Musical theater

Another Opening, Another Show

By New Musical Theatre Exchange
Directed by Diane Mountford
Illusion Theater

Opera/New Music
Just so you know, this show has Adult language.

Why see one show when you can see four? Sample opening scenes from four new musicals, in styles ranging from operetta to country to Klezmer to classic Broadway. It's a taste of Broadway at the Fringe!

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

 Friday, 8/1 @ 10:00 p.m.
 Saturday, 8/2 @ 4:00 p.m.
 Sunday, 8/3 @ 8:30 p.m.
 Saturday, 8/9 @ 10:00 p.m.
 Sunday, 8/10 @ 4:00 p.m.
Read the reviews


by Kathy Ahlers on August 11, 2014
This user has reviewed 9 shows

Earnest, some good singing, but tepid writing. Perhaps I would have gotten into it more if it had been one, complete show in an hour versus four excerpts.

Another Opening, Another Show

by ken larson on August 9, 2014
This user has reviewed 1 show

We thought the cast was lively and professional. Each show was uniquely written and we would have liked to have seen more of each of the shows because the actors were very talented also. The transitions between the shows were delightful and imaginative. Well Done !

Wanting more

by Jessica Solinsky on August 7, 2014
This user has reviewed 4 shows

The songs from this show (or rather shows) were clever and fun to listen to. It was a shame that we only got a taste of each one, but it was fun to see the changes from one show to the next.

Talented Cast, Material Somewhat Lacking

by Sarah Dewhirst on August 7, 2014
This user has reviewed 6 shows

This show is worth seeing, if only for the vocal performances. I liked the concept, but the content didn't impress me. Two of the four "themes" didn't keep my attention. Otherwise, a fun show!

4 diverse but promising musicals

by Johann Rogers on August 6, 2014
This user has reviewed 2 shows

There's something of everything for a musical theatre fan, minus tap dancing or ballet. The four 15-minute musicals are each interesting concepts, although I found the corporate setting and the Midwest history one to be the most interesting and compelling. (I may just not be a fan of klezmer and country music for the others). The accompaniments were pretty simple and nothing to write home about, but the melodies and lyrics were usually compelling enough. Very vocally talented cast!

Musical theater openings

by Ben Krywosz on August 4, 2014
This user has reviewed 2 shows

This is an entertaining show, very well-directed with a minimum of production values -- a good glimpse into the opening scenes of four different pieces, all of them rooted in the conventions of commercial musical theater, with a "this-is-who-we-are, this-is-why-we're-here" vibe -- the first, second, and fourth pieces could easily become full-length Fringe shows in their own right -- the third piece may warrant a whole evening -- the fine cast exuded theatrical enthusiasm more than vocal finesse, but did a nice job in telling the stories -- all-in-all, a good introduction to creative and talented artists learning the craft by doing, and having the courage to share their work mid-process.

1 person found this review helpful

Something for anyone?

by Terrence Williams on August 4, 2014
This user has reviewed 5 shows

The country musical didn't really work for me, but the Yiddish theatre piece should really be turned into a full-length one. I'd go see that!

Good job!

by Jim Loeffler on August 3, 2014
This user has reviewed 8 shows

Best show I've seen so far. Expertly acted and directed. Nice score for four short musicals. Very clever tie in between shows. Excellent musicians. Far superior to just about all the show I've seen. Enjoyed every minute of it although sometimes the plots became a bit muddled. Surprisingly professional. Congratulations to all!

A pleasant surprise

by Gregory Dahlager on August 3, 2014
This user has reviewed 3 shows

I knew nothing about this show before attending it, and now it has me wanting to check out this theatre company and see the full-length productions of these promising snippets. The Cinderesther show looks particularly entertaining, while I was mesmerized enough by Leslie Vincent's sad ballad "Savior Tonight" in Water from Snow that I'd like to find out what happens to her character in that story. The creative way in which the company threads these contrasting shows together for Fringe is a highlight in itself.

