About Minnesota Fringe

There is one big thing that makes Fringe different from any other event in town: All the shows you'll see at Fringe were selected randomly by lottery.

Yep. That's right. Each year the lineup is crafted by placing numbered ping-pong balls into a bingo cage and drawing them out, one by one. From stage veterans to people who are brand new to theater, Minnesota Fringe is a forum for anyone with a story to tell. We also provide the necessary support to make producing a show as easy as possible, regardless of where you land on the artistic spectrum.

Anyone (yes, anyone) can apply to have a show in the festival. If you'd like to have a show in our next festival, applications will go live in November here on our website. Sign up for our newsletter to receive a reminder as well as information about other theater events happening around town.

The mission of the Minnesota Fringe is to promote creative freedom and diversity of artistic expression by linking adventurous artists with adventurous audiences. Thank you for joining in this adventure!

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Shows start and end on time at Fringe. With hundreds of performances and dozens of shows in just 11 days, we have to run a tight schedule to avoid descending into chaos. Performances are no more than 60 minutes long with a half hour between each show.

On weekdays shows begin at 5:30pm, 7pm, 8:30pm and 10pm. On weekends there are additional shows at 1pm, 2:30pm and 4pm.

Late seating: There is NO LATE SEATING at Minnesota Fringe. In addition to keeping our schedule, late seating is a safety issue for artists and audiences.

Safety for artists: Some of our theaters require that patrons walk across parts of the stage to reach the seating area, and many of our production companies’ stage work encompasses entrances and exits from the house.

Safety for audiences: Entering a darkened theater, possibly for the first time, and trying to find open seats puts patrons and volunteers at unnecessary risk.

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Fringe Central

Fringe Central, sponsored by Surly Brewing and hosted by a local establishment, serves as the late-night watering hole for artists, staff, volunteers and audience members alike. Come in after a day full of shows to grab a beer and some bar food. Talk about what you loved and what you didn’t. Meet the artists behind the scenes and actors on the stage. Find out what you should see tomorrow or dream up your own idea for next year. You never know what will happen during Fringe, but dropping by Fringe Central gives you a serious head start.

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What to Wear

Shorts and a t-shirt. Seriously. Also, a pair of comfy shoes will serve you well in case you have to wait in line. Most Fringe shows take place indoors in air-conditioned venues, so having a layer to throw on in case you get chilly is also advisable.

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Choosing a Show

With hundreds of performances and dozens of shows, it's scandalous to see just one. But how to choose the perfect lineup?

Search by genre: You can filter for genres when trying to decide what to see.

Talk to people: It only sounds scary. Just look for the folks in lanyards. Lanyards are worn by Fringe artists and there are at least a thousand of them dying to tell you about their show.

Read and write reviews: See what audiences are raving about on our audience review page, then return the favor and let others know what you thought.

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Get Involved

Fringe isn't just a festival - it's a community, and it couldn't exist without people like you.

Create: Applications for the 2018 festival will are live on this website. Fringe is open to everyone, shows are selected by lottery, and you don't even need to have a show ready when you apply.

Volunteer: Our volunteers are near and dear to our hearts and make our festival go, so we shower them with lots of love and complimentary seats! Sign up for a shift now!

Socialize: Join us any night of the festival at our official hangout, Fringe Central sponsored by Surly Brewing and hosted by a local establishment, for a beer, a burger and maybe even some late-night shenanigans.

Support: Help us create Minnesota's Summer Theater Crawl by donating to or sponsoring our annual festival. Gifts of any size make a large contribution to our ability to meet our mission.

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Box Office Info

Pass, Reservations, and Tickets, Oh My!

In 2018, Fringe will still offer passes but is also re-introducing single tickets options to see shows. We are re-tooling our Box Office policies to reflect our changes. Please check back for more information in the spring.

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Jefferson Township Sparkling Junior Talent Pageant: A New Musical

By Devious Mechanics
Written by Keith Hovis

Playing at Mixed Blood Theatre


Warnings: Violence, Adult language, Sexual Content.

