@mnfringe    youtube facebook twitter

My Fringe Free tools for planning your experience. Log in or sign up


Thanks! Your review has been submitted for approval. Please allow up to 24 hours for it to show up on the site.

Musical theater
show image


By Top Hat Theatre

Written by Todd & Pamela Russell

A hauntingly sung depiction sharing the stories of a child and woman accused of witchcraft in the 1600s. The score tells the tale of terror, trepidation, love and lies surrounding the worlds of innocent victims.

Musical theater

Religious content Historical content Opera/New Music World premiere

Includes artists of color

Just so you know, this show has

The creators say this show is appropriate for ages 12 and up

Other shows

"features a little girl with a mesmerizing voice..." -Kathy Berden, Pioneer Press

"above average"- Graydon Royce, Star Tribune

"...outstanding musical performance... consistent with the trademarks of Top Hat productions...great musical talent and outstanding costumes..." -Beverly Wolfe, TC Daily Planet

"The theater for young audiences juggernaut returns....You gotta hand it to 'em, they don't go the conventional route." -Matthew Everett, TC Daily Planet

"The greatest stand-out is the performance by young Natalie Tran as Dorothy Good. Her emotions and voice are fantastic! She holds her own against the adults in the cast and makes the lens through which we experience the unfolding events truly horrifying and human." -joshuwain.livejournal.com

Director’s Note:  Top Hat is thrilled to be returning to the Minnesota Fringe Festival for our tenth year! As we are best known for our family productions, we want to seed a word of warning about this year’s topic.  While not frightening or graphic in nature, the subject matter is heavy and covers a piece of our history that is difficult to look at. There is some violence and a hanging at the end of the show.  If you feel your child is not ready to witness that, please consider yourself forewarned.

2010: Dracula's Castle (Encore Winner MN Fringe)

2008: Voted Runner Up for Best Children's Theater in the Twin Cities! ~MN Parent Magazine

2008: Robin Hood the Musical (#7 attendance in MN Fringe)

2007: Voted Best Music for Kids in the Twin Cities! ~MN Parent Magazine

2007: Hansel & Gretel (#5 attendance MN Fringe)

2007: Hansel & Gretel (Fall Encore Winner with MN Fringe)

2002: Cinderella (#2 attendance MN Fringe)


Cast + crew

Bernie Armada
Role: William Good
Bernie Armada grew up in New York City, where he graduated from the High School of Performing Arts. He has performed sketch comedy and improvisation with the Brave New Workshop in Minneapolis. He also free-lances as a wedding pianist when he’s not teaching communication at the University of St. Thomas.

Katie Bockhaus
Role: Martha Corey

Aubrie Bomchill
Role: Mary Walcott
Aubrie is a second year Top Hat student earning credits as Wendy in "Peter Pan: Believe" and most recently Hedda the blackbird in "Hansel and Gretel". Aubrie will be in 7th grade at Plymouth Middle School this fall in the Honors Program.

Hunter Davis
Role: Dr. William Griggs
Hunter is very proud to be joining this cast in the world premiere of "Salem"! Hunter majored in musical theater at Columbia College Chicago performing in their productions of "Songs For a New World" (Man 2) and "Wintertime" (Jonathan). Also in Chicago, he performed the title role in Emerald City Theatre's "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory", participated in the permiere reading of Robert Klein Engler's "3 South" and garnered a Broadway World Award nomination for his work as Jimmy Harper in "Reefer Madness the Musical!" Hunter extends his gratitude to his family for their unending support of his theatrical endeavores and the Chester, the brightest part of his every day. For Marley,never forgotten.

Rachel G. Edwards
Role: Mary Eastey
This is Rachel's first Fringe show and she is super excited to be involved in this production! Rachel studies theater and music and Normandale College and has had a fascination with the Salem Witch trials since childhood making it extra exciting to be a part of!

Anna Esposito
Role: Mary Ann Warren

Samantha Feinberg
Role: Sarah Osborne
Samantha is a junior at Lawrence University in Appleton, WI where she is studying Vocal Performance. Previous Fringe shows with Top Hat include and "Dracula's Castle" and "Cinderella's Fella". Thanks to Pam for another great opportunity!