A Musical Sampler Platter

by Minrod Mier on August 3, 2014
This user has reviewed 4 shows

Four shows for the price of one, but really only just about 12 minutes of each. This is a fun, fast paced show with plenty of music for everyone but not enough plot for anyone. I enjoyed each piece and the voices and the actors, but I left wanting more - which was the point of the whole exercise! Go see this show and have a fun time!

Four Shows in One, but Only Some Worthy

by Zakary Morton on August 3, 2014
This user has reviewed 5 shows

The concept is very entertaining, and as a musical theatre buff, I really admire what this production was going for. But the songs were, at times, repetitive, and the first two vignettes were less successful than their latter counterparts. There were some excellent voices in the cast, and the closing show in particular was hilarious. It had the winking humor and musical theatre satire that would have made the other three openings much more engaging for those in the audience in the know.

Uneven but interesting

by Jonathan Gireaud on August 3, 2014
This user has reviewed 4 shows

I liked one of the cast members (Nicole Korbisch) so much in another show that I decided to see this one (or four) as well. The performances are stellar, but the songs are uneven - some are good, some just feel like first drafts. If you've seen the TV show Smash where they're trying to figure out how to make a song better...it's a lot like that. This is gets you a window into things before it appears fully formed on stage and also a little disappointed. The hour passes quickly, though!

1 person found this review helpful

Four Shows In One!

by Arlene Kennedy on August 3, 2014
This user has reviewed 3 shows

If you enjoy musical theatre, this is the show for you. Very talented cast. The best one was the Jewish Cinderella! Would love to see a full production of that play.

Well Done

by Kevin Bowen on August 3, 2014
This user has reviewed 5 shows

I enjoyed this show and thought it had some talented performers (Bill Marshall and Leslie Vincent in particular). It was also great to see a musical production a the Fringe with live musical accompaniment. Being a fan of Fiddler, I thought the fourth selection - The Allen Street Yiddish Theater Presents Cinderesther was the most enjoyable. If you like musical theater, this is a good one to take in.

Musical variety

by Del Brown on August 2, 2014
This user has reviewed 5 shows

Amazing and talented singers on stage making a enjoyable and creative combo of musicals. Some of the musics were a little repetitive at some point but the final performance is worth the wait!

Loved the concept but fell flat for me

by Valerie Stachour on August 2, 2014
This user has reviewed 10 shows

First- all of the performers did a great job with the vocals and movement of these teaser-musicals. There was a lot of talent on the stage. And I loved the idea of "coming soon" extended trailers for 4 shows. But I didn't find any of the shows featured to be interesting, and I have absolutely no desire to see more of any of them. None of the music was memorable, and I didn't get enough of any of the shows to understand where the arc of the story would go. The opening of the first show is memorable, but it was downhill from there and I found myself checking my watch constantly hoping for it to be over soon. 4 stars for acting/1 star for story & music averages out to a 3.

Fun Times Four!

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

Just the beginnings of four new musicals; a fun idea and very well executed. Everyone in my family (ages 11 to 42) enjoyed this show and we all had differing (and strong) opinions about which of the four parts were our favorites. Great fun and I would certainly be happy to see especially the last show (Cinderesther) in a full production.

didn't want it to end!

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

This show, the opening numbers and snippets from 4 different original musicals, is just great and made me want to see each one in full. Very creative transitions and several show stopping numbers. Kudos!

Buy one, get three free

by Emily Gresbrink on August 2, 2014
This user has reviewed 4 shows

Alright, musical fans: if you're looking to see four musicals (well, at least ten minutes of them) - brand new ones, for that matter - this is your show. The cast has a lovely sound (in the music sense), and each of the shows (with the plucky Cinderesther STEALING THE SHOW, by a landslide) holds their own. It should be noted that while some of you out there may not like the fact that the show lacks a set, I found it especially nice - it gave the text and cast a chance to shine. It's worth the jaunt to downtown Minneapolis!

