Wednesday, May 9, 2018

"Five-Fifths of The Matrix" by Five Minnesota Fringe Festival Companies at ARIA

The first Minnesota Fringe Festival event of 2018 is here! The first one I attend anyway (the lottery happened a few months ago, choosing the lucky companies that get to perform in the festival). The annual "Five-Fifths" fundraiser is when they take an iconic movie, split it up into five parts, hand it over to five Fringe companies, then put the five parts back together again. To say that the end result bears little resemblance to the original goes without saying. But it's great fun, and really gives you a taste of what Fringe is - a display of a wide array of creativity. Mark your calendar for August 2-12, and in the meantime find out how you can get involved (by volunteering, donating, or attending other pre-festival events) at the Fringe website.

This was my fourth time attending Five-Fifths, but the first time I haven't seen the movie in question. That's right, I've never seen The Matrix. While I certainly missed some of the jokes (I had several moments of - why is everyone laughing?), the short description in the program gave me the outline of the plot, and it doesn't really matter anyway. I enjoyed all of the performances, which included:
  • Sandbox Swing Set (Sandbox Theatre's new aerial offshoot)
  • Mainly Me Productions
  • Bollywood Dance Scene
  • Vox Medusa
  • Transatlantic Love Affair
My favorite moments of the show include:
  • The thrilling aerial work by Sandbox
  • Josh Carson's Chanhassen joke(s)
  • Andy Kraft's Keanu Reeves impression
  • Derek Lee Miller's Keanu Reeves impression
  • The always exciting Bollywood Dance Scene with their huge and energetic ensemble and colorful costumes
  • The lovely and haunting imagery created by Vox Medusa
  • TLA's genius "last five-fifths of The Matrix performed in a 9-foot square" (which reminded me of Live Action Set's similar treatment of the Lord of the Rings trilogy - check it out on youtube)
  • All of the late '90s internet jokes (how far we've come!)
See you at the Fringe!