Ordway
Ordway
Comedy

Hour Town

By Dana's Boys
Created by Dana's Boys
Music Box Theatre


A comedic, condensed spin on Thornton Wilder's classic play written specifically for the Minnesota Fringe filled with puppets, surprises, and celebrity impressions- all told in one hour!

The creators say this show is appropriate for ages 7 and up.


 Saturday, 8/2 @ 7:00 p.m.
Audio described
 Sunday, 8/3 @ 1:00 p.m.
 
 Monday, 8/4 @ 10:00 p.m.
 
 Friday, 8/8 @ 5:30 p.m.
 
 Sunday, 8/10 @ 4:00 p.m.
 
Read the reviews

Enjoyable reimagining of Wilder's play

by Darrel Nelson on August 10, 2014
This user has reviewed 11 shows

Obviously based on Thornton Wilder's classic stage play 'Our Town', this interpretation is aimed squarely at Minnesotans. Skewering & lampooning all things Minnesota, from it's obvious stage setting of Prairie Home Companion to the Coen Brothers film 'Fargo' to famous local musicians and on & on...it was a pleasure to see this cast of talented performers doing all these varied and inspired sendups of our local favorites. Imperfect and flawed to be sure, this was still a superior Fringe Fest offering with top notch production values and cleverly inserted spoofs of Minnesota business icons. Of special note was Sulia Altenberg who was sensational as Emily Webb and has a great singing voice. I look forward to more from Dana's Boys productions.


A little disappointed...

by Kippler Donovan on August 9, 2014
This user has reviewed 17 shows

I really wanted to like this show more; I love what Dana's Boys do. I could probably watch Brad Erickson by himself do anything. Unfortunately, this show had some pacing issues and felt disjointed at times. This may be do to the fact they were incorporating Our Town into Minneapolis and had a Garrison Keillor character narrate the whole thing on top of putting current pop culture references into the basic Thornton Wilder story and then shoe-horned a drag show into it somehow. It does show its heart at the end though, and for that I'd say it's worth seeing.


Singing and dancing and weeping

by Robin Penner on August 8, 2014
This user has reviewed 1 show

From the casting to the choreography to the choice of background music, this show delivers five star entertainment. I was moved by Sulia's beautiful singing, and Drew's rendition of the electric slide is not to be missed. The adults were great, too! The end of the show had grown men sobbing (you know who you are!). Recommended highly.


Laugh and cry

by Bob Tamanaha on August 8, 2014
This user has reviewed 1 show

This wonderful show made me laugh and made me cry. The actors put their hearts into it, and the musical selections were spot on. Go see it!


Great take on the show!

by Tom Coleman on August 8, 2014
This user has reviewed 4 shows

I love Our Town and it was very fun to see it presented in a Minnesota themed way. Lots of great impressions and wonderful acting made this show extremely enjoyable. Great job to the younger cast members!


My Little Town on the Prairie

by Wilson Arquette on August 6, 2014
This user has reviewed 2 shows

Who would of thunk that Grovers Corner and Lake Wobegone could be combined and play so well. Kudos to a wonderful Minnesota concept and some fine edged humor along the way. Brad Erickson is a triple threat supported by a strong cast of able actors, none weaker or stronger than another. Worth the off-the-Fringe line visit to the Music Box Theatre.


Minnesota Nice

by Lesli Randall on August 6, 2014
This user has reviewed 21 shows

Very sweet retelling of Wilder's masterpiece. The cast certainly channelled the spirit of the original play--I found myself feeling nostalgic about my first experience with Our Town. A fine performance by all!


I am Groot.

by Josh Carson on August 5, 2014
This user has reviewed 5 shows

It's true not every bit works and at times those without an extensive knowledge of the source material, both with the play and the Prairie Home, may find themselves a bit lost, this production won me over with it's overwhelming heart. The heart of the very talented performers completely engaged and entrenched in their quirky universe they've created, and the genuine emotion the final scenes reach. Sulia Altenberg is a force to be reckoned with, managing to still land her jokes while she was making you cry. Brad Erickson is stellar. I want him to read me a bed-time story as Michael Caine. That's not weird, is it?


Our Town on lutefisk

by Nick and Rosie Heille on August 5, 2014
This user has reviewed 28 shows

Great production! But, if you expect to see a parody of Prairie Home Companion you may be very disappointed. This play capitalizes' on what it means to be Minnasotin. Muskies, northern pike, and minnows are all in. The play creators and actors do an exquisite job to capture the essence of the Coen brothers Fargo and Garrison Keillor's mannerism and verbal imagery as they perform their version of Our Town.