1 person found this review helpful

worth every penny

by Patrick Bane XII on August 2, 2014
This user has reviewed 1 show

the show was enough to keep the uncle in law awake and entertained, who on pretty much every theatrical show we gone to he has falling asleep , the high light of the show was by far the keyboard performance who skills remind me of a young Ludwig van Beethoven, the cast mesh well together and the switching of the plays was funny and entertaining as the cast fought for stage time, the 2nd play was a tale that i look forward to seeing in full production , as well as the last play with the Jewish Cinderella, if you can only make it too one show in the fringe festival you would have to look no further then this production, it will be one you will truly be sad too miss.

1 person found this review helpful


by Tolu Ekisola on August 2, 2014
This user has reviewed 1 show

It definitely was not the show I expected from my memory of the 3 minute preview, but golly was it great! I connected to each and every character on that Illusions Theater stage. It was smart and funny and unexpected at times. I definitely recommend a stop by Illusions to see this high energy, and heart warming cast.
I left the theater with a smile on my face, and so will you.

1 person found this review helpful

Musical! Musical! And then two more!

by Carl Franzen on August 2, 2014
This user has reviewed 3 shows

Four sets of brains put on four musicals, all exquitely different. One bumping into each other just when another is getting rolling. Early on I winked at the tall lanky chick but then she morphed into an old mother so I stopped. But I kept laughing and smiling. Such a cool idea, bringing the first 10 minutes of 4 new shows to the Fringe.

1 person found this review helpful

Musicals Musicals Musicals Musicals!

by Mark Greneer on August 1, 2014
This user has reviewed 3 shows

This must be the fastest-paced Fringe show ever. The openings of four new shows and a cast that jumps from the ensemble in one show and then steals the show in the next. I would like to see all of these shows in full, especially the Jewish Cinderella. Like the ad says, how can you go wrong with four shows for the price of one?

3 people found this review helpful

Cast and crew

Maureen Kane Berg

Lyricist, Librettist, Co-Composer - Got It Made

Got It Made and its shortened version (Almost) Got It Made have been performed in theaters from Georgia to Washington State and published by Heuer Publishing. Maureen developed and co-wrote two musical comedy revues for The Public Offenders, a troupe that performed at Zanies Comedy Club in Chicago. Her short plays Decomposition, Lawyers In Love, and A Bug In Your Ear have been featured in multiple regional theater festivals. Maureen’s fifteen years as a lawyer gave her insights into the workplace and other human dynamics that inspire her characters and situations.

Tom Berg

Co-Composer - Got It Made

In addition to being a musical composer, Tom is a law professor at the University of St. Thomas. He has performed frequently with the Gilbert and Sullivan Very Light Opera Company, most recently as Samuel in The Pirates of Penzance and the Notary in The Grand Duke. He was the musical director for and performed with The Public Offenders at Zanies Comedy Club in Chicago.

Brendan Berg

Saxoophone, Clarinet

Brendan will be a sophomore at the University of Michigan in the fall, where he plays saxophone with The Michigan Marching Band and a number of other college ensembles. He has played multiple instruments with a variety of pit orchestras around the Twin Cities.

Ryan Bergman


Theatre: Guthrie Theater: Pride and Prejudice, Othello; Tyrol Productions: Home Again: A Ghost Story; CLIMB Theatre: 2012-13 Tour; Penn State: Hamlet, The Lieutenant of Inishmore; Film: Warrior, My Bloody Valentine 3D, She’s Out of My League; Education: B.A. The Pennsylvania State University

Garek Bushnell


Garek has been Bill Sykes and Noah Claypole in Oliver!, Jack in Ernest in Love, and nerdy but lovestruck hero Paul Wiltsey in The Gifted Program. He has appeared at many venues, including Minnetonka Theatre, Nimbus Theatre, and the Historic Mounds Theatre. In opera workshops, he has performed principle roles in works by Mozart, Salieri and Pergolesi.

