Baron Dave Romm (barondave) wrote,
Baron Dave Romm

2010 Fringe Festival Day 0-: The rehearsals and videos

One of my goals this year was to do more prep work before the 2010 Minnesota Fringe Festival formally begins on Aug. 5. To that effect I went to four dress rehearsals/tech rehearsals/full run throughs. And made videos of all of them. What still photography I've taken, from the Fringe-For-All on July 12 through tonight's Ootiefest (to be posted tomorrow) are at 2010 Fringe Gallery 1 on Facebook.

These are the reviews I'll post on the Fringe site when the reviews go live, edited for LJ. Comments in italics are further commentary.

Pre-Fringe: Dress and/or tech rehearsals

Table 12: A Play At A Wedding


The Leftovers table is always the most interesting; most interesting for outsiders, anyway. The characters around table 12 have their own agendas, and their backgrounds and motivations slowly unfurl. What could have been another play about bickering becomes a screwball comedy in the deft hands of Kindred Ginger Theatre. CAVEAT: I saw a rehearsal, not the full mounted Fringe show, so YMMV. A Shockwave Radio Theater Review.

Video with excerpts and interviews.

I went into this one blind, knowing nothing about it beforehand. An FB Friend who I know through the Fringe took me up on my offer of coverage. I was pleasantly surprised. Three weeks before the first official performance, the actors were (mostly) off-book and in costume.


**** three and a half stars, rounded up for the music

Rob Callahan's slightly askew observations and ruminations are presented dispassionately, Nice musical accompaniment to some good stories. CAVEAT: I saw a run-through, not the full mounted Fringe show, so YMMV. A Shockwave Radio Theater Review.

Video with excerpts and interviews.

Rob's a friend of mine, but I'd never seen him perform before. He has an interesting storytelling style, though it's not the Beat Poets style he admires. This was technically a workshop, for people to give feedback, and several of our mutual friends were there.


** one and a half stars, rounded up for a few good bits

A dance number about energy that didn't gel for me. Too much time spent in blackout or watching movies. Some effective imagery behind energetic dancing, but the whole thing doesn't seem unified. CAVEAT: I saw a rehearsal, not the full mounted show, and I'm not a dance aficionado, so YMMV. A Shockwave Radio Theater Review.

Video with excerpts and interviews.

I don't consider it a real Fringe Festival until I see something I don't like. Already, it's a real Fringe. Unlike Rob, they didn't ask for feedback, which is just as well.

Bad Deeds Done Bad

*** two and a half stars, rounded up

The characters are introduced as if in a play, but this device just drops away, for no apparent reason. Some sharp characterizations and painful observations on family relationships rise above the plot. CAVEAT: I saw a rehearsal, not the full mounted show and one of my bugaboos is unpleasant people doing unpleasant things, so YMMV. A Shockwave Radio Theater Review.

Video with excerpts and interviews.

A few clever bits, but mostly just bickering. To be fair, the comedy will work better with an audience.

This is what I have on tap for the first couple of days. I'm still tinkering. Choreographing the day, I tend to pick shows that are easy to get to from the previous show.

Open and Affirming Fairy Tales Rarig Arena, 5:30 Thurs. I liked their 3-minute showcase, and it looks like a good kid's show for adults.

Deviates from the Master Plan / Apprentice & Sorcerer Trip on the Light Fantastick Rarig Xperimental, 7:00 Thurs. I picked this one mostly because it was in the Rarig after the Fair Tales show, but it looks interesting.

Digging a Hole: Two short absurd one acts plays. Mixed Blood, 8:30 pm Thurs. This slot was originally Idiosynchronicity. The two "absurd" plays are a bit of a crap shoot, but it's in the same venue as...

Bite Me Twighlight Mixed Blood, 10pm Thurs. Last year's Parry Hotter was great... but I had read all the books and seen the movies. I'm utterly unfamiliar with (and uninterested in) the Twighlight series, and I suspect this will be all I ever need.

The Little Prince Rarig Proscenium, 5:30 Friday. The description makes it sound interesting, and the live music is a plus. Still, this slot is to lead into...

An Adult Evening of Shel Silverstein Rarig Xperimental 7:00 Fri. I'm a fan of Silverstein, but am not that familiar with much of his work. This looks like it could be fun.

Grimaldi's Chicken Playwright's Center, 10:00 Fri. Here, my schedule starts to get ragged. I took a slot off, allowing me to get to one of the out of the way venues. This is a restaging, and their promo video (on the Fringe listing) looks interesting. On the other hand, it's 35 minutes (claims the video), so might be better in an early slot allowing me more time... hmm...

Spin Ritz Proscenium, Saturday 1:00. "Investigates the bicycle as a musical instrument, muse and agent of social change". Looks interesting, and I found it because I really wanted to see...

Dancing Nude Ritz Theater Studio, Saturday 2:30. Tim Mooney's shows usually revolve around Moliere (which is his vanity license plate) or other performance-related performances. Male nudity doesn't do much for me, but I want to see what Tim is up to.

Bloddeuwedd Ritz Theater Studio, Sat. 4:00. The previous Fringe show "loosely based on an ancient Welsh legend about a woman made out of flowers" was great, and this was in the right place at the right time.

You Are Not Paris Mill City Clinic, Sat 7:00. All the Bring-Your-Own venue schedule their shows at 7pm, which is annoying. I left the slot beforehand open, and planned the drive to the one after, because Jon Ferguson is always interesting and he has "created a highly visual, physical and poetic site-specific performance piece exploring extra-ordinary psychological disorders." I will find out what that means.

living traces - burning breath Jungle Theater, Sat 8:30. The Manhattan Experimental Theater seems to be a company of young dancers who do innovative things on stage. Still, if I'm feeling burnt out (on the third day!) I'll skip this slot because I really want to see...

Superlatives of Excellence: A Jamboree of Breviloquent Masterworks by Josef Evans Mixed Blood Sat 10:00. By Bedlam Theater, who did Love in a Time of Rinderpest in 2006, which was great. Here, local playwright Josef Evans reprises several of his short plays. So this is material which has been tested.

Again, this is preliminary. Some shows are more likely than others, but the Fringe is chock-full of potentially great shows. I don't want to get burnt out, and rushing between venues is draining. At some point, shows start dropping off the list of possibilities. I may see a quarter of the Fringe shows. I will miss some good stuff. Ah well.

Continued in Day 1: Vroom!.
Tags: fringe festival

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