Al Fiene
Role: Giles Corey
Al is excited to be back with Top Hat (and Fringe) . His last outing with them was as Friar Tuck in Robin Hood the Musical. Other productions of note: Sabes JCC’s world premier of The Fence, and The Old Gem Theatre’s production of A Don’t Hug Me Christmas Carol. Favorite roles include Curly McClain (Oklahoma!), Paravicini (The Mousetrap), and Bob Cratchit (Scrooge the Musical). Regional Theatre credits include Major Malone (Zombies From the Beyond) with Commonweal Theatre Company. Al has also toured nationally with Troupe America as Mortimer (The Man who Dies) in The Fantastics . Thanks to Diane, for her understanding and support.

Ankur Garg
Role: Elizabeth Proctor
Ankur Garg is thrilled to be a part of her second Top Hat Theatre production! She is an avid actor and singer in the Twin Cities, currently singing with the choral ensemble Sonomento and training at the Guthrie Theater. She is a co-founder of the Chain Reaction Theatre Project, a non-profit whose aim is to use theater to increase awareness of social injustices. Her past performances include "Pomp & Circumstance" and "The Good Body" with Gadfly Theatre Productions; "Traditions" with Anodyne Artist Company; “Acis & Galatea”, “La Boheme”, “Dido & Aeneas”, and “La Traviata” with Duluth Festival Opera; “La Traviata” with Opera on the James; “Robin Hood: The Musical” with Top Hat Theatre. She is very grateful to her family and friends for their continued support and encouragement!

Sondra Glynn
Role: Tituba
Born and raised in Tennessee, Sondra moved to the Cities by herself in November 2009. It took 12 years but she finally started actively persuing acting. Sondra’s acting debut after high school was in a local church gospel play entitled “No Charge” by True Apostolic Assembly. She has also worked with Gadfly Production Company during their production of “The Good Body” by Eve Ensler as Bernice and Anodyne Artist Company during their production of “Traditions” as Penny, the nosey neighbor. One of Sondra’s favorite roles has been Sharon Atkins from “Working” performed with Normandale Community College. She is currently working on a film project titled “The Body of Real Things”. Sondra would like to send out a very special thank you to friends and family. Even though they are miles away, they are very supportive.

Tyler Jay
Role: Devil/Judge Stoughten/Choreographer
This is Tyler's debut with Top Hat Theatre, but has been seen around town in productions at The Guthrie and acting as choreographer for pieces at numerous theaters. He is very excited to perform in this production! Enjoy!

Claire Karges
Role: Abigail Williams
Claire has been a part of several Top Hat productions. Her favorite roles have included Kaa in "The Jungle Book" and Faa the wacky forest bird in "Hansel and Gretel". She is happy to be part of this Fringe Festival production!

Mary Karges
Role: Mary Parker

Katie Miller
Role: Alice Parker
Katie is very excited to perform with this wonderful cast in her Fringe debut. When not doing theater, she is a junior at St. Olaf College studying Vocal Performance.

Nora Mohamed
Role: Ann Putnam Jr.
This is Nora's second Top Hat Fringe show after premiering in "Dracula's Castle" in 2010. Other credits include "The King and I" with Bloomington Civic Theatre and several middle school musicals. In addition to theater, Nora enjoys performing with Angelic Contanti Concert Choir, playing flute and dancing at Deuxmensions Dance Company.

Mary Palazzolo-Rudquist
Role: Ann Putnam Sr.
Mary Palazzolo-Rudquist, soprano, is originally from Madison, WI and studied vocal music education at the U of M Duluth. While at UMD she participated in opera scenes playing the role of Patience in Gilbert and Sullivan's "Patience" as well as Solange La Fitte in "Follies". Mary has also played Marcellina in "Le Nozze di Figaro" with the Duluth Festival Opera. Currently Mary teaches music in the area and is a member of the Vocal Essence Chorus.