Art Imitates Art

by August Berkshire on August 5, 2014
This user has reviewed 52 shows

I'm not a big fan of "A Prairie Home Companion" - too homespun for my taste. So as this play opened I thought: To the extent this is a send-up of "A Prairie Home Companion" I'm liking it five stars worth, but to the extent it resembles "A Prairie Home Companion" it's more like three stars. But a funny thing happened as I watched this play: it kind of grew on me. Heck, maybe I'll even give the real "A Prairie Home Companion" another chance.


Entertaining

by Marjorie Sehnert on August 5, 2014
This user has reviewed 19 shows

Delightfully entertaining. Worth the wait to go to the 10PM show.


Brilliant

by Emma Dalen on August 5, 2014
This user has reviewed 18 shows

I am a firm believer in only giving a show five stars if it truly deserves them, and Dana’s Boys’ Hour Town won those five stars fair and square. This Minnesotan themed rewrite of Thornton Wilder’s beloved play Our Town was a brilliant work of art that incorporated a lot of pop culture references and inside jokes about Minnesota’s history and culture. Sulia Altenberg’s ending monologue made my eyes tear up. Hour Town was a pleasure to watch and a joy to be a part of.


Sweet Child

by Pat Sukhum on August 5, 2014
This user has reviewed 7 shows

Loved the parodies and references. Made me laugh, and also gave me some warm fuzzies. Charming and quaint. Clever and fun. Big fan of this group's work. Nice job!


Didn't quite make it.

by Dave Larson on August 4, 2014
This user has reviewed 15 shows

This show seems more concept than execution. There's way to many pop references in it, and some of them just don't fit. If they had trimmed and focused this a bit it might have been OK, but probably the concept itself is flawed. A Prairie Home Our Town just doesn't work.


Wackiness runs over the heart

by Derek Lee Miller on August 3, 2014
This user has reviewed 10 shows

The rendering of the Stage Manager from Thornton Wilder's classic play as Garrison Keillor is hands down the best part of this play, and Brad Erickson plays the part to perfection. However, there is the rest of the play to contend with. Not to be too slavish to the original, but the reason Our Town worked was the tension between the sincere earnestness of the main story and the detachment and world-weary cynicism of the Stage Manager. Hour Town, on the other hand, does not treat the rest of the play with sincerity or earnestness. Instead, it gives us a ham-handed Minnesota-themed parody that tries way too hard to be wacky and suffers mightily for it. The actors work hard and commit to it, but the heart in Wilder's original is missing.


Minnesota's own "Our Town"

by Alex Giese on August 3, 2014
This user has reviewed 7 shows

This show was a fantastically entertaining combination of Thornton Wilder's Our Town and the Minnesotan peculiarities we all know and love. It had me both smiling and holding back tears. There were some awkward musical interjections throughout the show, but it was clear that the cast was full of talented singers. The dancing segments were wildly entertaining. I'd definitely recommend checking it out for yourself, even if you aren't familiar with the original "Our Town"

1 person found this review helpful


I laughed, I cried.

by Jake Dunham on August 3, 2014
This user has reviewed 1 show

I love the play Our Town, it is one of my favorite plays. So I was a bit worried about what would be done with it. I was pleasantly surprised and pleased that they kept the heart in the show. There are lots of funny bits and it helps if you know the show Our Town going into the performance. It was wonderfully creative and had some great performances. Brad Erickson's stage manager a la Garrison Keillor is worth the price of admission alone. Our town is any town but it's fun when it's your town.


Faithful the original, parady of us

by Anthony Paul on August 3, 2014
This user has reviewed 4 shows

Not every bit works and not every joke lands, but overall this company plays to strengths and pulls off a lovely retelling of the source material. The treatment of the Stage Manager is a stroke of genius, and is very well played. Clever and engaging, and the cast is obviously having a deserved good time making this worth a trip to the Music Box.


MN Talent & Culture at it's BEST!

by Grif Sadow on August 3, 2014
This user has reviewed 1 show

Entertaining, charming, touching, CLEVER - a real tribute to Minnesota's theatrical talent and story! Fun AND Brilliant!!! Loved it! Writing and ensemble was everything you'd want a Fringe production to be! Congrats. Don't miss this one!