Michelle Delgado


Michelle is a graduate of La Guardia HS in Manhattan (the Fame school), where she got to perform at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Beacon Theater and the Paramount. Local theatre includes: Bloomington Civic Theater: Man of La Mancha, Minneapolis Musical Theatre: Big River, Bryant Lake Bowl: Saved by the Bell (Lisa Turtle), Inver Hills Community College: Rent (Joanne), Rooftop Theatre Company: Nunsense (Sister Mary Amnesia), Stages Theater Company: Llama Llama, Red Pajama. Film: M. Noir (Simone). Concert: Minnesota Orchestra: 80’s Rewind: Totally Awesome Hits of the Decade, We Fest: opening act for Jason Aldean, member of the band the R Factor.

Jonathan Flory

Ensemble / Violin

Jonathan is an IT Trainer by day who lives in St Paul, has enjoyed performing all over the Twin Cities. Favorites include Got It Made, which is featured in today's performance, 1940's Radio Hour with The Chameleon Theater Circle, Vampires! Horror! with Table Salt Productions and Ariadne auf Naxos with Twin Cities Fringe Opera (no affiliation with the Fringe Festival).

Ashley Hills


Theatre: The Importance of Being Ernest (Gwendolyn), Children of Eden (Eve), Paint Your Wagon (Jennifer), Got it Made (Jackie), Til’ Beth Do Us Part (Beth), Thicker Than Water (Sal), A Month of Sundays (Wilson), Fly Boy (the teacher), Dearly Beloved, Christmas Belles, Southern Comfort (Gina Jo and Tina Jo), Godspell (Ashley), Specially for Shepherds (Mary), Simon Peter (Jara), Under His Wings (Zipporah).

Benjamin Hills


Benjamin is glad to have a chance to be a part of these exciting new shows. Benjamin has been seen around the Twin Cities as Harold Hill in The Music Man, Adam to his wife Ashley’s Eve in Children of Eden, and understudied Frederick in Pirates of Penzance. Oh, yeah, and he played Norvall Chitwood III once. And he sings in the Chorus of the Minnesota Opera sometimes. He’d like to thank the New Musical Theater Exchange Workshop for inviting him along, and Ashley for talking him into the audition.

Jennifer Inderlee


Jennifer is an Independent Team Beachbody Coach. She has performed with Minneapolis Musical Theater in Sunset Blvd at the New Century Theater and at Theater L'Homme Dieu. Most recent credits: Ronna Lisa Perretti in The Putnam County Spelling Bee directed by Scott Ford; Mary Johnson, Ed Zed Omega, Twin Cities Public Television Network; Narrator, Joseph, Lyric Arts.

Steven Kennedy

Composer - The Magnificent Ambersons

Composer Steven Kennedy studied music at Minnesota State-Mankato and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. His composition catalogue currently includes two symphonies, a violin sonata (premiered in Texas), a trumpet sonata, several band pieces, numerous choral works and songs. His Festival Psalm was a finalist for the ALCM’s Raabe Prize. Recent premieres include a movement from his recent Suite for Orchestra; and Convergence, commissioned by the Century College Chamber Orchestra. A CD of original piano music, Reflections, was just released through HealingBaskets.com. The Magnificent Ambersons (with Brian Vinero) is his second musical. Selections from his first musical collaboration with Brian Vinero, The Jurgens File, were presented at several New Musical Theater Exchange workshops and their February 2012 Showcase. In addition to composing, Steve freelances as a film music reviewer/commentator, bassoonist, conductor, and keyboardist. A respected reviewer, his analyses of film and video game music appear in Film Score Monthly, Film Music Review, and on his personal blog (maestrosteve.xanga.com). His music is available at www.scoreexchange.com. Steven is a member of The Dramatist's Guild, BMI, American Composer’s Forum, and International Film Music Critics Association.