Twenty years after a freak accident ended the Jefferson Township Sparkling Junior Pageant, three contestants will settle the score and see who should've won by finishing the pageant, in all its pre-teen glory.

The creators say this show is appropriate for ages 16+


Sun, 8/6 @ 1:00pm


Tue, 8/8 @ 7:00pm


Fri, 8/11 @ 10:00pm


Sat, 8/12 @ 5:30pm

* Reservations not required, but a Day Pass is. Find out more below.

Ticket Options

Day Passes are $16 on weekdays; $22 on weekends. Day Passes serve as entry to any show in the festival on a given day. Optional reservations to guarantee a seat for a particular performance are available by clicking the "reserve" button above. Day Passes can be purchased in advance with a reservation or at any venue box office during the festival.

Weekdays 1pm-3pm and Weekends 11am-1pm we'll also open an Alternative Box Office at Fringe Central so you can grab a Day Pass and skip the lines at the venue before the show.

Day Passes for kids 12 and under are available at any box office during the festival just $5 every day.

A 2017 Fringe button isn't required for entry, but it does get you access! Wearing it not only identifies you as a part of a fabulous Fringe community, it also entitles you to special deals at local bars and restaurants and access to reduced ticket prices at various theaters throughout the year. Get your 2017 Fringe button for only $4 at any Fringe preview event or Fringe venue during the festival.

Read the reviews

Comedic Musical Gold

by Mary Johnston on August 17, 2017
This user has reviewed 11 shows

This is how Fringe musicals should be done. Often I feel fringe musicals try to do too much (you only have an hour!!!) or do too little, but this one struck up the perfect balance of song and spoken words. The songs were also important to the plot and moved the action along, another strangely rare thing in a fringe musical. I loved all the hilariously dark turns it took. Super good. It reminded me of Crazy Ex Girlfriend in the best possible way.

Simply hilarious and stunning!

by Christopher DeVaan on August 14, 2017
This user has reviewed 17 shows

How often is it you have a sold-out crowd laughing and cheering throughout the entire hour of a Fringe show? Well, that is what happened Friday night at Mixed Blood. Not even "Gilligan's Island" in the same space the year before had everyone in stitches the entire time.
But this musical about four 20-something underachievers who attempt to capture some long-lost importance by recreating a pageant from their youth, has witty lyrics, dead-on timing, and fantastic acting & singing. It's Glee, plus Dazed & Confused, plus Toddlers in Tiaras.
The only complaint is that at times the audience was laughing so long & hard, that lines got missed.
Would love to see a full-length version of this. It's Chanhassen or Ordway worthy.

Best Fringe Musical 2017!

by Cetius d'Raven on August 13, 2017
This user has reviewed 50 shows

OMG funny! The entire cast was great, but Mr. Levin was particularly brilliant with Ms. Vincent close behind. Knowing analogues in real life to fit all the characters in question was an extra layer of joy and I expect most people will have a similar experience.

Funny and fantastic singing

by Kim Chase-Kozak on August 13, 2017
This user has reviewed 8 shows

This is a clever script and a fantastic cast singing fun music to weave a tale. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The cast for this show was top notch!

That said, the sight lines in Mixed Blood are awful. Where I was located, I felt like we missed part of the story because we couldn't see what was going on close to the stage.

As an aside, it was very warm in Mixed Blood (not reviewing based on that) with a full house.

Really this is 4.5 stars.

by Amy Salloway on August 12, 2017
This user has reviewed 6 shows

It's a testament to how fantastic this show was that we, the sold-out-capacity audience, sat together in a steambath of a theatre, simmering in each other's sweat, B.O. and flatulence (my region of Mixed Blood had a LOT of the latter) without complaint, laughing ourselves silly, and then all remained for a standing ovation. The writing was SO smart, strong and witty, and the actors were all triple threats with impeccable timing (especially the Levin kid, of strong comedic heritage). The 1st half of "Pageant" held a lot more interest for me than the 2nd; I feel like the show hit the middle and stalled out. I also wanted more of an ending, and I especially didn't want something so typical after such sparkling cleverness. Otherwise, BRAVO!

