Baron Dave Romm (barondave) wrote,
Baron Dave Romm
barondave

2009 Minnesota Fringe -- Day 3: A solid B+

We had an ambitious schedule for the weekend, but only made five of the six shows. The Rarig Center, part of the University of Minnesota, houses four theaters, and it's easy to go from one venue to another. Some of the theaters are among the largest at the Fringe, and while no show was packed, the musicals wouldn't have fit in most Fringe sites.

My Sinking Ship My Sinking Ship

Lifeboat that is the setting for "My Sinking Ship", just before Fringe show at the Rarig, 8/01/09.


My Sinking Ship ***

Stories of vengeance

The autobiographical stories were fun: She spent time on two continents and experienced leftover sex detritus, scuba diving, bats, sharks and more. Sometimes, the show seemed like an excuse to tell old stories, and I've seen her tell these better. Good stuff but uneven. A Shockwave Radio Theater Review.

When Allison is hot, she's really hot. This show seemed tepid. In other formats, the stories were longer and more effective. She seemed constrained and edited for the Fringe show.

June of Arc and emcee June of Arc and emcee

A costume parade was held at the Bedlam Theatre, Fringe Central, late in the evening. 8/01/09


June of Arc **

Pseudo-feminism doesn't work

An attempt to bring June Cleaver to life by exploring her days before marrying Ward and having her tv family. The recreation of 50s tv commercials were the best part, but there was little attempt to connect the whitebread facade of the era with the dark inner workings of a repressed housewife. June is complicit in her sitcom life, and no stressor is presented to break her. Some good ideas aren't fully realized in the 35 minute show. A Shockwave Radio Theater Review.

Heather Stone, as June, and the other actors were pretty good. But the story never went anywhere. I recognized some of the commercials, though others were probably well before my time. June's story starts in WWII, before tv, so the influence of pre-tv advertising and cultural norms were missing.

Allegra Lingo at the Rarig Allegra Lingo at the Rarig

Allegra comes out to schmooze the crowd before her Fringe show. Note pictures of U of M alumni actors along the walls. 8/01/09.

Crescendo *****

Weaving a story

Allega Lingo takes the dog for a walk, reflecting on life, Daedalus and her writing career, with Aaron Copeland providing the music. She is an expert at weaving the threads of her narrative into one story, and the emotion and humor emerge unforced. A terrific, brave, performance. Four and a half stars rounded up for hitting all her music cues on the money. A Shockwave Radio Theater Review.

Allegra is a long-time Fringer and staff of the Fringe, and I'm very glad to have caught her show at last. She's one of the Rockstar Storytellers, and very comfortable in front of an audience. The music evoked different emotions for some, but she used it very effectively.

The Red Tureen ****

Starving Irish can still sing

Marvelous ensemble singing transcends a thin story. The reality behind the Irish Potato Famine, and English complicity in starving out the locals, is complex and feels stuffed into the Fringe hour. The actors range from good to very good and the singing ranges from very good to great. Four and a half stars rounded down due to sound problems. A Shockwave Radio Theater Review.

An ambitious project that doesn't quite work within the constraints of the Fringe. Even in a longer format, the plot would be familiar and formulaic. Here, it seemed rushed and trite. Still, the singing made up for a lot.

A bee in the flowers A bee in the flowers

Saturday was a gorgeous day, which helped Fringing immensely. Even the bees (the small spot almost dead center) were enjoying the weather. Roughly Riverside and 19th at the U of M, 8/01/09.


Tech Support: The musical ****

We can relate

The plot is slight but the laughs are genuine. We can relate. The story has more to do with customer service (or lack thereof) than tech support and a Google search would have cleared up most of the miscommunication, but hey. What really makes the show is the singing. Every vocalist is great, the ensemble singing is exceptional, and the counterpoint songs are wonderful. A Shockwave Radio Theater Review.

Apparently, this was a shorter show expanded for the Fringe. While it didn't feel padded, not much actually goes on. I felt about Tech Support in much the same way I felt about The Red Tureen: Thin plot, great music.

After five fringes, we decided to skip the 10:00 show, missing Sarah and her Ovaries. The Fringe promised a Costume Parade at Fringe Central, which was pretty wimpy. So we left.

Up for today, if we last:

Jurassic Dork (Gremlin, 1:00)
Mansion of Dust (Southern, 4:00)
casebolt and smith (Southern, 5:30)
Best Little Crackhouse in Philly (Southern, 8:30)
Holding Patterns (Southern, 10:00)

Continued from Day 2: A remarkable success and continuing on to Day 4: Great heights in unexpected places
Tags: fringe festival
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