Years attending Fringe: 10 years or more
55-64 years old
Lives in... Minneapolis
Favorite genre: Something Different
Florence Brammer's reviews
Out of the Shadows
Almost painfully beautiful and real
Exquisite dancing and choreography coupled with fascinating on-going commentary about dance, rent payments, homophobia, the Mexico wall, and the joy of authenticity. Something SO special. A well-deserved standing ovation.
Jefferson Township Sparkling Junior Talent Pageant: A New Musical
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.
Not a detail was overlooked
This is just a wonderful show. The detailed attention to every element of the production -- costumes, movement, props, acting, staging, and of course the text itself -- showed in every scene. Beautifully conceived and executed, surprising and richly layered. Highly recommended.
The Memory Box of the Sisters Fox
Elegant and touching
What an elegant show, with painstaking detail to sound, props, costumes, lighting and movement, as well as a tight and rich script. I did not know anything about these real-life sisters, and this very satisfying show combines a very touching domestic story of the sisters' devotion to one another with the evolution of Spiritualism. The Arena venue is perfect for this lovely show.
Whisper Into My Good Ear
Searing script, powerful performances
This is simply top-quality theatre: an amazingly moving and poignant script with powerful, uber-skilled performances. You could hear a pin drop during the last ten minutes. This script is full of insights into both the profundities and the minutiae that make up a life, and beautifully merges tragedy and humor. Just wonderful and not to be missed.
Funny, sweet and totally engaging
Starr has such a charismatic presence, and she easily pulls off a variety of fast-paced, short-length skits, ranging from poignant to laugh-out-loud funny. Very enjoyable, and something you really don't get to see outside a Fringe setting.
FUNKiN' Good Time
I could have watched this for hours
SO GOOD. Great choreography and music, wonderful stage charisma, and unbelievable dancing skills (rehearsed to perfection). The full house had a blast (singing along, cheering, and clapping) and that just added to the excitement. I hope this group gets a booking for a full evening show at Cowles, the Southern, ArtShare or otherwise.
Great writing and performances
This was a ridiculously fun show. The writing was really good (although the last scene could use some reworking, IMO, as the narrative and energy seemed to unravel during the last few minutes). The performance of the lead detective was especially and wonderfully noir-ish.
It's About Love Again This Year
Nothing not to like here
The choreography is engaging, the dancers move well and the music is varied and enjoyable. Clever use of spoken word, props and humor add to the fun.
The Mysterious Old Radio Listening Society
Flawless execution of a great idea
What a great idea for a Fringe show, and so beautifully done. The costumes, props, sound, and acting all perfectly recreated two creepy radio-broadcast tales that still hold up despite being from the mid-20th century. It was so much fun to be able to experience something like this. This 10 p.m. slot was my sixth show of the day and I went in rather tired, but I was totally engaged throughout the whole thing.
Melody Mendis is "Barbra"
A must for Streisand fans
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.
This is such a skilled group of improv artists who wonderfully blend compelling race-related and other social justice issues into their show via group discussion, skits and special guests. It's inspiring to witness the bravery of artists working without a net, and wonderful to see Blackout in the Fringe.
Hello, I Must Be Going...
A look into the final years of an icon
I adore the Marx Brothers and this show is a must for any Marx Bros./Groucho fan. Tight script despite covering a lot of material, great performances, nice use of venue space. Hauptman is great as Groucho, of course.
Fruit Flies Like a Banana: WORLD TOUR
Music and travel? I'm in!
As a music lover and a travel lover, this show was -- for me -- the most satisfying of the three I've seen in the Minnesota Fringe by Fruit Flies. I especially appreciated the fascinating educational interludes about musical culture and instruments from around the world. I really strong concept for a show, and so well executed.
Themselves They Made Immaculate: Clara Barton at Andersonville
A riveting look at a remarkable woman
American Civic Forum cites its commitment to merging art with history and citizenship, and this is a fascinating example of how it succeeds in not only entertaining us, but also informing and inspiring us. Through Clara Barton's own words before Congress -- powerfully and poignantly presented by Linda Sue Anderson -- we learn so much in 50 minutes about both Reconstruction and Barton. I will definitely be seeking out more information about this amazing woman.