We won the contest

by Jim Johnson on August 12, 2017
This user has reviewed 9 shows

Hope to see this talent on a much bigger stage.


by Elisabeth Dewitt on August 12, 2017
This user has reviewed 4 shows

Some parts of the show were pretty crass, so this show isn't for the easily offended. Overall, though, obviously well-rehearsed and borderline professional quality. If you've got the time to get over there, it's definitely a good Fringe pick.

Still humming

by Caroline Toll on August 12, 2017
This user has reviewed 7 shows

Going on 4 hours and still humming your catchy, catchy tunes! such fun!


by Ian Baird on August 12, 2017
This user has reviewed 4 shows

Lot's of cheap laughs, some of which I found funny and some of which I didn't. I appreciated the direction that this show goes and that it moves beyond merely enforcing rural stereotypes. There were moments I found interesting and other moments where I was thinking WTF? I think that pretty much sums up the show. Also these actors have some good pipes.


by Jamie Fields on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

My only complaint about this show is that Zach didn't sing enough. Great writing, rockstar singing, playful acting. A solid good time!


by Maria Bartholdi on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 4 shows

This show was so wonderful and funny that I left the theater sweating with joy. The music is superb, the comedy dark and delicious, and the singing top notch. MORE PLZ!

Amazing Performances. Great Script.

by Holly Peterson on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 18 shows

This is so good. My only criticism is that I wish that they had taken advantage of having a cast of four people and harmonized more often.

Other than that I loved the show. For the most part it is a perfect millennial comedy about coming of age with nothing to show for it. It's rambunctious, hilarious, and even wraps up with a pretty decent "moral of the story" at the end.

Much suggested.

A bit Farfetched but cutwe

by Richard Heise on August 9, 2017
This user has reviewed 25 shows

The premise doesn't ring true but the show is cute and well done. Good for an hour of laughs.

And the Crown goes to...

by Bradley Johnson on August 9, 2017
This user has reviewed 56 shows

Jefferson Township, of course! This show was recommended to me and I'm so glad they did! It has earned the rank of one of my top 4 Fringe shows for this year! From the concept to the comedic acting to the awesome music, it is no wonder that they are filling seats. This is Fringe at it's finest!

Crazy good fun!

by Mark Webb on August 9, 2017
This user has reviewed 56 shows

What's not to love about this show? Clever, laugh-out-loud funny, great original score, and a superbly talented cast. This is perfect fringe fare. Don't miss this one!

Fast-Paced, Zany, Good Old-Fashioned Fun

by Elena Glass on August 9, 2017
This user has reviewed 2 shows

Writing new musicals is HARD. And there aren't a lot of NEW musicals that are produced in the Twin Cities.

So go support this one!

Go if you like to laugh and aren't easily offended!


by Brendan Philip on August 9, 2017
This user has reviewed 11 shows

An incredibly talented cast + a clever, brutal, and side-splitting book + a tuneful and catchy score = Fringe gold. This show is likely to sell out it's final shows so make your plans now.

A Sparkling Good Time!

by Adam King on August 9, 2017
This user has reviewed 4 shows

OMG! What a great show! Been a while since I laughed that much! The hour flew by! Such an array of talent! Very impressed by the entire cast; but, one person deserves to be singled out...Keith Hovis! The Book, Music, and Lyrics were all his work! Plus, he was the Music Director and played piano for the show! Great job! A must-see!...really...A MUST SEE!

Musical comedy = music + comedy

by Corrie Fiedler on August 9, 2017
This user has reviewed 43 shows

We like to think that we appreciate Fringe MOST for the serious drama productions. So we only went to Jefferson Township on the recommendation of a friend.

It is just fantastic: funny, great music, great acting. And did I mention funny? Really funny!

Does it need more work shopping and tightening? Yes. But it did cause us to remember that Avenue Q's path to Broadway included the NYC Fringe.

Hint: the words come fast and furious. We sat on the 2nd row, and we are glad we did.

Crazy fun!

by Chet Taylor on August 9, 2017
This user has reviewed 8 shows

Broad comedy, clever songs, and very well executed by all.

