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2018 Audience Reviews

Member Reviews

The following reviews were submitted by Fringe Member: Corrie Fiedler

Company: Play Anyway Productions
Show: Meet The Medranos
Venue: Strike Theater

Follow your dreams!

What a motivating show. Ricki tells us about her dream to perform in musical theater, and she let nothing stand in her way. A heart-warming one woman show about finding ones roots in the days before DNA analysis. Great acting as she takes on multiple characters.

Company: Grand Island Theatre
Show: Hamlet, but Hamlet's a Chicken
Venue: Minnsky Theatre

Silly is only a small subset of humor

I've seen plenty of non-traditional Hamlet productions. This one didn't seem to be adding much to the work. I felt like a very small minority: most of the audience was cracking up at the silliness, and I was checking my watch wondering if I was missing the deeper meaning. Wish the stage would have been better organized. It was hard (impossible) to see the chicken until a few scenes into the production.

Company: Quasimondo Physical Theatre
Show: Mrs. Wrights
Venue: Rarig Center Xperimental

First class in every way

Dancing, story, costumes, acting were all creative and mesmerizing. Though, as others have noted, read the program beforehand to understand the 5 woman in Wright's life that Jeni is channeling. Loved it.

Company: Wayward Theatre Company
Show: Far Away by Caryl Churchill
Venue: Rarig Center Arena

Avant-guard? or just confusing?

Fantastic production values (including the awesome band) and acting. I wish I had read about Churchill beforehand (and, if you aren't familiar with her work, I strongly suggest that you get a grip on her style and major themes). After having read about her and the play, my eyes were opened.

Company: Sidecar Theatre
Show: Summers in Prague
Venue: Rarig Center Arena

Heartwarming though well traveled plot

We have seen the bones of Summer in Prague's story many times: in musicals and movies. None-the-less, it was well acted and sprinkled with catholic guilt and male escort seasoning.

Company: Hit the Lights! Theater Co.
Venue: Ritz Theater Mainstage

Telling a simple story unconventionally!

HTL vision is to tell a simple story in an unconventional way. And they sure hit the mark. Who knew that the history of the 19th century illumination industry could be so interesting? Music, drama, education. It was all there.

Company: Sheep Theater
Show: Kaboom
Venue: Rarig Center Thrust

New Sheep Theater fans

Kaboom was very, very funny - but not silly. Perfect: exactly what I enjoy. Great script, fast moving, great acting. Can't ask for more.

Company: Deacon Gamzee Productions
Venue: Augsburg Studio

Outstanding performance, difficult script

Loved Khalil: emotional and talented storyteller. But we were never quite clear about the arc of the story. Who was Romaine? Who was Radius? How did blues fit into the story? With a bit more guidance for the audience, this could be GREAT!

Company: Mosaic Productions
Show: Hidden in This Picture
Venue: Rarig Center Arena

Primer in creative problem solving

Odd little one act .... took quite a while to care about the characters or the dramatic tension. But the last 5+ minutes about creative problem solving could have served as a video about how to approach a problem. Thought provoking and fun.

Company: Crone Productions
Venue: Augsburg Studio

What a story! What a performance!

A strong focus on Jeannette's chronology and events in her life. But don't think that means boring! Not even close. We would have appreciated a little more organizing filler ("why did she leave her first Congressional term?") and some emotion (relationships?). But that would have made a 2 or 3 hour Fringe event! Maybe we'll get that in the next version ("the juicy stuff") which we now know is on Oct 6.

Company: Bittersweet Arts Co.
Show: Forsythian Dweller's Club
Venue: Rarig Center Xperimental

Two plays in one?

Bittersweet Arts: Welcome to Mpls Fringe, we hope to see you in future years. The first half was great … moved slowly and deliberately toward us understanding what was happening. Many times I thought: 'oh, no, I see what is going to happen now'. The second half, though, was completely different. Outrageous! While it was (probably) intentional, it was less interesting (to me).

Company: Blinking Eye Theatre
Show: Swipe Right
Venue: Augsburg Mainstage

Frothy (yes), serious (no)

There is a lot that could be said about online dating. If you are looking to learn more in a serious way, this isn't for you. On the other hand, it was funny with fabulous acting. Really enjoyed the 'back and forth' between real life and on-line.

