Thursday, July 25, 2019

2019 Minnesota Fringe Must-See List

I don't know about you, but this summer has flown by faster than usual. Friends, the Minnesota Fringe Festival is almost upon is! Family Fringe begins this weekend (for all the deets on that check out this preview by my friends at Minnesota Theater Love), with the full Festival running August 1-11. I'll admit I haven't spent a lot of time reviewing the website or figuring out the new features in terms of ticketing and show structure (what exactly are Independently Produced shows?), but I have read through all show descriptions. I've come up with a list of 20 must-see shows out of the 140-ish in the fest, presented below in alphabetical order.
Does anyone else see a theme in this list? Lots of shows by and about women. Love it!!

My annual Fringe tips for newbies (as always, refer to the Fringe website for the most up-to-date and correct information):
  • Gone are the daily wristbands, back are passes and individual show sales. With either method, you will also need to get a "seat token" for the show from a volunteer, and then get in line for the theater. More info here.
  • Each venue has its own Box Office (open 30 minutes prior to showtime). You may also make purchases online and pick up materials at the venue.
  • If a show is particularly popular, or you really really want to see it, consider reserving a seat in advance ($3). You can also take your chances and just show up. I typically only make reservations for a handful of shows that look like they might be busy (you can check the show's page to see if it's in danger of selling out).
  • For the second year of Family Fringe, they've made a few corrections: Fringe passes can be used, the venue is on the U of M campus, and times align with the rest of the festival. BUT the shows only run on the weekend before the Fringe and the first weekend of the Fringe (7/26-8/4).
  • All shows are general admission, so get there early for best choice of seating. NO LATE SEATING!
  • Shows typically run just under an hour, with a half hour between shows so it's feasible to get from any theater to any other in that time. But it's good to plan to see a bunch in one location (Cedar-Riverside is the biggest hub of venues) to minimize transportation time.
  • Bring snacks, water, reading material, and sunscreen - you will be waiting in line, probably outside. And be aware of what line you're in (box office or theater entrance). Ask one of the friendly volunteers in the Fringe shirts if you need help with anything.
  • Keep an open mind - some of what you'll see is really weird. But that can be a good thing! And if you see a dud, well, that's part of the Fringe experience.
  • Be adventurous! See something you normally wouldn't - that's the point of Fringe. If you don't like it - it'll be over in an hour.
  • The Fringe website has pretty much all the info you'll need, so bookmark it on your smart phone for easy on-the-go reference!