My Hometown

by Walter Furtney on August 9, 2017
This user has reviewed 35 shows

Four 5 tool actors (singing, dancing, acting, comedy, drama).Great songs, wonderful voices, extremely funny exposition and a zen master denouement. A totally enjoyable evening of theater.

OMG! Hilarious!

by Amanda Oporto on August 8, 2017
This user has reviewed 6 shows

A must see! I loved everything about this. The script was well-written. The songs were catchy. The characters were ridiculously relatable caricatures of Millennials we all know. Everyone in the cast had great comedic timing. So good!!!

Guaranteed to Give You a Fever

by Justin DeLong on August 8, 2017
This user has reviewed 20 shows

Where to begin? This show is by far one of the best productions I've seen this Fringe. Every aspect of it was perfect. The comic timing of the actors really serves as a strong foundation for the well-written and witty music. The actors were easy to hear over the minimal (and excellent) accompaniment and I really enjoyed the believability of this unbelievably offbeat story.
Honestly, I don't think there were more than 30 seconds between rounds of laughter.
NOT family friendly in the most perfect way.

Homegrown Delight

by Matthew McDonald on August 8, 2017
This user has reviewed 2 shows

I've always heard that Hovis' musicals are consistently Fringe classics and now I know why: funny but with a solid undercurrent. The entire cast is perfectly cast with strong performances; they understand how to bring nuance to the genre. LeDuc's staging and direction is en point to boot.

They only have a few performances left so reserve now!

SO good!

by Florence Brammer on August 8, 2017
This user has reviewed 41 shows

I'm not normally a big Fringe musical-goer, but this is fantastic. Everything is top-notch: the script is tight and clever, the music is memorable and SO well-sung, the lyrics move the story forward, and the comedic acting is fantastic. Really great.


by Konrad Case on August 8, 2017
This user has reviewed 6 shows

What an outstanding production! Thoroughly entertaining! The cast and artistic crew killed it!

This needs to be seen!!

by Mickey Anderson on August 8, 2017
This user has reviewed 12 shows

Wow. An absolutely stunning cast all around and incredible performances from all of them. The shows creator Keith Hovis creates a fully rounded show with fun and catchy songs, that will leave you begging for more (where can I buy the soundtrack??) Amazing musical, and I'll end my review with the same words I said at the end of the show: why isn't this on Broadway?

Hilarious fun

by Wendy Short-Hays on August 8, 2017
This user has reviewed 2 shows

I laughed....a lot at this wacky show, mostly because the cast was just so darned good. Physical humor was top notch and side splitting, character-driven craziness was sometimes so subtle it really drew me in and again, made me laugh....a lot. The score was fun and served the script beautifully. Great work by this talented ensemble. Put this one on your list.

Really a nice work of art.

by Carl Smith on August 8, 2017
This user has reviewed 5 shows

I was so impressed by this. Thank you for bringing the quality of the fringe up!

The Mellinnial Falcon

by Adam Boutz on August 8, 2017
This user has reviewed 56 shows

Original musicals are usually either well-written, technically challenging, or well-preformed. Jefferson Township breaks the mold and checks off all three in a gleeful embrace of the nihilistic horrors of failing to achieve in life. The impressive singing demonstrated here far exceeds what is usually encountered in similar shows which could be described as 'perfectly adequate'. The characters and their motivations are painfully relateable. This show is sharp, topical, and sexy and deserves to be applauded.

Great Show!

by Jessica Woldenski on August 8, 2017
This user has reviewed 6 shows

This one blew me away! Really polished performances with incredible songs. I laughed a lot more than I thought I would too. The cast did a great job. Each of the four actors shined and the live music was a treat. I especially liked rap near the end. A must see!

Hovis does it again!

by Greg Hernandez on August 8, 2017
This user has reviewed 4 shows

If you saw Shakespeare Apocalypse in Minnesota Fringe '15, you know Keith Hovis writes musicals that have irresistible hooks, clear storylines and lots, and lots... and wait for it... lots of laughs. Well, all that verve is back in a scathing poke at small time life and stupid, stupid dreams of acceptance and admiration. Hovis and crew nail the zeitgeist of Fringe people and make us laugh at ourselves through these archetypical small town dorks, played with bravado and smirk by a ridiculously talented cast. It gets a little pitchy (internationally?) and bro-ey (definitely intentionally) on occasion but a funnier, catchier new music show at the Fringe you'll not find.