Nicole Korbisch


Recently moving to Saint Paul, Nicole is wetting her feet in the Twin Cities theatre scene. In addition to performing with New Musical Theatre Exchange, Nicole is excited to have upcoming engagements with Really Spicy Opera and The Chameleon Theatre Circle. Nicole completed her undergraduate study at the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire for vocal performance, studying classical voice. Recent favorites include A Year With Frog and Toad and Die Fledermaus (Adele).

Heather Larson


Heather is very excited to be part of her first Fringe show. She recently graduated with an Associates in Fine Arts in Music at Century College, where she also played keyboard in their production of Company this last spring.

Bill Marshall


Bill has appeared at various theaters around the Twin Cities including Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company, Lyric Arts, Lake Shore Players, Eat Street Players and The Phipps Theater. Favorite recent roles include Max Bialystock (The Producers), Archibald Craven (The Secret Garden) and Colonel Calverly (Patience). Bill’s recent concert performances include the title role in Mendelssohn’s “Elijah,” Adam (The Creation), Carmina Burana (Baritone Soloist).

Shirley Mier

Composer - Cinderesther / Music Director

Trina Morrison

Stage Manager

Trina is excited to be stage managing her first Fringe Festival show. Other shows she has stage managed include Got It Made and Guys and Dolls. She has also been Assistant Stage Manager and House Manager for the Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company, and Costumer for the University of Minnesota Law School’s Theater of the Relatively Talentless (T.O.R.T). When she is not moonlighting in theater, she spends her days reading other people’s emails as a document review attorney.

Diane Mountford


FRINGE: Deviates from the Master Plan / Apprentice and Socerer Trip on the Light Fantastick, Fw:re: Mom Update, 12 Dancing Princesses, 23 Across; THEATRE IN THE ROUND: All's Well That Ends Well; WORKHOUSE THEATRE: Rabbit Hole, Proof, 100, A Company of Wayward Saints; MINNESOTA SHAKESPEARE PROJECT: King Lear, T+C: a riff on Shakespeare, Troy and the War on Love, The Merchant of Venice, Romeo & Juliet.

Janet Preus

Bookwriter/Composer/Lyricist - Water from Snow

Janet Preus is journalist, songwriter, librettist and lyricist. She’s directed tons of plays, musicals and light operas; founded, produced, directed and sang with a vocal jazz ensemble; and now reviews Twin Cities theater for howwastheshow.com. She is an alumni member of the New Tuners Workshop in Chicago, where one of her shows was featured in the Stages Festival of New Musicals. She’s spent a lot of time in Nashville learning songwriting from the best and is a bookwriter for Nashville-based Church Musicals Inc. She's one of the co-founders of the group that’s producing this showcase, and what a great group it is!

Annie Schiferl


Annie Schiferl only recently brought her talents to Minneapolis and this is her Twin Cities debut. She is currently a student at the University of Minnesota entering the Guthrie BFA Actor Training Program there in the fall. Some of her favorite roles of the past include Hedda (Hedda Gabler), Fantine (Les Miserables), Teacher (Medea), Aida (Aida), Miep (The Diary of Anne Frank), and Titania (A Midsummer Night's Dream).

Steph Sedarski


Steph is thrilled to make her Twin Cities debut under this wonderful collaboration of new writers. She is currently a student at Concordia College in Moorhead, MN, studying vocal performance and theatre. Some of her favorite roles include, Cat in the Hat (Seussical), Cindy Lou (Marvelous Wonderettes), Lead Dancer (Music Man) and Rose seller (Oliver).

