August 11th, 2007

New Tilley Hat

2007 Fringe Festival: Day 9

A two "interstitial" day!

The Tyranny of God's Love *** 1/2

Hubris Disguised As Faith

Video with two interstitial live sketches. The videos were good (this show had technical problems with one) though they didn't seem to relate to each other, the live bits or the title. The first live sketch had moments, but was basically a bickering family. Not my cup of tea. The second sketch was a lengthy cliche that worked really well. Maybe I'm getting jaded as the Fringe is drawing to a close. I enjoyed the show, but there are better.

The Chuck Mee Project **

A Huge Waste Of Time And Talent

Earnest performances and a few good lines can't rescue this mishmash of dumb people in dumb situations. The decent bits weren't that good and led nowhere. Kudos especially to Teale Sperling.

Most people seemed to like this more than I did, even though laughs were few during the event. A few people said, "oh, you have to know Chuck Mee", He writes odd plays, or somesuch. Well, I don't, and have no desire to further my acquaintance. I went to this play because both The Prince Myshkins reviewed it well, but apparently this is not one of our overlapping weirdnesses.

The Comedy Jesus Show

Almost Too True To Be Funny

Stand up comedy and improv questions from the audience are handled in character by Troy Conrad. Generally, he nails his Jesus impression (if you'll pardon the expression). The interstitial video clips and slide shows were loads of fun. Extremely recommended for everyone who will refuse to see it.

That's 32 Fringes, already more than last year with two days to go. The best part about seeing bucketloads of shows is seeing newfound friends over again, and comparing notes with people. hunnythistle had many keen observations that hadn't made it to the reviews.

Today I have five shows listed, mostly because the first one is at 1pm and the last is at 10. Really, there's three A-listed shows with a couple in the same venue added on: Tom Thumb, or The Tragedy of Tragedies off at the Ritz, then a break, then Through The Dark which is on my schedule because it's right before Bards even though that sounds suspiciously like Shakespearean gay slash fiction. Then another break until Speechless which is right before Buckets and Tap Shoes: Here and Now.

Frankly, as much as I still want to see more shows and hang out with the cool Fringies, I'll be glad when it's over. There's a strong possibility I won't make all five shows; a small chance I'll chuck the day after the first one, and a moderate chance I'll just do the first and last, coming home to see the tape of last night's Flash Gordon...
New Tilley Hat

Perhaps burn out, perhaps just jaded; I-35W Bridge pictures

After seeing three Fringes that I thought were good but not great, two of them supposedly at the top of the critical heap, I think it's time to wind down. I'm done for tonight (report on the shows later) and will make KIPO tomorrow, but that might be it.

Today was a good day in general. At Tom Thumb, I sat near Polly Peterson and Eric Heideman, and we went to lunch together. The restaurant next to the Fringe venue closed (!) so we went to "that Scottish place" which turned out to be McDonald's. (Having blown all pretense of eating well, I later stopped at Burger King on the way home.)

After the show first, I went to where the I-35W bridge collapsed. They opened the nearby Stone Arch Bridge a few days ago, and people could get closer to the site. It was hot, but people were gawking and taking pictures and bringing the kids.

On the Stone Arch Bridge, a Park Ranger was dispensing maps and information. She didn't want to be interviewed, but she was very helpful. That section of the Mississippi is designated a National Park, so fell in her purview. As you might imagine, river traffic has been suspended. Fortunately, there's not a great deal of commerce through the Mpls locks, and not much recreation. It's a very turbulent part of the river, which is hampering rescue operations even though Minnesota is in a drought and the river level is quite low.

In the picture below, the foreground is the Mississippi River, and the squarish structure is the dam and lock (lock on the right). The closed 10th Ave Bridge is in the background. The remnants of the 35W bridge are the green tangle of metal on the left and you can see the dip in the roadway behind the lock on the right. The brown castle-like buildings in the upper right are the University of Minnesota's hospital complex.

I-35W Bridge from the Stone Arch Bridge
I-35W Bridge from the Stone Arch Bridge
Minneapolis, August 11, 2007CE

I-35W Bridge from the Stone Arch Bridge
I-35W Bridge from the Stone Arch Bridge
close-up of North side wreckage more than a week after the collapse
Minneapolis, August 11, 2007CE