So fun

by Sarah Lanners on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 10 shows

The lyrics to the songs made me laugh out loud constantly. The actors had great voices, the musicians were extremely talented, a hilarious concept--fans of the film Drop Dead Gorgeous would love it.

1 person found this review helpful

Dark musical comedy FTW!

by Tony Sofie on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 5 shows

Spot-on comedic performances by all four cast members. Vocals are terrific, the songs are smart & catchy and perfectly integrated with the hilarious script. Definitely a must-see show of the year.

1 person found this review helpful

Dark, Funny Satire

by David Berglund on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 5 shows

Impressive assemblage of biting social commentary and dark comedy that never feels overbearing. Performers are all-in and mostly capture the manic energy they are going for, and sang well too. Laughed a lot, even if some and plot devices were uneven.

1 person found this review helpful

laughed for 60 min straight

by Emily Lefholz on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

I laughed out loud throughout! From beginning to end, the musical numbers and talent and chemistry of the cast were awesome. The premise of the story was original and brought out hilarious bits on the pitfalls of adulting, expectations on moving home to a small town, and what it means to win. Loved it!

1 person found this review helpful

The louder you speak, the funnier it is!

by Danielle S on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 14 shows

Why do some comedians think a joke is funnier the louder and more ridiculous you are when you say it? There's a fair amount of that type of comedy in this show. There were definitely some funny parts though, and it's a fun premise.


by J. Bach on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 26 shows

This show is VERY fun, as many others have said. It's also impressive...Excellent comedy writing and acting, top notch singing. I loved it all!

2 people found this review helpful

Fun, High-Energy

by LuAnn Monahan on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 9 shows

This show is almost non-stop laugh-out-loud funny. The cast members are all strong and they work well together. The original music is catchy and fun to listen to. Check it out.

1 person found this review helpful

See it!

by Fourth Wall on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 24 shows

Hilarious. Fantastic musical numbers. The pipes on the performers were phenomenal. Lots of laughs and an all around good time. Dark humor. Not for the kiddies.

1 person found this review helpful


by K Nilssen on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 2 shows

Funny. Fast paced. Go!

1 person found this review helpful


by Richelle Amundson on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 39 shows

Really fun story and great singing.

1 person found this review helpful


by Gnarles Xavier on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 9 shows

Beautifully paced, gleefully dark, and the most fun I've seen a cast have this festival. All actors are competent musical theatre performers as well, so if you go you'll be treated so professional level stuff. Song and lyric was outrageous, catchy, and outrageously catchy as well. Highly recommend

1 person found this review helpful


by Cheeyl Hall on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

Talented actors! Hooked from the first scene to the last scene. Best show I've seen!

1 person found this review helpful

Shalom! I liked it!

by Sulia Altenberg on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 6 shows

This show is so so lovely and good. I laughed so so hard and then I cried at the end. Every moment was well staged and was so specific. The songs are so f-ing catchy, I'm sure I'll be singing them in the shower for weeks. Each performer brings their best to the Mixed Blood.

1 person found this review helpful

fun show.

by Ellie Browne on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 13 shows

I mean...it's okay. Some parts were fun. Singing overall is pretty nice.

More, please!

by Liz Capouch on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 12 shows

Hilarious lyrics, clever writing, and a ridiculously talented cast. I hope we hear more from Keith Hovis - don't miss your chance to catch this show!

1 person found this review helpful

This is what I expect from Fringe

by Sofia Lindgren Galloway on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 9 shows

This sort of humor, energy, and strong writing is why I see Fringe shows! At times, there was some "musical theatre acting" and the actors seemed like they were rushing to finish. But this is still the best thing I've seen so far! Zach Garcia gives a standout performance with a ton of heart! Add this one to your list!

