Saturday, August 12, 2023

Minnesota Fringe Festival 2023: "The Duet"


Show: 29

Title: The Duet


By: ThickWater

Created by: Ryan Blix & Nicole Weber

Location: Mixed Blood Theatre

Summary: A country duo married couple has seen their success fade, and the offer of a solo contract causes conflict between them.

Highlights: This is a sweet and funny show, with co-writers and performers Ryan Blix and Nicole Weber creating a believable relationship and lovely harmonies (the two original songs they sing sound like country hits). They're dressed in stage ready Western wear, then change into casual Western in their dressing room, where the entire play takes place in real time. The show begins with Stella and Leo performing their big hit "Lucky Coin," based on Leo's habit of letting fate decide big decisions by flipping a coin (and explaining the inclusion of the '90s country hit "Heads Carolina, Tails California" in the fab pre-show soundtrack). But soon the Grand Ole Opry makes way for Slimey's Bar as their star fades. When Stella is offered a solo contract by the label and is told that if she doesn't take it they'll be dropped, the two begin to realize that they want different things. Stella wants the success and stability they once had; Leo is just happy to be with her, even while performing in dive bars. They reminisce about when they first met, and when they got married (with flashbacks), and think about what their life could be life. It's a believable portrait of a musical and personal relationship. Will love win out, or will it succumb to the demands of success in the music industry? You have one more chance to see it and find out.