Allison Rupp
Role: Rebecca Nurse
Allison has performed in many local productions over the last 15 years including Bloomington Civic Theater as "Hedy LaRue" in How to Succeed, "Angel" in Best little Whorehouse in Texas, "Shelia" in A Chorus Line, and with other metro theater productions playing "Stepsister" in Into the Woods, "Josie" in Proposals, "Ginny" in Relatively Speaking. Alli is happy to be once again working with her high school BFF!!!

Adrian Russell
Role: George Samuel Parris
Adrian loves to sing, dance, play football, ride bike and play games. He proudly ran the mile in 7 minutes and 35 seconds this school year and earned his Presidential Fitness Award! He is very excited to work with such skilled actors in this summer show.

Gabe Russell
Role: Jury/Council
While football is Gabe’s first true love, the spotlight has its place in his world. Being born into this nutty theater family has given him the opportunity to learn to love the stage. Favorite roles have included Colonel Hathi in “The Jungle Book”, and a trouble making wolf in "Hansel and Gretel". Gabe also plays saxophone, likes to ride bike and watch movies.

Max Russell
Role: Jonathan Corwin
Last seen as Wido in Hansel and Gretel and Mr. Darling in “Peter Pan: Believe”, Max is happy to be back on stage with THT. He had his first stage experience as a baby and has been there ever since! A Junior at Armstrong High, Max enjoys football, working out, reading, history and rap music.

Sawyer Russell
Role: Jonathon Proctor Jr.
No novice to the stage, Sawyer is happy to be back in the limelight. A few of his past credits are Arthur in “The Sword In the Stone,” Starkey in “Peter Pan: Believe,” and Nirav the elephant in “The Jungle Book" and a Dark Spirit in "Hansel and Gretel". He looks forward to the show today and is excited that tackle football is not too far off!

Sophia Russell
Role: Betty Parris
Sophia has been in many, many shows since she was 3 years old. Her favorite roles have been Tinker Bell in “Peter Pan: Believe!”, Mother Wolf in “The Jungle Book” and "Voice of Serenity" in Hansel & Gretel. Sophia is a high honor student at PMS, a French Horn player in band and All District Band, an avid reader and is thrilled to have a lot to sing in this show, as singing is her favorite thing of all!

Elizabeth Schuetzle
Role: Mercy Lewis
Elizabeth will be a 9th grader at Southview Middle School in Edina this fall. She has been on stage at Steppingstone and Stages as well as a soloist for Top Hat's "Jazz Legends" cabaret show. She works as a soccer referee, is an active participant in her school's anti-racism leadership program and will study in Spain next year.

Eric Smedsrud
Role: Thomas Putnam
Eric just finished his sophomore year at Lawrence University where he is studying vocal performance. This is his fourth Fringe show and also his fourth Top Hat production. Some of his favorite theatrical credits include Dr. Neville Craven in the "The Secret Garden", Sir Lancelittle in "The Relevant Dragon", Miser Nicia in "The Mandrake" and Roy Johnson/Priest in "The Light in the Piazza".

Matt Tatone
Role: Samuel Sewall
Matt lives in Northeast Minneapolis and loves to perform! Along with acting and singing, Matt's hobbies include improv, playing guitar, and watching baseball. He's excited to be in his second Fringe Fest show and his third production with Top Hat. He would like to thank everyone who came out to support him, especially his lovely mother and father who made this all possible.

Luke Thomley
Role: John Hawthorne

Emily Thorkildson
Role: Bridget Bishop
Emily is so excited to join the cast of "Salem"! Favorite past shows include "Titanic" (Kate MacGowan), "A Christmas Carol" (National Tour), "The Scarlet Pimpernel", "Oklahoma", and "Into the Woods". Thanks to family and friends for your support!

Natalie Tran
Role: Dorothy Good
Natalie is thrilled to reunite with Top Hat Theatre after her 2010 Fringe Festival debut in "Dracula's Castle" at the old ripe age of five. Her favorite theatrical roles include Sala in Walking Shadow Theatre's production of "After the Quake", Gretl in "The Sound of Music", and Princess Ying Yawlak in "The King and I". She also performed on the stages of Bloomington Civic Theatre, Lyric Arts of Anoka and Children's Theatre Company. She has appeared in several local films and won the 2012 Plymouth's Got Talent (children's division) competition. Next, Natalie will play the role of Cindy Lou Who in CTC's "How the Grinch Stole Christmas".