1 person found this review helpful

I'm literally ovulating

by Kendra Yarke on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 2 shows

This show was an absolute success all across the board. Clever script, talented actors and singers, great staging, and great music. It was hysterical!!

2 people found this review helpful

Gimme that crown!!

by Callie Meiners on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 4 shows

I've followed Keith's career for several years and this one of the best things he has written. It was hysterical! The show was brilliantly directed and choreographed. The music was catchy and smart. Amazing comedic timing by the cast. An all around good time. Put this on your must see list!!

2 people found this review helpful

So good!!!

by Erik North on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 4 shows

Loved this show! The writing, acting and singing were all top notch! The cast blew me away and the live accompaniment was wonderful. I laughed a ton and would definitely recommend catching it! A must see!


by Meghan Maddigan on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 7 shows

Not only was I laughing the whole time, I was also sitting there extremely impressed by each actors singing voice! There is truly never a dull moment at this show, and the music and lyrics are so sharp and witty they will keep you laughing and singing for days!

Laughed the whole time

by Q Nyguyen on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

Loved this show! The cast is so talented and fit the venue nicely! You really do not wanna miss this show!

The Must see show of fringe!

by Casey Marie Holmes on August 4, 2017
This user has reviewed 7 shows

This will be the must see show of this years finge! Normally the word musical when talking about fringe is a red flag but this show is sooo well written. The story is well thought out, the characters well developed and the songs are well placed and have a purpose! The cast is so talented and the script is beautifully comedic! Go see it now!

1 person found this review helpful

They ALL win the talent contest!

by Larry Bieza on August 4, 2017
This user has reviewed 8 shows

A down and dirty musical, with actors playing their characters to the MAX! Lots of laughs. Solid songs backed up by talented singers and musicians. Some Fringe zaniness! What more can you ask for? Tip: Backup band a bit too loud at the front, so possibly sit near middle of house to hear every word!

Hilarious fun

by Sara Robinson-Coolidge on August 4, 2017
This user has reviewed 49 shows

Silly concept taken to a perfect extreme. The music and singing is great, too!

1 person found this review helpful

It sparkled!

by Mariellen Jacobson on August 4, 2017
This user has reviewed 38 shows

Clever concept, whacky characters, excellent script, fine original songs, engaging choreography. Terrific singing, piano & guitar playing. Having a rough day? Your gloom will evaporate in laughter. A must see!

Super Funny!

by Greg Scott on August 4, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

Great cast, smart writing and the singing was incredible. Original musicals can be really hit or miss at the fringe and this show knocked it out of the park. The lyrics are incredibly funny and every performer had time to shine. It's hysterical and definitely a must see!


by Steve Soler on August 4, 2017
This user has reviewed 7 shows

A really fun musical that was a good starter for my fringe day yesterday. Sometime the instruments were too loud to pick up all the lyrics but I don't feel like I missed anything major

Funny, inappropriate, and awesome!

by Austin Robinson-Coolidge on August 4, 2017
This user has reviewed 37 shows

This is a delightfully well written, well acted, and well sung original musical that is uproariously funny. Definitely worth your time - go see it!

1 person found this review helpful

What the Fringe is for!

by Sunny Gent on August 4, 2017
This user has reviewed 13 shows

This production is a poster child for what the Fringe is for! A well-executed romp through glitz, glamor, and childhood grudges. Many times "parody" Fringe shows are all fluff & cheap jokes, but Keith Hovis' creativity and nuance with score and script is more along the lines of SNL, Parks and Rec, and basically anything with Tina Fey.

Besides a well-written show, the cast is brilliant and truly executes Keith's style to perfection.

SEE. THIS. SHOW. That said, I hope it comes back for a revival - or may, dare I say, be expanded to a full-length musical?

Can You Give More Than 5 Stars?

by Jennifer de Fiebre on August 4, 2017
This user has reviewed 14 shows

This show was hilarious, zany, inappropriate and delightful. The lyrics of the songs has the entire audience laughing out loud for the full hour. GO. SEE. THIS. SHOW. Get a reservation because it's going to be a sell out.

