I based this list on the artists involved, the show description, and/or performances at last night's Fringe-For-All. I have not yet thoroughly read through all 176 shows, so this list could change several times before the Fest begins on August 1. For more information on any of the listed shows, click on the title. And for all things Fringe, please see their website.
Here's a list of shows that I want to see, and a brief reason why (I will most likely not be able to see all of the shows listed, but this is what I'm working with as I prepare my schedule):
(NEW shows added on July 24)
- (NEW) A Brief History of Irish Music: because I've seen the Dregs before and enjoy their mix of Irish music and crass humor, and during the preview they presented at Fringe-For-All they entertainingly argued so much they didn't have time to play any music! Update: read my review.
- A Clown in Exile: because it's created by Live Action's Set Noah Bremer, and clowning would add some diversity to my schedule.
- Are You There, God? It's a New Musical Revue!: because I'm a child of the 80s and I grew up with Judy Blume. Plus the song presented at the Fringe-For-All was charming. Update: read my review.
- (NEW) Between Floors: because this story of meeting in an elevator looks cute and awkward.
- (NEW) Bidgood to BidGREAT: Bumps and Blunders on the Boulevard to Brilliance: because the preview of this one-woman was funny and made me want to hear more.
- Comedy vs. Calories: FIGHT!: because I learned last year to always attend anything with the name Scrimshaw* in the credits. And I love food. Update: read my review.
- Dear Madde: because the excerpt I saw, in which Madde read a letter from a love-struck 5-year-old, was kind of adorable. Update: read my review.
- Elysium Blues: because it's a blues musical based on Greek myths directed by emerging musical theater talent Ricardo Vazquez.
- Expiration Date: because the star of this one-woman show, Candy Simmons, asked me to. And it looks like it could be funny and poignant, my favorite combination.
- Four Humors' Lolita: A Three Man Show: because Four Humors always does interesting (and sometimes bizarre) work (see last year's Candide), and the excerpt presented at Fringe-For-All was really funny. Update: read my review.
- (NEW) Hickory Minimum Security Correctional Facility Presents: Hoosiers: The Stage Adaptation: because I laughed out loud several times during the preview, and they used the phrase "competitive prison theater." Update: read my review.
- Hello Stranger: because Blake Thomas is one of my favorite local musicians, who has also recently become a pretty great musical theater composer as well. He has composed and is performing original music for this one-woman show. Update: read my review.
- (NEW) How to Swear Like a Minnesotan: because I loved Joking Envelope's last entry in the Fringe.
- (NEW) I Make No Promises, But Someone's Probably Going to Die: because the cast includes Joanna Harmon, John Middleton, and Clarence Wethern.
- (NEW) Non Edwards's Bob Fosse Makeover: because the Fringe-For-All preview consisted entirely of a dancer getting dressed for a Fosse dance, and I feel the need to support my fellow math majors in the arts.
- Once Upon a Chalkboard: because Tyler Michaels is one of my favorite young theater artists; I think he has a really unique set of talents and I'm excited to see him get out of Chanhassen and do something new and inventive. And Tod Peterson's pretty great too.
- (NEW) RT + MPLS: The Legend of RT Rybak: because the three minute preview was cute and clever, featuring dueling RTs (one of which was Yellow Tree fave Ryan Nelson) and the city of Minneapolis personified. Update: read my review.
- Shelly Bachberg Presents: How Helen Keller and Anne Frank Freed the Slaves: The Musical: because Fruit Fly was one of my favorite Fringe shows last year (go see it as part of Illusion's Fresh Ink Series THIS weekend!). Plus - David Darrow, Mary Fox, Caroline Innerbichler, Tre Searles, and Kim Kivens as "Shelly Bachberg." I mean, come on. Update: read my review.
- Standing on the Hollow: because I need some dance in the mix, and I'm a fan of Julie Johnson's percussive flute playing (yes I said percussive flute). They performed at Fringe-For-All and it was intriguing.
- Teenage Misery: A Horror Musical: because the 3-minute performance last night was darkly funny and well-sung, with shades of Sweeney Todd.
- The Cosmic Equation = 2 Wives + 2 Husbands ÷ Adventure: because it features wisdom balls! And numbers! And it looks like a crazy fun good time (also based on last night's Fringe-For-All).
- The Gravity of Ghosts: because the 3-minute spoken word poem about bicycle vs. van that I heard last night went by in about 3 seconds, and I wanted more. And this will fulfill my "spoken word" bingo square. Update: read my review.
- The Nose: because even though the description looks a little odd (politician loses his nose), the scene I saw last night was funny and clever and well-performed.
- (NEW) The Unknown Matters: because I like Katie Bradley, and she sang a lovely duet with co-star and writer Mark Sweeney at Fringe-For-All, and it's about physics.
- They Called Her Captain: because it's about a woman in the army in 1944, performed by her real-life daughter, written by the talented Dawn Brodey. Update: read my review.
- These Old Shoes: because Transatlantic Love Affair's Ash Land at the Fringe last year was so beautiful and moving that I vowed I would see everything they ever did from then on. Update: read my review.
- To Mars With Tesla or The Interplanetary Machinations of Evil Thomas Edison: because, again, I see Scrimshaw* in the credits. And I know a little bit about Mr. Tesla after seeing nimbus' original play a few months ago.
- To my son, born five years from today: because Christopher Kehoe brilliantly wrote last year's Joe Dowling's William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet on the Moon Featuring Kate Mulgrew as Lady Capulet, and Carl Flink brilliantly choreographed Latte Da's Spring Awakening. Update: read my review.
In addition to the above, I have about a dozen or so maybes that I will use to fill in where needed, since I like to see a block of shows in one location rather than driving all over the city.
Repeated from last year, some tips for the Fringe newbie:
- Buy a button and make sure you have it with you, it's required for entry to all shows.
- If you're going to multiple shows, buy a punch pass, available in quantities of 5 or 10, or unlimited if you plan on seeing more than 20 shows. It saves you $2 per show. Once you buy a pass, you can reserve a seat at any show for $1, or just show up and present your pass (see below).
- If a show is particularly popular, or you really really want to see it, consider buying (or reserving a seat) in advance. You can also take your chances and just show up.
- All shows are general admission, so get there early for best choice of seating.
- Shows typically run just under an hour, with a half hour between shows.
- Bring snacks, water, reading material, and sunscreen (you will be waiting in line, probably outside).
- Keep an open mind - some of what you'll see is really weird. But that can be a good thing!
*It has come to my attention that there are two J. Scrimshaws (this was just added to the Fringe shows). Turns out they're brothers. (I apologize, I'm a relative Fringe novice, this is only my 3rd year at the fest.)