1 person found this review helpful


A Wilder Praire Home Companion

by Scott Gilbert on August 3, 2014
This user has reviewed 48 shows

I enjoyed the MN version of this classic story. I loved the dance sequence and it is always a pleasure to see Victoria. It felt long and I kept waiting for it to end, but that could be a combination of the two styles that tend to more of a lea surly stroll. I prefer my theatre to be more of a mad dash. Not my favorite Dana's Boys show, but certainly a quality production.

1 person found this review helpful


Good idea, unevenly executed

by Karen Seay on August 3, 2014
This user has reviewed 8 shows

I wanted to like this show. The idea of combining Our Town and Prairie Home Companion seems like a natural, and there were indeed moments of very good acting, singing and dancing that fulfilled that promise, but the show is uneven and in some parts just not well thought out. Why does the milkman character evoke Jack Benny? Why does the actor playing the Jack Benny milkman continue to play the tightwad even when he's playing George's little sister? (Why does HE play the little sister role? And in that messy wig???) Why does Emily's father carry a Grover muppet around and speak for him? (He actually does a GREAT job of being Grover!) The show may "work" on some levell, but for me the distractions got in the way.


Classic

by Mary Tinkham on August 2, 2014
This user has reviewed 4 shows

Hour Town pokes fun of Americana from all angles – the retelling of a classic play with heavy overlays of all things Minnesotan (especially a Prairie Home Companion spoof) made an enjoyable experience. The cast was very strong and I was especially charmed by the talents of Sulia Altenberg.


Witty & Hilarious

by Sara Robinson-Coolidge on August 2, 2014
This user has reviewed 14 shows

There is a LOT in this show, (very) loosely based on Thorton Wilder's _Our Town_. Set in Grover's Corner, MN, the day to day life of the town comes alive with tons of Minnesotan (and other) pop culture references. The narrator alone makes it worth seeing this show - definitely one not to miss.

1 person found this review helpful


Great Ensemble

by Debra Ripp on August 2, 2014
This user has reviewed 1 show

Hour Town is a rollicking topical trip to Grovers Corners, aka Lake Woebegon, with many familiar spoof worthy laughs. The entire cast is comically and musically talented and there are recognizable spot on impressions, And, yes, I actually got a bit verklempt at some of the more classic Our Town moments, well worth your hour!

1 person found this review helpful


inspired

by Vicki Joan Keck on August 2, 2014
This user has reviewed 16 shows

I loved the premise of this show as soon as I heard about it. The idea of doing this classic play in an hour, with a Garrison Keillor impersonator as stage manager, is perfect fringe fodder. Some bits were inspired, some a little confusing. The highlight was Mrs Soames wedding dance and the take off on Jack Benny's See Si sketch. Good Fun!


Worth your Hour

by Kara Greshwalk on August 2, 2014
This user has reviewed 2 shows

Upworthy-style review: Watch what happens when you assemble a cast with all kinds of various, unique talents (like impersonating Lisa Simpson, for instance), adapt an old chestnut like 'Our Town' with fun MN cultural references, add some musical numbers and sweet drag queen act, and get a slot in the Fringe! The results will blow your mind! Okay, it might not blow your mind, but I promise, you will have a really fun time. The comedy is nicely balanced with some moments that might even leave a lump in your throat as well. Bottom line: Everyone in this crazy-talented ensemble brings something wonderful to the table, and I highly recommend you pull up a chair and check it out.

5 people found this review helpful


Video
Cast and crew

Sulia Altenberg

Emily

After starting her theater life off in the 2007 Fringe, Sulia is very excited to return after her previous shows: The Harty Boys and the Case of the Limping Platypus", Class of 98’, and One Hit Thunder. Her familiarity with Our Town exists only through having it be the only monologue she really knows well. Sulia has recently been seen in The Philadelphia Story, Graceland (Girl Shorts), and The Harty Boys and the Mystery of the Mall of America… of Death!

Justine Carroll Melchior

Mrs. Baker

Justine's first Fringe show was Tall Tales from the Kentucky Cycle directed by the late Grant Richey in the year 2000. Since then, she has performed in numerous regional productions including Rocky Horror Show at the Ordway, Parade with Theater Latte Da and MJTC, The Marvelous Wonderettes at the Plymouth Playhouse, Vampires! Horror! with Table Salt Productions and many more. She has worked with Dana's Boys in Repertoire Dogs and works as a voice over and commercial talent with NUTS Ltd. In her spare time, she teaches yoga and hangs out with her husband who she met in one of the above productions.

Victoria DeVille

Mrs. Somez

Victoria DeVille, the Twin Cities Dirty Little Secret, has been charming her way into burlesque, drag and theater audiences hearts in the Twin Cities and beyond since 2002. She is the founder/producer of Suck It: Gag on the Drag (Town House Bar) and the full time Emcee for Black Hearts Burlesque (Hell's Kitchen).