Fringe at its best

by Taylor King on August 4, 2017
This user has reviewed 4 shows

This show is perfect fringe pulp! Super over the top, laughs at every turn. And the music is extremely clever. The cast is having a blast with this one and it is a joy to watch them play off of each other. Recommended if you are looking for something fun, easy, and laugh out loud hilarious.


by Tony Ducklow on August 3, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

Very fun. Keith Hovis' writing and music is hilarious. Excellent cast. Don't miss this fringe gem.

Great voices and really fun!

by Tony Riley on August 3, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

There is just so much to love about this musical. I know, you may be thinking “Musical? No.”. I will tell you YES! You have to see this really clever romp of a townie musical! The only thing missing from this darkly funny comedic musical is a car chase. It is pure guilty fun! Better get your tickets early though or you will miss out on Keith Hovis’ truly original musical seemingly tailor made for our Minnesota Fringe audiences. Delightful!

Very funny! 😂

by Anon Y. Mous on August 3, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

Laughed throughout the entire performance. Lost a few lyrics under music, but didn't lose any of the narrative. It's not going to make you think about any deep issues after the performance, but you will have a good time!


by Ron Berenson on August 3, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

Extremely talented cast, the show was funny and exciting, a must see one if you're coming to the festival, highly recommended!

21st century Gilbert and Sullivan

by Sue Searing on August 3, 2017
This user has reviewed 8 shows

The laughs kept coming in this hilarious comic operetta. The plot premise is silly and the characters are exaggerated, but that's just how it should be -- a supremely entertaining musical farce. The lyrics are incredibly witty, and the actors are masters of physical humor, especially Ryan London Levin.


by Christopher Allen on August 3, 2017
This user has reviewed 24 shows

This show was a lot of fun. Not for the easily offended, so be warned, but I had a good time! Great music and very funny!

Cast and crew

Kelly Houlehan

Frannie Foster Wallace

Kelly Houlehan is delighted to return to the Fringe in another Keith Hovis original musical. A B.F.A. graduate of Nebraska Wesleyan University, Kelly has performed locally with Lyric Arts, History Theatre, the Old Log, Artistry, the Guthrie and is a core member of the Revisionary Theatre Collective, a group dedicated to new and developing work. Favorite roles include Carrie in Teenage Misery, Tzeitel in Fiddler on the Roof and Corie in Barefoot in the Park. For more info, visit www.kellyhoulehan.com.

Ryan London Levin

Liam Ackerman

Ryan London Levin is excited to be working again with some of the creative minds behind Teenage Misery! Levin was recently seen in Trademark Theater's The Boy and Robin Hood and History Theatre’s Orphan Train. Other works include Artistry: Fiddler on the Roof, Les Misarbles, Putnam County Spelling Bee and Brighton Beach Memoirs. Cromulent Shakespeare Company: Romeo and Juliet. Minneapolis Musical Theater: Gilligan’s Island the Musical. Bitter Boy: Silence The Musical. Paul Bunyan Playhouse: Putnam County Spelling Bee.

Leslie Vincent

Val Hutchinson

Leslie Vincent is an actor and musician around town. Recent theatre credits include: The Diary of Anne Frank (Park Square Theatre); The Marvelous Wonderettes (Sidekick Theatre); Teen Idol: The Bobby Vee Story, Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story (History Theatre); June (Savage Umbrella). Education: B.M. from Catholic University. When she's not twirling a baton or playing the kazoo, you can catch her singing at the Troubadour Wine Bar the last Monday of every month.

Zach Garcia

Travis Harmon

Zach is excited to be making his MN Fringe debut with this brilliant group of artists. Zach's recent regional credits include Children's Theatre Company (Cinderella), Guthrie Theater (The Primrose Path), Park Square Theatre (The Palabras Project), Frank Theatre (The Threepenny Opera), Walking Shadow Theatre Co. (Marie Antoinette, The Whale, A Midwinter Night's Revel), Artistry/BCT (Fiddler on the Roof, Carousel, Guys and Dolls, Proof), Freshwater Theatre (Pioneer Suite), Theatre in the Round (Six Degrees of Separation), as well as performances in Chicago and Falmouth, MA. Make sure to catch Zach in Theatre Latte Da's upcoming production of Man of La Mancha in the role of Sancho. Zach would like to thank God, his beautiful wife Jessica, his family, friends, and this beautiful cast and crew for their unending support.

