the performers were so good and quick that their improvising flowed perfectly with their scripted performances.

Toasted is a hilarious comedy that everyone should see!

Brilliant All Around
by Sarah Thomason Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Truly enjoyed the entire performance. The actors were wonderful and I loved all the quirks and details they brought to their characters. The physical movements of all the actors really added to the humor and I did not have one moment where I wasn't sufficiently pleased and laughing with the other audience members around me. The writers are brilliant and I am very impressed with the plot and humor. The combination of the brilliance of the actors and writers make for one must see show. I will no doubt see this again.

So Punny!
by Becky Larson Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
The performace was well done! I loved the puns throughout the whole thing, and the clueless inspector made for a delicious character! I have to give the writers credit for their beautiful attack on the subject and the way they chose to approach it. The physical comedy was stunning. A few spots became a little slow and the engagement with the audience dropped, but as soon as it picked up, I was hooked again. Overall it was a great performance and I loved it! (I loved the humor and puns!)

Kudos to the first-timers
by Curt Lund Follow this reviewer
Rating 3 kitties
The review page for this show is obviously going to be flooded with 5-star reviews from the cast's family and friends. But as I understand it (from chatting with my neighbor in the audience, who was familiar with the show and cast), these kids are serious about their work. This is a show that they created by hand, entirely independently, and have even workshopped it on its way here to the Fringe. So, I'm going to review with a critical eye to the craft of the show, which I hope will be appreciated by the cast (even if it does drop the Kitty average a bit). I think the writing was strong, REALLY strong at points, with some very clever turns of phrase, but then turned very repetitious and self-referential at times which became tedious and hurt your pacing. The constant references back to "noir" cliches and tropes was smart and well done. The blocking (especially the in and out of spotlit asides) was really clever. The acting was well done -- it was supposed to be over-the-top, and it was -- though there is a fine line between exaggerated/over-the-top/slapstick, and out-of-control/unintelligible. Physical and vocal control -- even in a fury or flat-out scream -- is to your advantage and our benefit. Will come more naturally with more experience. The most useful critique I can give re: the actual performance is, if something goes awry (a dropped prop; costume malfunction; fallen newspaper clippings; etc), we the audience probably won't even know it wasn't intentional, unless/until you draw attention to it to by backpedaling or breaking the wall with some aside or quip to the audience -- taking us out of the flow and again impacting your pacing. Learning to seamlessly roll with mistakes or surprises will definitely come with more stage experience. Lastly, some of the "action" scenes really did drag on and on -- here, you could really use the critical eye of a director, to help keep blocking a little more intentional, and give you a sense of when enough was enough, before you hit 'too much' and lose the payoff. These are all small quibbles in an all-in-all entertaining show and a great effort from cast and crew. I hope all four of these folks will be back again in the future.

A good effort
by Marcia Avner Follow this reviewer
Rating 3 kitties
Frankly, the performers worked so hard and the promise of comedy-mystery intriqued me. I wanted to like this one more. The actors could strengthen the performance with a little more nuance and a little less melodrama. COmedy is hard; this one has promise but overdoes what could be good comedy with exaggeration. 3 cheers for this young troupes efforts.

Starts well, finishes ?
by Bill McTeer Follow this reviewer
Rating 3 kitties
This riff on an insufferably ego-involved private eye gets started really well and rolls along nicely for two-thirds of the show. The villain is grotesque and villainous, the victim is pretty and helpless, and the assistant is resourceful and long-suffering. However, when the time comes to build a satisfying resolution, things become a bit muddled.

by Gina Crisostomo Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
I loved the show! Had me laughing the entire time. The whole play was brilliantly written, and the actors carried out their roles flawlessly. Made you feel like you were right there with them in the greater Manhattan area. And there's a surprise ending that is.. Surprising. Definitely a must see!

I like my toast well done
by Dennis Diles Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Speaking of well done, that's how I would describe this play. The entire cast was hilarious and really into their characters. I loved the plot twists. If you like comedy, you'll love this show. I highly recommend it.

Still laughing.....
by Lorraine Brady Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
A must see show! Well-written script & the physical comedy is hillarious! Our group is still laughing about it & will definitely be going back again!

A Toast to Toasted
by Bev Diles Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Awesome show! The acting and writing were superb. The comedic timing and physical comedy of this show were well played. I would highly recommend this show to everyone! Great job by everyone involved.

Better than "Cats!"
by Katie Doll Katie Doll Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
A very fun play written, directed and staring a great group of talented young people.

Amazing writing, great dialog
by Terence Thomason Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
I attended opening night expecting some light entertainment. I was rewarded with a fast paced, tightly written, well acted, physical comedy, with witty dialog, unexpected plot twists, and a totally unexpected ending. Amazing writing!! If you liked "Arms and the Man" at the Guthrie this past summer, you will love this.

by Ellen Bean Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Amazing. Was so impressed with the writing; such a clever and witty story line; kept me laughing and guessing what was to come next. Great physical acting and expressions by the "Toastmaster" character. Detective Percy Irving's soliloquies were brilliantly executed. Toaster shop owner and Secretary played their roles with style, energy, and enthusiasm. Would see this show again.

by Carlie Doll Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
this group of high school/freshman collage group amazes me every time they are on stage this had made me super excited to join the high school theater program.

p.S that you all for being sooooooo nice and welcoming

by David Doll Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
It was Legen wait for it..............dary!!!!!!!!!

Golden brown & delicious!
by Dan Doll Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
A very fun and inventive comedy full of surprises, action and creative word play. I recommend it wholeheartedly!

by Jay Mckinney Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Very talented group. Writing excellent, performances outstanding!

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Friday, 8/55:30 p.m. 
Sunday, 8/77:00 p.m. 
Wednesday, 8/1010:00 p.m. 
Friday, 8/1210:00 p.m. 
Sunday, 8/144:00 p.m. 

The Playwrights' Center venue information
2301 E Franklin Ave.

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