Leslie Vincent


Leslie is a recent transplant to Minneapolis, hailing from Washington D.C. Theatre: Godspell (Morgan); Women's History Month: The Historical Comedybration (Zooey Deschanel); Nine (Lilliane LaFleur); Night of the Living Dead: The Musical (Judy); Crazy for You (Tess). Upcoming: Blood Brothers (Linda). Education: Catholic University B.M.: Musical Theatre

Brian Vinero

Book & Lyrics - Cinderesther / The Magnificent Ambersons

Brian is one of the co-founders of The New Musical Theatre Exchange where he is developing two of the shows presented tonight; and also (with composer Steven Kennedy) The Jurgens File, a Minnesota-set music-theatre piece about the murder of Dennis Jurgens in 1965. He has adapted the works of two Newberry Award-winning authors to the stage, Lloyd Alexander's The Remarkable Journey of Prince Jen which was part of the 2003 Midtown International Theatre Festival and James Lincoln Collier's The Teddy Bear Habit which was developed at the BMI/ Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop while Brian was a member. His plays which include a modernization of Thackeray's Vanity Fair and the dark backstage comedy Like No People I Know have been developed and/ or presented at venues including The 78th Street Theatre Lab, The Donnell Library New Broadway Series and The Praxis Theatre Ensemble in New York City and at The Playwrights Center; and his rhymed verse translations of Euripides' Hecuba, Electra and Medea have been published and are available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and The Drama Book Shop.

Erika Wichmann


Erika is thrilled to be performing in her first Fringe festival show. After a year of attending the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point BFA Acting program, she has chosen to transfer to the University of Minnesota this fall to pursue other majors and continue performance work in the cities. Recent work includes Freckleface Strawberry at the Old Log Theatre.

More information
"You won’t find better material in the Fringe ... See this one."

"Another Opening, Another Show!"
If you don’t like one, you only have to wait 10 minutes.

After nearly two years of writing, revising and readings, the New Musical Theatre Exchange (NMTE) makes its public debut at the 2014 Minnesota Fringe Festival, offering the Twin Cities a taste of a few of the new musicals developed in the Minneapolis-based workshop.

"Another Opening, Another Show!" Is just that: the first 10 minutes or so of four shows that cover styles from Vaudeville and turn-of-the-century light opera to country-rock and sophisticated contemporary show music. The showcase features the work of seven local workshop members who are experienced music and theater practitioners, published writers and composers.

The “smorgasbord” of shows includes:

  • The Magnificent Ambersons, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Booth Tarkington and follows the socially prominent Amberson family as their influence fades with the rise of industrialization. Book and lyrics by BMI/ Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop alumnus, playwright and lyricist, Brian Vinero. Music is by Steven Kennedy, composer and film music reviewer and commentator.

  • A send-up of office politics, corporate corruption and modern romance, Got It Made centers on a young businesswoman hoping to make her mark at Cheeseman's Real Estate Development and Management Inc. Think Trump Enterprises … Written by the husband-and-wife team of Maureen Kane Berg (lyricist, librettist, co-composer) and Tom Berg (co-composer), the show has been performed in theaters across the country, including in the Twin Cities. Maureen's comedies and revues have been performed at Zanies Comedy Club in Chicago and elsewhere nationally. Tom has music directed their productions and performed with the Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company.

  • The year is 1911. The Lower East Side of Manhattan is filled to bursting with homesick Jewish immigrants. On this particular night, The Allen Street Yiddish Theatre Palace presents Cinderesther, a schmaltz-infused take on "Cinderella," set among the tenements and sweatshops. Book and Lyrics by Brian Vinero; Music by Shirley Mier, Ph.D., composer, music director and music educator.

  • In Water From Snow, a young single mom has been on the run from her mother’s control, mostly taking up with user boyfriends. When she inherits her mother’s small-town bar and café—the last thing she wanted—she faces up to her past, rekindles friendships and finally brings some stability to her life. Songwriter, lyricist and bookwriter Janet Preus has had her work showcased at the Stages Festival, Theater Building, Chicago. “I Love You, Annie,” from this show, was awarded first place in the Great American Song Contest. She reviews theater for howwastheshow.
Minnesota Fringe
Minnesota Fringe