Sunday, August 4, 2013

Fringe Festival: "RT + MPLS: The Legend of RT Rybak"

Day: 3

Show: 7

By: Black Market Doctor

Created by: Heather Meyer

Location: New Century Theatre

Summary: A love story between a man (R.T. Rybak, three-term and current mayor of Minneapolis) and a city, covering everything from courtship to break-up to making up again.

Highlights: This is a charming love story, even though one of the parties is a city, not a person. A puppet R.T. Rybak (Michael Krefting) tells us of his romance with the beautiful, complicated city of Minneapolis. Since the puppet has limited mobility, the part of R.T. is played by Ryan Nelson, hilariously charming as he woos his fair city, whom he loves "from the stone arch of her foot to the cherry and spoonbridge of her nose." Anna Weggel is Minneapolis in human form, first rebuffing R.T., then falling for his charms (like helping to rebuild the 35W bridge and instituting the "nice ride" bike system), feeling heartbroken as he leaves her to run for governor, and finally rejoicing in his return. I don't live in Minneapolis so I don't know that much about the mayor (who was in the audience when I saw the show), but reading the R.T. Rybak Wikipedia page, it's amazing how many things about him they've incorporated into the show, from crowd-surfing to cross-country skiing. The show is chock full of local jokes and references, including poking gentle fun at sister city St. Paul. It's charming and funny and very Minnesotan.