Daniel Vinitsky
Role: Rev. Samuel Parris
Daniel is a 3rd year Vocal Performance and theater double degree candidate at Lawrence University. He has appeared in multiple productions around the Twin Cities and at Lawrence. He is excited to be back at Top Hat!

Elizabeth Wigley
Role: Martha Carrier
Elizabeth is a rising sophomore at Northwestern University studying Theater and Economics.Favorite theater roles include Natalie in "All Shook Up", Amy in "Company", Hermione in "The Winter's Tale" and Queen Aggravain in "Once Upon a Mattress". She is really excited to be involved with "Salem" and the Minnesota Fringe Festival and would like to give a big thanks to friends and family.

Amy Wolf
Role: Sarah Good
Lyric-coloratura soprano Amy Wolf has appeared as an ensemble artist with Minnesota Opera and as an Apprentice Artist with Utah Opera. She has appeared as a featured soloist with Coro, Opera Cabaret with Duluth Festival Opera and Opera on the James; as a soprano soloist in Carmina Burana and Beethoven's Mass in C with the Macalester Festival Chorale; Handel's Messiah with the Lynchburg College Choral Union; Faure Requiem, Vaughan Williams Dona Nobis Pacem, Carmina Burana, Handel's Messiah, Haydn's Mass in time of War, and Poulenc's Gloria with Sonomento. Her opera roles include The Second Spirit in The Magic Flute with the University of Minnesota; Sophie in Masterclass with Park Square Theatre; Miss Silberklang in Mozart’s The Impresario; Nella in Gianni Schicchi with Anoka Civic Opera; Musetta in La Boheme; Belinda in Dido and Aeneas with Duluth Festival Opera; Valencienne in The Merry Widow and Zerlina in Don Giovanni with Opera on the James. Upcoming engagements include a recital with Duluth Festival Opera on August 18th, featured soloist with Sonomento in Duluth on August 19th and Micaela in Carmen with Duluth Festival Opera 2013.

Madeline Youngstrom
Role: Elizabeth Parris
Maddie is excited to be a part of this production! She has most recently performed with the Gilbert and Sullivan Very Light Opera Co. before taking a 3 year hiatus to be and lead and back up vocalist for various Minneapolis based rock bands. She is honored to be a part of a production revealing the tendancy of society to embark on the the proverbial "witch hunt".

Write a review

You will be able to write a review for this show during the festival.

User reviews

So glad I didn't give in...
by Nathan Schilz
Rating 4 stars
... to the bad reviews.

This show was by far the most well-rehearsed, finely sung musical in the entire Fringe festival this year. A cast of 30+, with a talented one-man orchestra, and some of the most vocally trained voices in the area.

Even to the detail of having almost half the cast mic'd was a very professional move.

I think it was definitely a touch too bold to tackle such a strange and dark piece of American history, but I applaud the effort. Perhaps not everything can be made into a musical?

Well, directed, but some of the concepts and elements of the book just didn't really work. I was still entertained, though.

Overall, I am just glad that I didn't pay attention to what people were saying negatively and saw the show myself.

Very good show
by Jim Loeffler
Rating 3 stars
This was a very good show with a very strong cast. Excellent direction and music. There were a few missteps - the devil dance, some odd costume choices - but it was well done. I would love to see a future production of this done with a bigger budget - it deserves it. It did seem a bit rushed possibley due to time constraints. There is ample room for further character development and plot clarification. Overall it was very impressively done.

Kari Anderson Slade
by Kari Slade
Rating 5 stars
I was excited to check out the Fringe Fest. While watching the play, Salem, I was struck by the depth of talent in the show, and in MPLS theatre. Amy Wolf was a standout, with her haunting portrayal of a woman who refused to lose her dignity as she was persecuted falsely for witchcraft. Her voice was powerful, and amazing- the solos as well as duets had me enraptured. I also enjoyed the performances by the wife that had a stillborn child, Sara's young daughter, and overall was impressed with the depiction of an element of American History, that speaks to our modern times with resounding clarity about the role of women, religion, and the social fabric that makes up our American experience. Bravo- what a well spent evening!