Jimmy LeDuc


Jimmy LeDuc holds an MFA in Directing from the University of Oklahoma. Directing credits include Wit, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Collected Stories, Kindertransport, Blithe Spirit, Grey Gardens, Les Liaisons Dangereuses, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Laramie Project. He is an Associate Member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society and a member of the Voice and Speech Trainers Association. He is thrilled to be working on this production with such an amazing team.

Keith Hovis

Writer/Composer/Music Director

Keith Hovis grew up in the small, rural hamlet of Princeton, Minnesota. He is a writer, composer, and performer currently based in Minneapolis. Previous fringe endeavors include the musicals Teenage Misery and Shakespeare Apocalypse. His Minnesota history musical, Pioneer Suite, was produced by Freshwater Theatre and featured at the Ivey Awards. Most recently, his play, Public Exposure, had its premiere with Market Garden Theatre in December of 2016. As an actor he has worked with DelakoArts, Minneapolis Musical Theater, Lakeshore Players, Savage Umbrella, Seasons Dinner Theater, and once held the starring role of an essential at the Guthrie. He is a core member of Revisionary Theatre Collective.

Peter Hanson


Peter is a musician around town and plays with the band, Loons in the Attic. This is his fourth time collaborating on a musical with Keith and first Fringe Festival outing. Previous musicals include Mrs. Housel: A Suicide Suite, Pioneer Suite, and Teenage Misery.

More information

From the writer/composer of hit Fringe Festival musicals Teenage Misery and Shakespeare Apocalypse comes a brand new, dark comedy musical about small town life, that moment when you realize you're technically an adult, and what it really means to go back home.

Welcome to Jefferson Township. Population: 847.

In 1997, a tragic accident permanently ended the popular Jefferson Township Sparkling Junior Talent Pageant when a contestant died onstage. Twenty years later, Frannie Foster Wallace still blames all her failures in life on losing out on the chance to become Jefferson's Sparkling Junior Champion.

Until now.

When Frannie loses her job and is forced to move home, she is desperate for a change. After randomly reconnecting with Liam, another contestant, old rivalries flare up and the two decide to finish the competition, in all its pre-teen glory, to finally find out who would have won.

Add in Val, the faded 1996 pageant winner desperate to be relevant, and Travis, an even more faded former high school football star, and this will be one messed up, memorable pageant. 

What Have Critics Said About Previous Devious Mechanics Fringe Shows?

Teenage Misery: A Horror Musical

“As they blithely quip, sing, and assault, the cosmos concocts a hilariously mystical retaliation. The vocally proficient cast’s giddy but focused high energy align nicely with Keith Hovis’s clever music and lyrics.” – John Townsend, Star Tribune

“It's everything you want a Fringe musical to be - fun, clever, over-the-top, with strong performances
and catchy tunes.” – Cherry and the Spoon Blog

“These jokes were funny. Self-referential, self-aware, place-specific, satirical humor works here.
Keith Hovis writes a tight script that equally celebrates and questions millennials--and he is very
good at it.” – Lisa Hu, Minnesota Playlist

Shakespeare Apocalypse: A New Musical

“With twists and turns at every corner, Shakespeare Apocalypse does not follow the normal path of
apocalypse stories at all, making it truly original and innovative. This absolutely hilarious musical is
filled with clever pop culture references, as well as tons of sneaky musical theater references.” –
Grace Peterson, TC Daily Planet

“…the show is chock full of humor, great songs, and an energetic and talented young cast.
Shakespeare Apocalypse is Fringe musical theater at its best.” – Cherry and the Spoon blog

“It's a frivolously funny musical about the end of the world… Composer/writer/keyboardist Keith
Hovis' fun songs are delivered by uneven voices, but you might be laughing too hard to notice…” –
Run Hubbard, Pioneer Press

Two Bettys
Ghoulish Delights