On The Exhale
Powerful performance, powerful script
Everything is in place here -- a polished, complex script; a masterful, riveting performance; and a perfect, intimate venue. A must see.
Poetic script & stunning performances
This is an absolutely beautifully acted production of a haunting and poetic script. Both actors are just stunning and the quiet, heartfelt emotion of the scenes will stay with me for a long time. Highly recommended.
Intermediate Physical Comedy for Advanced Beginners
Local treasures to be cherished!
I mean, who really gets to see, in person, this quality of physical comedy and sight gags anymore? I can think of a couple of troupes in town who integrate these almost-lost arts into their shows, but this duo is just all in with their devotion to them. I loved and appreciated this SO MUCH. So smart, so fun, and just perfection.
There Ain't No More!
Using ashes to fertilize new gardens
What an amazing show -- created, presented and performed with such intricacy and skill. Amazing use of props, music, lights, masks, puppets and visual art. Complex and layered without ever feeling heavy-handed or didactic. A real tour de force.
Sevlin & Devlin Presents: Seven Evans in Heaven
Not much story, but who really cares?
In any other hands, this show would be a bust as the narrative isn't much. But these artists are so endearing and talented and funny, it's a joy to watch. Great puppetry, movement, sight gags, cast chemistry and non-stop energy.
Stranger-er Things: Netflix and KILL
Skills honed to perfection
Reed again distills a pop culture phenomenon to its essence with brilliant writing, movement, acting, singing and props. He is just SO GOOD at this that it's easy for those of us who have enjoyed his performances for years to forget how incredibly difficult it must be to do this so well. Smart and silly and just great.
A Mermaid Abroad & A Fish Out of Water
Travel stories, well told
I love travel and I adore listening to travelers' experiences. These stories were well-written and well-told in this intimate venue. The interaction between Ariel and Scot was endearing and provided skillful transitions among the stories. Very well-done and highly recommended.
Fabulous acting and script
This is such a wonderful show -- GREAT acting; lyrical, mysterious script; extremely effective use of the beautiful venue.
The Zoo Story (New Version)
Classic Albee, expertly acted
This still-chilling Albee one-act is beautifully acted and directed in this production that brings out both the personal and the metaphorical elements of the work. Wonderful.
My head is spinning
One of my favorite classes in college was epistemology, the study of what we "know" and how it is that we conclude that we "know." Can we ever really know what is "true'? When does it matter and when does it not? When do questions matter more than answers? Is there a point at which thought trumps action? Are repressed thoughts less repugnant than expressed ones? When are backstories excuses rather than explanations? How can we tell if emotions like remorse (even our own, much less others') are genuine, or merely being portrayed via gestures and physical manifestations of dubious authenticity? And what is the role of theatre and art in this mix of artifice and truth and that wide expanse in-between?
The Banana Wars
Information-packed & winningly performed
First of all: I cannot even imagine the skill and discipline involved in not only researching and writing this show, but in delivering this densely packed text at a breakneck speed in such a winning and engaging way. A wonderful blend of history, geography and current events, woven together with both global and personal threads. I would have found some visual projections to have added interest to the show -- perhaps maps, landscapes, or images of the historical figures referenced -- but maybe Miller thought these would detract from the attention the text warrants. Very impressive.
Anarchy! (a handbook)
Great performances and strong material
I loved seeing this mostly-young cast present this strong, overtly political material. Their performances were strong and assured and the pacing was tight and skilled. Kudos to everyone, I hope to see more from this talented group.
Live From New York, He's A Prom Date!
Prom and Mom
This was a charming blend of a real-life high school prom experience and some poignant observations about mother-daughter relationships. At times the anecdotal value of the prom material seemed to be stretched a little too thin, but film footage from the actual Sally Jesse Raphael TV show at the heart of the story helped keep the audience engaged.