Must See!
by Beth Peterson
Rating 5 stars
The performers were great, and thier voices even more so. The show brings us back to a tough time in our history and is very realistic. I enjoyed the performances of the Good family, Putnam family, Tituba, Rev. Parris, and Sarah Osborne. All very strong performers on all accounts.

This show is a must see.

Salem Review
by Brenda Johnson
Rating 5 stars
This show was well choreographed, entertaining and quite intense. Standing ovation to Natalie Tran and Amy Wolf. WOW. The cast drew me into the story line immediately and did an excellent job wrapping up the story in the time allotted. Bravo to Top Hat. You should not miss this show.

Amazing Show!
by Chava K
Rating 5 stars
I saw this show Thursday at 5:30 p.m. It was haunting and beautiful. I definitly suggest seeing this show- its a must see. The singers were great, the acting even more so. Get your tickets now!

by Amy Lin
Rating 5 stars
This show is very heavy but Top Hat pulled it off!
The music was fantastic, and the acting was very well done. The storyline was also very great and accurate to history. I enjoyed the dance number with Bridget Bishop and the men. It was a break from all of the sadness in the show.

If you don't come see this show, you will be missing out!

OK Production
by Lance DeRoos
Rating 3 stars
This show was interesting, but in many ways I felt like i was watching a production that was "cut down" in order to meet the time requirements for the Fringe. Musicians were all solid and yet there were some elements of the production (a couple of dance numbers) that didn't quite fit the rest of the production's tone and "feel"

Some of the reactions of characters to witchcraft accusations honestly didn't make sense and just seemed odd.... go for the music but other areas need some more work and focus

Great Show
by Mary Hines
Rating 5 stars
I got the chance to see Salem on Tuesday night. I was amazed by all the talent that was on stage. I enjoyed the performances of Dorthy Good and her mother. Their duet brought tears to my eyes. I was also very impressed by the acting ability of all the teenage girls. Very creepy and realistic. I highly recommend seeing this show!
Very well done!

by Jameen Lauck
Rating 4 stars
Amy Wolf stole the show with her heart wrenching performance, and the little girl who played her daughter, Natalie, did as well. The music was beautifully written, and very moving emotionally.

The only thing I would change about the show is the dance numbers. They didn't really seem to go with the flow of the show. Also, it was extremely distracting to have the cast move set pieces while Amy Wolf and Natalie were singing their duet. It completely ruined the beautiful moment of the show.

I would highly recommend seeing this show!
Well done! :)

Nice potrayal of a bold theme!
by Divya Maiya
Rating 3 stars
High points of the show -
1. Great voices and songs.
2. SToryline
3. Great acting!!

Few issues I had with this show -
1. The devil dance - it did not work for me.
2. There were 2 kids who were very restless and disinterested.

Talented Production
by Diane Andring
Rating 5 stars
The music/lyrics were beautifully written, deeply moving, and performed by a well rehearsed assembly of talented actors. You were immediately drawn into this heart wrenching production as you followed the losses, trials, and stunning conclusion of a community falsely accused. The costumes were well designed for the entire cast of characters. Hats off to Top Hat Theatre!

Impressive soul and sound
by Asya Mikhailenko
Rating 4 stars
This show has surprising depth for lasting but an hour. Musical theatre without humor is always a challenge, but this production pulls it off.

It offers a fresh, authentic take on the Salem witch trials and explores timeless themes like peer pressure, stillbirth, isolation, temptation. I was most intrigued by their exploration of the idea that a community pays for an individual's sins (or negative energy).

The cast shows off an array of beautiful voices and just about all pull off a human, relatable character.

A couple parts sag, but on the whole, bravo to the Top Hat ensemble! Would see it again! Recommend for ages 7+

So So
by Allen Vandover
Rating 3 stars
I thought the talent onstage was worth seeing, but didn't love all parts of the story. Maybe I'm dense, but there was a devil involved and doesn't an integral part of the Salem Witch Trial story conclude that a bunch of girls made it up? Whether they belive they were telling the truth or not is beside the point, but there was not some actual dark froce involved.