Brad Erickson

Writer/Director/Stage Manager

After the success of Hamluke in 2011, Brad is delighted to return to the MN Fringe with Hour Town! His introduction to Thornton Wilder's classic dates back to reading it aloud in high school and then performing the role of Doc Gibbs while at Concordia College. Recent performances include The Saved By The Bell Show, A Very Die Hard Christmas, Buzzy's Clubhouse, Repertoire Dogs, and Spooky Town as part of the Twin Cities Horror Festival.

Shira Levenson

Mrs. Wilder

Shira is excited! This production will be her 3rd time performing in Our Town, her 3rd time performing within the MN Fringe Festival, her 3rd MN Fringe venue and her 3rd show in three years involving ghosts!! The rule of thirds is TRUE!!! While Shira has performed with numerous other theater companies around town, this will only be her 2nd time with Dana’s Boys. She hopes there will be a third! (And that it's not Our Town, not during Fringe, and something with only living-people characters. No offense to Our Town, Fringe or dead people, though – they’re all awesome!)

Michael Mayket

Writer/Producer

Mike could not be more excited to be returning to the MN Fringe with Hour Town after helping to bring Hamluke and Twisted to previous festivals. He has made one prior trip to Our Town assistant directing the Concordia College main stage production during his time there. Recent productions and/or performances include The Saved By The Bell Show, A Very Die Hard Christmas, Buzzy's Clubhouse, and Repertoire Dogs.

Jay Melchior

Editor Wilder

Jay is extremely excited to be working with Dana's Boys again. He has appeared in a Star Wars/ Shakespeare mash-up, The Saved by the Bell Show, and was a puppeteer for a giant bug that may or may not harm children in a kid's show. It's pure entertainment: It's Dana's Boys!

Autumn Rasmus

Wally/Joe/Si

Autumn Rasmus is excited to perform in the Fringe Festival for the second time! She'd like thank all of her supporters. Her past shows include Hamluke (Dana's Boys), The Saved By The Bell Show (Dana's Boys), and The Velveteen Rabbit (Oxbow Creek Elementary).

Mac Rasmus

Craig Sam

Mac Rasmus is excited to be making his Fringe Festival debut alongside his much more experienced and younger sister Autumn. This will be his last show in the Twin Cities before heading out west to study acting at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). His last trip to Grover's Corners was in January 2012, where he played the Stage Manager at the Red Eye theater. Previous credits include The Saved By The Bell Show (Dana's Boys), Good N' Plenty (SPCPA), and The Diary of Anne Frank (Yellow Tree).

Larry Ripp

Howie Winsome/Rebecca

Larry Ripp is a Twin Cities actor, playwright, and producer who's getting to be a Fringe Old Timer! His two past shows The Twisted Grin and "Hans The Obscure!" both played well and now he's very excited to be acting in "Hour Town" in addition to presenting "Fish Stories" at Huge Theater. Larry's connection with "Our Town" includes playing Howie Newsome twice previously. The former Wisconsin radio announcer can also be seen in the city parks and at Renaissance Festivals across the mid west as "The Baron Of Bubble!"

Drew Tenenbaum

George

Hour Town is Drew's long awaited MN Fringe debut, and the first Our Town production that Drew has ever appeared in. You can also find him performing with the cast at The ComedySportz Improv Theater.

Joe Wiener

Doc Baker

Joe is very pleased to make his Fringe debut with Dana's Boys after 15 years of working in the Twin Cities' theater scene. He has also worked with Classic Actors Ensemble, Footprints Collective, Boom! Theatre, Walking Shadow, and many other companies. Joe is also one of Dana's Boys Repertoire Dogs.

More information
From the creators of Hamluke and The Saved By The Bell Show, comes a comedic, condensed, Minnesota-infused adaptation of Thornton Wilder's classic play filled with puppets, surprises, and celebrity impressions!

"Hour Town" is a Must-See!
http://www.cherryandspoon.com/2014/07/2014-minnesota-fringe-must-see-list-in.html

Graydon Royce from the Star Tribune recommends "Hour Town"
http://www.startribune.com/entertainment/blogs/267200271.html

Pioneer Press calls Hour Town "charming" with a cast of "strong and comedic characters'!
http://www.twincities.com/fringe/ci_26269073/fringe-review-hour-town.html
Theatre Pro Rata
Theatre Pro Rata