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

2009 Minnesota Fringe -- Day 8: Running around

Today was the day I've dreaded all week, though it didn't turn out so bad. Three shows that I wanted to see for entirely different reasons in far flung venues. As I keep saying, you don't so much go to the Fringe as you choreograph your day. Logistically: I parked in the Bedlam Theatre parking lot, had dinner at Kwok, went to the first show at the Augsberg Studio. Quickly hoofed the long six blocks back to the parking lot. When the parking lot show was over, I hopped in the car to drive to St. Paul. Got it? Okay, onward...

Rumspringa ***

Amish electricity is 1337

Geeky musical that mostly respects the Amish (but not entirely) and mostly respects the conventions of science fiction (but not entirely). A fun little show that's in exactly the right space. Three and a half kitties rounded down for mediocre singing and acting by some in the cast. A Shockwave Radio Theater Review.

In retrospect, this was two shows cobbled together. The first part was a pretty good musical about the Amish and one young woman who doesn't want to live that life. Then she goes on Rumspringa, an Amish term for a period of adolescence, where they leave the community to go live among the "English" for a while.

While among the cruel city dwellers, our heroine falls in love with a robot. The science fiction references are okay, though the actors keep tripping over the word "positronic". The Amish come off pretty bad in this section, except for the father who... well, that would be telling.

On line beforehand, I talked to the mother of one of the actors. She was at her only Fringe show to see her daughter. I gathered a lot of people were family and friends.

The leads were good, but many of the other singer/actors could barely be heard. I sat up front and could hear vocals that a larger theater would just have absorbed. At one point, a couple of kids (maybe 5 and 8) came out for a song and to yell at the robot. They were cute, but not actually good. Still, I'm sure family loved it.


The father of missing twins, Comedy of Errors, 8/6/09 The father of missing twins, Comedy of Errors, 8/6/09

As he's being arrested by the Duke, the father regales us with exposition.
Comedy of Errors at the Bedlam Theatre, 8/6/09 Comedy of Errors at the Bedlam Theatre, 8/6/09

The troupe uses the outside area to effect.
The wife and sister, 8/6/09 The wife and sister, 8/6/09

Two very confused ladies in Comedy of Errors.
Comedy of Errors, 8/6/09 Comedy of Errors, 8/6/09

Magic gets into the act.


Comedy of Errors ****

Shakespeare. Outside. Bedlam.

What more do you need to know? Good costume design helps us keep track of the characters. A Shockwave Radio Theater Review.

Really, I don't have a lot to say about this show: It's exactly what you think it's going to be. Since it was outside, I could take pictures (I asked), and will put more on Facebook. In the meantime, here's a few more under a cut:

Monks fling water in the air Monks fling water in the air

A nice addition of mysticism
The Abbess in The Beat Shack, 8/6/09 The Abbess in The Beat Shack, 8/6/09

A May Day Parade float gets recycled. the Beat Shack in the 2008 May Day parade
Comedy of Errors, 8/6/09 Comedy of Errors, 8/6/09

A modern take on Shakespeare.
Climbing over the hill, 8/6/09 Climbing over the hill, 8/6/09

The actors used the parking lot to its fullest.
Twins reunited, 8/6/09 Twins reunited, 8/6/09

The costuming was critical in following the storyline.

Squawk ****

"SEALS ate his mother."

Pleasantly absurd story of a penguin who wants to rise in the military and doesn't let anything get in his way. A fine cast and some great puppeteering. Needs tweaking: You really mean ANTarctic circle. A Shockwave Radio Theater Review.

The troupe responsible for Shakespeare's Land of the Dead last year and Bards the year before and 1928 Pleasant before that return with even yet another original play. I think it needs work before hitting Broadway, but it was certainly worth watching. Again, this show, like the other two I saw today, was in the right venue. Larger wouldn't have let the penguin's subtle acting (!) come out.

BTW: They got the penguin right. I didn't see Emperor Penguins in Antarctica, and the three species I did see all acted a little different, but not by that much. And besides, the army will smooth out the rough edges...


Plan for today, Friday:

Lithopedion (Augsberg Studio, 4:00)
Citation Needed (Augsperg Studio, 5:30)
Seasons In The Sun (Augsberg Mainstage, 700)
Untitled Duet with Housplant (Rarig Proscenium, 10:00)

Of these, the last one, starring Noah Bremer, is the major priority. The others look interesting in their own way, but I don't want to get burnt out for the final push Saturday and Sunday. I may just skip Seasons in the Sun (honors Rob McKuen singing Jacque Brell, or somesuch) to hang out at someplace and do more interviews. We'll see.

Continued from Day 6: oddly dispassionate and continuing on to Day 9: Gambols lost and won.
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