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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Melody Mendis is "Barbra"

By Melody Mendis Music LLC
Created by Melody Mendis

Playing at Crane Theater

Local Cabaret singer brings Barbra Streisand to an intimate space with spot on vocal and visual impersonation. Directly from a sold out one-woman show at Bryant Lake Bowl, Melody as "Barbra" is "like Buttah!"

The creators say this show is appropriate for ages 16+


Fri, 8/4 @ 10:00pm


Sun, 8/6 @ 4:00pm


Wed, 8/9 @ 8:30pm


Fri, 8/11 @ 7:00pm


Sat, 8/12 @ 1:00pm

* 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


by M. Baker on August 13, 2017
This user has reviewed 4 shows

Great impersonation of Babs!

A must for Streisand fans

by Florence Brammer on August 12, 2017
This user has reviewed 41 shows

Mendis' appearance and mannerisms uncannily resemble Streisand's, but more importantly her vocal performance was just gorgeous as a straight-up concert. My only suggestion is that the recorded orchestral soundtrack (rather cheesy at times) is played too loudly and overcame the delicacy of a considerable amount of the singing. (And I was in the front row.)

I appreciated the banter and insights between songs, e.g., that Streisand -- despite her killing the role on Broadway -- almost didn't get cast in the film version of Funny Girl because she looked "too
Jewish." (To play real-life Fanny Brice? Really?).

A wonderful show. I will certainly keep my eyes open for other concerts by Mendis in the area.

Fab Babs

by Monica Washington on August 12, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

Spot on vocals, mannerisms. I loved the storytelling along with the songs.
I felt like I was actually watching Barbara. This show is a must see!

Go! See! This! Show!

by Debbie Scheriff on August 11, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

Fantastic! I'm thrilled I got to see this show and am looking forward to more 'Barbra" from Melody. I learned some things I didn't know about Ms. Streisand and thoroughly enjoyed myself.

High Quality Entertainment

by Pj Doyle on August 10, 2017
This user has reviewed 12 shows

A long-time fan of Barbra, I was a little skeptical about what quality to expect. So very pleasantly surprised at Melody's voice. Her range is outstanding and her energy impressive. Loved the movie songs and even got a little teary. She delivers song with emotion and skill. Look forward to seeking her out for future gigs.

She's got moxie!

by Sara Robinson on August 9, 2017
This user has reviewed 6 shows

If you are a Barbra S. fan, this is the show for you!


by Grant Ruckheim on August 9, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

She did a really amazing job of capturing Barbra. Her accent and musical quality was so spot on I was convinced it was a recording for the first two minutes.

I'm not sure if it was vocal tiredness but her voice seemed strained reaching for some of the high notes however I imagine doing the show has got to be pretty taxing.

Overall I was really impressed and learned a lot that I never knew before about Barbra Streisand !

A must see!!

by Becky Mack on August 8, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

If your looking for a show that has both musical talents and comedic bits in between songs this is just. Best of both worlds. Mel was spot on in her BABS impersonation. Loved her song choices everyone will know them. A talented artist.

Melody is Barbara

by Janelle Burrell on August 8, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

Melody did an amazing job as Barbara. I can feel there was a lot of preparation and study time put into this role. The movements, gestures,vocal style, and monologue were on point!! There was a great mixture of dialogue, with humor as well.
I severely recommend getting to this one! Way to go!! I want to see her again.

Spot on impersonation

by Mark Webb on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 56 shows

Melody's Streisand is quite remarkable. This was a very entertaining show. A few of the cues were a bit loud, so she was somewhat drowned out from time to time. This is a fun performance!

Glad I Saw Her

by Bradley Johnson on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 56 shows

I was such a Barbra fan as a kid and really wanted to hear her belt out all my favorites. She was good... sometimes spot on... others, not so much. If you are also a Barbra fan, I think you will enjoy the show. If not, then probably not the show for you.


by Judith Heineman on August 7, 2017
This user has reviewed 2 shows

Melody Mendis captures Barbra Streisand's whole persona: from her spot on "New Yawk" inflected speech to her gestures, smile, profile and most importantly her captivating voice. So Barbra! I was transported.


by Jim Dryden on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 4 shows

Ms Mendis has an amazing vocal talent and an uncanny understanding of Streisand. The only issue was the sound mixing. Mendis was frequently overshadowed by the accompiament. I mentioned this to the sound tech after the show in hope it can be corrected. It's a great show.

Great Impersonation

by Kathy Shockency on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 3 shows

She is really a great singer and talented! The performance is in an intimate setting and very believable. One small issue with the Tech, they needed to turn up her microphone. Worth seeing!

Worth Seeing

by Joyce Patrick on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 2 shows

She's a very talented gal- great voice! That said, her mic needed to be turned up as she was overpowered by the music. Next, her gown, while "Barbra-ish" was much too distracting. Lastly, the couple of non-Barbra songs were just too slow. None-the-less, highly recommend and enjoyed thoroughly!

So Barbara!

by Peter and Janice Girard on August 6, 2017
This user has reviewed 2 shows

We loved all the songs and the portrayal of a fabulous entertainer.

Quality singing and storytelling.

by Scott Gilbert on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 5 shows

I would agree with the other review that talked about deciding if you are talking about your other shows or speaking as Barbra first person. I also found the sound level too loud and I often lost the beautiful voice. If you like Barbra - you should certainly fit this one in.

Amazing and Entertaining!

by Berit Johnson on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 4 shows

Melody is so convincing as Babs, especially her singing voice and soft spoken speaking voice. She is determined to keep her audience engaged and entertained, and she does so with effortless success. It's like watching Barbra in person!

A night with Barbra

by Jessica Hegland on August 5, 2017
This user has reviewed 1 show

Melody as Barbra is fantastic! Melody captures her audience from the first song to the last and provides a tour through some of Barbra's most famous songs. Beautiful vocals and expert comedic timing make this show a MUST see!

Fab Bab

by Bailey Hess on August 4, 2017
This user has reviewed 29 shows

First things first, Melody is a fabulous impressionist. Her Barbra was spot on. If you like Barbra Streisand, go see this show. It's literally a concert of her greatest hits.
Only two concerns - the first is that Melody would talk about her shows at Bryant Lake Bowl or Pride, but then talk about Barbra's career in first person. The breaking out of character was just a touch confusing - did she want to be Barbra, or Melody playing Barbra?
At times, the back track swallowed her mic and I couldn't hear her, which was a bummer. She truly is a beautiful singer. Papa Can You Hear Me was gorgeous.

1 person found this review helpful

Cast and crew

Melody Mendis


Melody is an inspired vocalist, voice instructor and voice over actress who originally hails from Detroit and now calls Minneapolis, home. She has a wide range of performing credits starting with the Detroit Opera company, variety cover bands including "Boogie Wonderland," her own Jazz ensembles at the Dakota Jazz club. Currently, Melody enjoys exploring the world of Barbra Streisand and writing one-woman shows for places like Bryant Lake Bowl and beyond. Melody loves spending lazy days with her husband and snuggling with their Beagle, Bacon.

Keith Russell


Keith Russell is a local actor, director, choreographer and theater blogger. He has directed/choreographed two shows with the Theater of the Ridiculous and Absurd, as well as doing a number of shows with Arts Garden in Hugo. Most recently he has been dancing and performing with the Experteasers at the Follies at Minnsky Theater. He is a fan of Streisand and loves this opportunity to work in a cabaret-style show.

More information

 Melody as "Barbra" performing segments from her hit shows and television interviews in the 1960's.

Melody as "Barbra" performing hit songs at the MN Twin Cities Pride Festival!


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