Great performances
by Kate Krebs
Rating 5 stars
Amazing vocal performances all around! Bravo!

by Frank Feinberg
Rating 5 stars
What a gutsy call by Top Hat, the telling of an uncomfortable, disturbing but moving story.

A gutsy call - very, very well done, with almost uniformly outstanding voices to carry this musical.

In this political season, with unfounded allegations and hateful violence in the name of religion before us every day it seems, this story reminds us of the modern day relevance of "witch hunting" and mass hysteria.

Congrats Top Hat for pulling this off!!!

Worth remembering
by Peter Erickson
Rating 4 stars
This show is worth seeing for its music, singing, and powerful story. It is a fine community effort, involving a wide age range and large cast. The play would have benefited from some editing, however. The dance scenes were awkward and unnecessary. Maybe a smaller cast and fewer scenes would have helped. Still, it worked overall as a timely reminder of the effects of human fear and prejudice.

Good show
by mike m
Rating 5 stars
Good show, and great voices Their singing was amazing

Definitely worth seeing!
by Kathy Brown
Rating 5 stars
This was my first chance to see Top Hat Theatre's production, "Salem" and I am so glad there are more performances left because I am definitely going again. There is so much to absorb in this show. Todd and Pam Russell's music is beautiful as usual. What a talented duo! And their talent attracts talented singers and performers. It was a class performance by them all. Beautiful ensemble singing and gorgeous duets and solos that bring you to tears. If you miss this show, you are missing a lot. This was a very heavy subject matter to take on for only an hour show. I could see this become a full length play with even more breath taking music. I am excited to see this one again. Well worth it!

by heather wallace
Rating 5 stars
Salem offers more than you expect ..a large talented cast, ambitiuos music, a serious subject. It delivers entetainment. But more importantly reminds us of the role and power of theater as art. The show illuminates a dark time in our history,helps us to understand how similar "they" are to us. Theatrical techniques and the beauty of song are well suited to carry the story. Go see it.

Pulled it off well
by Noah Petershift
Rating 4 stars
I was very impressed by the amount of work put into only an hour long show. The singing was great but the dance in the middle might have been cleaned up a bit more. Overall the actors had great dedication to the show. Perhaps others could not see it but I clearly saw that once they made a choice they went for it. Really impressed by the young talent within.

Impressive Original Work
by Mark Bartelt
Rating 5 stars
Star #1- Vocal talent to boot.
Star #2- Incredible music.
Star #3- Well written, cohesive script.
Star #4- Fantastic Costumes.
Star #5- Original work.

If I had one wish... an expanded storyline to fill out the work. This could be written into at least a two hour show. Very strong work. Very well done. One of my top Fringe picks for this year. Highly recommend seeing this. Kudos to the writers, cast and crew.

The Voices
by Craig Landers
Rating 5 stars
The voices and talent in this production must be applauded. From the first note I knew I made an excellent choice of which house to sit in last night. This only became clearer as the show moved along with spot on timing and incredibly well rehearsed precision. The Putnam family was well played by Smedsrud and Rudqust with daughter Ann (Mohamed),powerful on all counts. The Good family (Wolf, Tran, Armada) were a stronghold and told their story well. Tituba and Rev Parris (Glynn, Vinitsky) chilled my core with their intense scene prior to the trial.Looking history is the face makes us better people.Want to also mention the voice of Sarah Osborne (Feinberg) who sails with the women through "Here I Stand." Beautiful music, well told. A gem.

Gorgeous , Haunting Tribute
by Marilyn London
Rating 5 stars
It is hard to believe this is a part of Fringe.I have never been to a Top Hat production prior to last night and now wonder what I have been missing.The execution of the show was flawless. The costumes were incredible. The score was difficult and delivered with precision.The book itself was strong and held together a challenging storyline.There was not a weak link in the cast.Special acknowledgement to the writers for pulling this off.Who knew such a dark topic could be written and portrayed so beautifully?The hanging at the end is not gruesome,but artistic and honorable. What a tribute to those who died in this tragedy. I am fairly well versed in this topic,but did not know much about the Dorothy and her mother. Brilliant work of art.

