Click here for the winners of the "Golden Lanyard" awards (including top seller at each venue).
Here are my 12 favorites (because I couldn't limit it to 10) of the 29, in alphabetical order (click on the title to read the full mini-review). And if you asked me during the festival what my favorite show was, I answered Edward Lear, and I'm sorry you didn't get to see it because it was sold out. Maybe it'll come back again in some form, or maybe not, because theater, like life, is ephemeral and we need to appreciate what we have when we have it. #nodaybuttoday
- A Confederate Widow In Hell: super weird, original, and fascinating exploration of the terrifying and lasting legacy of the American South.
- A Man's Guide for Appropriate Behavior in the 21st Century: more than a Fringe show, this panel discussion hosted by Scot Froelich on the heels of two mass shootings was a tough and important conversation that we need to be having.
- Booth's Ghost: a haunting solo show created and performed by Andrew Erskine Wheeler that was playful, theatrical, sobering, and engrossing.
- Cat Confidential: The Secret Lives of the Mothers of Lions: this show about cats made me cry more than any other show in the fest with its very human stories about life, love, grief, and the beautiful creatures that are with us through it all.
- Chisago: The Musical: these first-time Fringe producers absolutely nailed the concept of a Chicago parody chock full of Minnesota references. It's not that bad.
- Edith Gets High: another clever, funny, tuneful, and well-constructed original musical by Keith Hovis with a fantastic cast.
- Game of Toms: One-Man Game of Thrones: the Fringe's best solo musical parody-er takes on the biggest TV show of recent years, and it's so satisfying (new ending!).
- Mad as Nell, or How to Lose a Bly in Ten Days: a super smart, funny, Fringey mash-up of little known history and pop culture that succeeds on every level.
- Operation: Immigration: #TCTheater artist Avi Aharoni's solo show about his father was funny, charming, original, and moving.
- SIZE: a moving treatise on our relationship to our bodies, their size, and society's opinions about them by "Colleen Somerville and an array of writers and bodies."
- The Scranton Strangler: An Office Musical: this musical parody was everything a fan of the beloved comedy The Office could want.
- You Are Cordially Invited to the Life and Death of Edward Lear: this one checked all of the boxes for me - original music, whimsical, historical, silly, profound, and achingly beautiful.
And that's it. The Minnesota Fringe Festival is over, and I'm starting to get press releases for #TCTheater companies' first shows of the 2019-2020 season. My summer break (what break?) is over, and the theatering continues!