Saturday, August 4, 2018

Minnesota Fringe Festival 2018: "A Part of Me"

Day: 2

Show: 6

Title: A Part of Me

Category: Drama / Musical Theater / Original Music

By: Imagined Theatre

Created by: Julie Ana Rayne and Phil Darg

Location: Southern Theater

Summary: Two patients waiting for an organ donation meet in a transitional care facility.

Highlights: This sweet and lovely story of friendship in difficult times caused me to shed my first #fringetears of the festival. The patients, musician Sean and teenager Jimmy, connect over their shared situation (waiting for a liver and kidney transplant, respectively) and their love of music. Sean teaches Jimmy to play the guitar, begrudgingly allowed by understandably overprotective mother Rita. Caregivers nurse Cate and administrator Liz try to make their lives as comfortable as possible, but the situation is dire for both of them if they don't get a transplant soon. I don't want to tell you too much of what happens, but suffice it to say connections are made and lives are changed. The songs are on the whole lovely and melodic, with poignant or funny lyrics. Dan Piering's Sean accompanies many of the songs on guitar (an instrument he's as adept at as his usual cello), with additional accompaniment on keyboard played by, I'm going to assume, composer and lyricist Julie Ana Rayne. Dan, Abilene Olson as Rita, and Rachel Schmidt do most of the singing, and beautifully so. Katie Consumas is natural and believable as one of those angels on earth, a nurse, and young Logan Schuneman is adorable as Jimmy. Amidst the zaniness that is most of Minnesota Fringe, it's a rare treat to experience a moving drama such as this.

If you're interested in becoming an organ donor, visit www.organdonor.gov.

Read all of my Fringe mini-reviews here.

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