Gorgeous Music!
by David Rust
Rating 3 stars
Any review of "Salem" has to start by acknowledging the supreme skill of its performers' singing voices. No one can deny this cast is well-trained and experienced in powerful, sweeping singing. I was moved from the very first note and settled in for a truly stellar set of performances.

Where the play starts to get bogged down, however, is in its length. "Salem" feels like a 3-hour production squeezed into a 1-hour slot. Transitions between scenes are jarring and the plot suffers as a result. The story stumbles forward, with scenes feeling as if they were falling into one another, rather than actually progressing in a logical and well-paced fashion.

Occasional tech problems with the microphones resulted in some lines getting dropped.

by DennyBob Marquardt
Rating 5 stars
Well rounded cast with talent galore! Well done and highly recommended for all audiences. Top Hat Theatre comes through once again!

Great singers
by Amy Hero Jones
Rating 4 stars
I thought Amy Wolf and Natalie Tran stole the show. Their singing was amazing, and really carried this performance.

by Rebecca Thomley
Rating 5 stars
Amazing talent all around! If you're at the Fringe don't miss this one!

Incredible Powerhouse
by Bryan Gold
Rating 5 stars
This show is not for those who need spoonfed comedy. But if you are wise enough to listen to the lyrics of song and engage in a walk down a lane of history we are not proud of, you will fall in love with Salem. The cast is composed of exceptional talent including the beautiful Amy Wolf who brings us into her world with her powerful voice. Ms Rudquist brought me to tears as she pled her cries to God for her stillborn child. Daniel Vinitsky and Matt Tatone solidly led the cast through accusations and trials. Young Natalie Tran(the photo feature) grabbed my soul when she was torn from her mother's side. I loved the transitionsto a lighter sidewith Bridget Bishop. Huge voices fill the theater. Emotions run high.Unbelievable score.Must see.

Very interesting show!
by Jake Rudquist
Rating 5 stars
I had the pleasure of seeing "Salem" last night, and I was impressed by the amount of talent present on stage, as well as the challenging material that was tackled. There are some very fine singers in this show, and of all the Fringe shows, "Salem" possibly has the performers with the greatest musical ability. This show also takes great risk in choosing the Salem Witch Trials as its subject, a daring choice for a stage musical that is pulled off excellently with great power, drama, and emotion. I give "Salem" the highest recommendation for musical talent, interesting premise, and emotional power.

Something of a muddle
by Mary Ellen Shaw
Rating 3 stars
Some affecting acting, some affecting singing, but the theology implied was muddled. What was going on with the scenes with the devil and demonic minions - were these scenes supposed to represent the projections of the townspeople's superstitious fears/repressed sexual anxieties? Or is it implied that there really was/is a practice of demonic witchcraft where people pledge themselves to the devil, etc. etc., but somehow in this case the townspeople just mistakenly accused some innocent people? It makes a pretty big difference.

Compelling story, Great music
by Keith Wolf
Rating 5 stars
The story of the Salem trials is an interesting subject, so there is a bit of history there. But what really made the show great was the singing performances. Very moving at times. I enjoyed this show and I would strongly recommend it.

Ambiguous, Complicated & Well Done
by Mike Wigley
Rating 4 stars
This is a very ambiguous, complicated production that is very well done.
The compelling storyline shares the backstorys on several of the people convicted of witchcraft in 1690s Salem. The music is outstanding and significantly contributes to the telling of the story, with period melodies and complex harmonies. Overall, the voices are outstanding.
Key question: Would I go again? You bet!
I would make two suggestions: (1) Turn the microphones off on the shrieking & barking kids. It is very distracting. (2) Shorten or eliminate the dance sequence. Guy is great. Dance sequence is too complicated & demanding for the woman.

Strong Historical Show
by cady Johnston
Rating 5 stars
This show was really well done. Strong points: wonderful acting, gorgeous voices, and a strong sense of time and place in history. Scenes/songs that were winners: What Do You See?, Evening Prayer, She's a Witch, I Prayed to God, and Here I Stand. Well worth seeing.

