Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Minnesota Fringe Festival 2013 Top Five (or so)

I compiled a list of my five favorite shows about halfway through my Fringe experience, and when it came time to update the list at the end of the fest, I couldn't bear to remove any from the list upon adding new ones from the second half. So it's a bit longer list now.

In alphabetical order, my favorite shows of the 2013 Minnesota Fringe Festival are (click on the show title for more details):

  • Expiration Date: a one-woman show about a young woman facing a diagnosis of terminal cancer, featuring one of the best performances I saw in the Fringe - Candy Simmons, who also wrote the piece.
  • Four Humors' Lolita: A Three Man Show: a clever, hilarious, well-written, and well-performed adaptation of the infamous movie/book. It's obvious a lot of thought went into this wonderfully ridiculous show.
  • Hello Stranger: the best original music I heard at the Fringe (by local musician/composer Blake Thomas), a charming host, and a delightful experience of human relationships.
  • Shelly Bachberg Presents: How Helen Keller and Anne Frank Freed the Slaves: The Musical: a fantastic cast of local musical theater actors, smartly written political satire, great original songs, and fabulous costumes.
  • Teenage Misery: The Horror Musical: a fun and clever new musical that mashed the stories of Carrie, Misery, Sweeney Todd, and Bye Bye Birdie, featuring a young cast chock full of raw talent.
  • The Unknown Matters: a quiet and lovely musical about two friends exploring the grand ideas of the universe while navigating earthly matters like friendship and snacks.
  • These Old Shoes: an aesthetically and emotionally beautiful tale of love lost and found, in Transatlantic Love Affair's trademark physical theater style.
  • They Called Her Captain: the one show I've seen that is begging to be extended into a full-length play, because the material about a woman who becomes a captain in the army in WWII is so rich. Bonus - it's a true story, and the woman and many other characters are portrayed by her real-life daughter.

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