The Ballad of Bearclaw Jones
All-in acting & delightful silliness
The cast looked great, the premise held my interest, and I laughed out loud . . . a lot. I liked how the characters in the flashback scenes are played by different actors in each recreation. The script could have been a bit tighter, but the actors were so appealing and absolutely committed to the world of the piece. Everything worked!
A unique show, well done
The three cast members are effective and appealing in this show about Jews of color and the intersectionality of identity. Great movement and use of props and music.
The Wright Stuff, or You'll Believe They Can Fly!
So much packed into less than an hour
What a great way to start the 2017 Fringe. A perfect blend of history and fiction; great sight gags, props and physical comedy; rapid-fire dialogue; a delightful use of music; and polished performances by this great cast. Recommended!
Couple Fight 3: Weddings!
Best "Couple Fights" yet
This hour just flew by as these delightful true-life arguments between the married couples in the cast are reenacted. Some segments are stronger than others; Shannon Custer is especially brilliant, as always. My choice for the "winners" of the arguments: Kraft, Zabel, Leeman, Custer, Meyer, McLarn (as Hartke), John Zeiler.
It's always fun to see a true story
This script perhaps stretches itself a bit too thin in its admirable effort to encompass a lot of themes in 50 minutes, but it's a interesting and instructive true story. As someone who has both lobbied (successfully!) for a new State Fair category a few years ago (vegan main dish, enter it next year!) and who has entered Jewish baked goods in the ethnic baking category for years, I especially enjoyed Doris' pickle journey.
Well-written and acted fun
The performances really make this well-written script shine. A very fun hour.
Middle school angst
I had high hopes for this, as middle school friendships among girls can be so intense and nurturing and devastating and fragile (within the same 10 minutes!). I would have liked to see more modulation in the script, with perhaps more earnestness or sweetness in some scenes. The sustained over-the-top volume/tone and broad portrayals tired me out about 20 minutes it. The final swimming sequence was very nicely done. Rounded up from 2.5 because of the strength of the concept and the commitment of the cast.
Concept trumps dancing/choreography
What an interesting concept for a dance show, and the dancers have great stage appeal and move beautifully. However, the piece as a whole came off in parts as rather random and disjointed, lacking cohesion and artful transitions. I found myself often wondering why certain artistic choices were made as much as watching the dance.
Death in Yosemite: A comedic adaptation of the Non-Fiction Book
Great concept and solid performances
Such a clever idea for a show. Endearing performances and skillful use of the venue to convey falls, cliffs and hiking trails.
The script seemed to sag a bit at times and may have benefited from some tightening up and more modulation among the scenes, but this is charming and well worth a Fringe slot.
Great execution, underdeveloped script
I adore Shelley's "Frankenstein," and this show looks great -- the lighting and sound are very effective, and the violence/fight scenes are very well choreographed and staged. The heavy-handedly presented theme of who is the master and who the creature wears thin pretty quickly, though. A major character's purpose (narrator? Greek chorus-type observer?) is distractingly underdeveloped and unclear, so much so that I found the character's presence to sap scenes of their power.
Dame daDA & the Meta Show
Quirky and thoughtful silliness
Dame daDA has an infectious stage charisma and I enjoyed the earnest and collaborative use of audience participation. Very charming.
Never Wonder Land
High hopes, but not much here
I adore Alice in Wonderland (and Peter Pan as well), so was really looking forward to this mash-up of adventures. I don't need a linear narrative and I can appreciate the dreamy vibe apparently being sought here, but it just didn't work for me. Beautiful use of shadow to depict Alice's enlargement and shrinkage, though.
Minnesota Dance Ensemble Presents CARMEN
I adore Carmen, but . . .
I love Carmen and have enjoyed many dance productions of it/inspired by it. The choreography here was so elementary, uninteresting and repetitive that this looked more like a dance school's recital than a theatrical production. The whole thing just looked really awkward and unpolished. Much of the movement was more a series of held poses than choreography. The on-stage singing was very nice at first, but then in the final number, the singer was singing over a vocal recording and you could scarcely hear the live performer at all.
Florence Brammer's Queue