Excellent Period Musical
by John Schuetzle
Rating 5 stars
Refreshing to see a serious musical, with an excellent score, sung by big voices.

The story made me think about the way that a seemingly small lie can grow into hysteria. This is a message that is still relevant today in our 24 x 7 news culture,with the "afflicted girls" playing the part of Fox and MSNBC. Distracting? ...perhaps, but you woudn't have the hysteria without them!

Take a break from the "SNL wannabe" campy skits and treat yourself to some great music that will make you think.

A Powerful and Heartfelt Performance
by Janice Feinberg
Rating 5 stars
The show was beautiful and so true to history. Tears came to my eyes as I felt the pain and sadness of the characters. The talent was outstanding and the voices were beautiful. The music is heartfelt and powerful. This is one of the best Fringe shows I have seen.

I recommend the show for the beautiful music, talented performers and for the eye opening awareness of this time in history.

From a Novice Play-Go'er
by Todd Neigum
Rating 5 stars
I don't often attend plays, so please take my opinion for what it's worth.

I've always liked the Salem story~have never been to a play that had a dark plot line. There were times in the play where I was honestly creeped out by both the subject matter and the way it was portrayed -- that has to be a nod to the acting or directing...or both.

There were some intense scenes with the girls that were also very believable (some of the screaming could have been a sound issue?) I enjoyed the 'egg yolk' scene.

As for the dance scene--may have been a missed opportunity...on the other hand, every one enjoys a spectacle and I truly wanted to see what was next.

Total package-recommended for the average show-watcher. There were some great voices!

by lauren foster
Rating 4 stars
Amazing singing and beautiful music, The little girl is absolutely stunning! My only complaint is the Devil's Magic song is weird in terms of timeline of the show. Overall this show is compelling and heart wrenching I was surprised they were able to get me to care for the characters like I did in under an hour!

by Aubrie Bomchill
Rating 5 stars
It.Was.Amazing. everything was so Beautiful and the "younger" girls are very nicely Blocked. the music was beautiful and so were the dances and costumes. It was a well written story and beautifully told. Great job everyone!!!

Incredible Vocal Talent
by Catherine Oskow
Rating 4 stars
Incredible vocal talent, good songs and production values, affecting story.

by Elizabeth Neigum
Rating 5 stars
I was so impressed with this show~it was incredibly haunting. The music was wonderful throughout.

I felt all the performers were fabulous--the young girls were really "in it" and came across rather creepy at points (I mean that in a good way). They did a wonderful job!

Thanks! I would absolutely recommend this show to an older audience. We had decided not to bring my stepdaughter (who is 11 years old) and I am rather glad we didn't. I think the content may be a bit heavy for that age.

Not Good
by Kassie Church
Rating 2 stars
I'll start with what is good. There are some performers with nice singing voices in this show.

BUT, the show is pretty terrible. The songs they sing are bad. The acting isn't very good. There is lots of shrieking and the shrieking is into microphones. The story is boring. There is a weird ballet number in the middle that is particularly bad that had me giggling.


Beautiful music
by Elizabeth Stauffer
Rating 3 stars
The music in "Salem" is the most complex and vocally challenging of any musical I've seen at Fringe thus far - I was very impressed. Most of the music is fitting to the time period as well. I also thought the book was well-written.

So, why 3-stars? I found the over-acting by the "younger" girls, including the loud, shrill screams through their microphones, incredibly obnoxious and distracting to what was actually happening on stage. At some points, I just stared in disbelief, wondering how they could ever get away with anything like that onstage...

The Devil's Dance and song seemed very out-of-place - Dance choreo looked sloppy and lifts were missed.

Beyond that, I'd recommend the show simply for its music - it's quite beautiful.


Saturday, 8/48:30 p.m.
Sunday, 8/57:00 p.m.
Tuesday, 8/75:30 p.m.
Thursday, 8/95:30 p.m.
Sunday, 8/122:30 p.m.


U of M Rarig Center Proscenium venue information
330 21st Ave. S, Main Floor