Company: Foxlin
Show: Next: The Musical (A Sidekick Story)
Venue: Augsburg Studio

Kids' show? Not so much!

Like others, I tend to skip high school (and sometimes college) shows. But this adds to my growing list of exceptions. Well acted. Well sung. Humor, relevancy (even with the superhero focus), and an uplifting ending. I second the suggestion that this should be produced in middle-schools.

Company: Colleen Somerville Productions
Show: Not Fair, My Lady!
Venue: Mixed Blood Theatre

Albeit a parady: but a bit mean spirited

[Point of view: I have written lots of Fringe Reviews for many years, and always felt as though I was writing for other Fringe patrons ("is this play for me?" "will it be a good use of my time?"). Last night I was sitting in front of a large group of artists at Not Fair, My Lady (Tuesday). Their point of view about reviews was sure different than mine. They seemed to 100% feel as though Fringe reviewers were making judgement on their artistry.] So on to my thoughts which are meant for future patrons of the show.] While this was a parody, and I do respect the POV of the performers and writers, 'the past was a different day' and I (personally) would have preferred a review of positive womens' voices on Broadway. In short, if you are going to be uplifted by great womens' voices in great songs, you may be disappointed. [Cut to my Echo to hear "Come from Away"]. If you do choose to go, try to grab a seat near the front. With the crowds and laughter, it was hard to hear some of the dialog.

Company: Tom Reed
Show: Gunplay!
Venue: Mixed Blood Theatre

Don't love silly comedy? Try thing!

We typically stay away from silly comedy, but this one was just a hoot in every way. Great acting all around, very funny script, politics, (cheesy) love story, and music also. We saw it at 10pm Tuesday and (though it is after our bedtime) were in such a great mood that we grabbed some wine afterwards.

Company: Fearnot Dance
Show: Stark Dance: Politics Religion Sex
Venue: Ritz Theater Mainstage

Creative and athletic

Really enjoyed the video vignettes prior to each dance: they gave context to what follows, especially important for us who don't follow dance much. This started as a 'fill in show' for us, but we enjoyed seeing so many (>20) college age dancers with great movement and music.

Company: Nefarious Laboratory
Show: The Idaho Jackson Action Playset
Venue: Ritz Theater Studio

Rapid paced delivery of relatively typical stories

Other reviewers have said it well. Tim is energetic and fast paced (though a note: we sat near the back and didn't have any trouble hearing). The stories, though, are fairly typical childhood anxiety stories of those who grew up in the era: bullying, nuclear bombs and AIDS. Important, but not unique.

Show: BurnOut County
Venue: Minnsky Theatre

More like a variety show than standup

I'm not familiar with either Mary nor Tim's work, nor am I a comedy club attendee. None-the-less, I quite enjoyed this! It moved quickly between song, standup, skits. Light and light hearted parody that kept moving.

Company: The Adventures of Les Kurkendaal
Show: Walking While Black in Moscow
Venue: Ritz Theater Studio

Exactly as advertised

I've seen Les several times, and it was great to move with him into his new adventure! Solid story-telling, though relatively surface (Red Square, GUM, Lenin's grave, Kremlin...). It was a highlight, though, to hear him tell his gratefulness for his ability to live openly in LA.

Company: Snikt! Bamf! Thwip!
Show: A Family Friendly Pulp Fiction (Not Appropriate for Families)
Venue: Theatre in the Round

Haven't seen the movie = don't worry

My sister (seen the movie) and I (haven't seen the movie) went together and BOTH loved it. For me it was like seeing a fabulously well done play in Latin or French. I could recognize the creativity and the excellent acting, but a lot of the subtility was lost on me. Though the both the drug references and the language were accessible to anyone (obviously chocolate was a substitute for drugs). It was a riot.

Company: Jamie Brickhouse
Show: Dangerous When Wet: Booze, Sex, and My Mother
Venue: Augsburg Studio

Extremely professional (almost too professional)

Jamie is a very experienced storyteller with a great director and photos. It almost felt as though he had performed this piece one too many times: the story definitely had an emotional base (actually, several of them), but it felt a bit like he 'mailed it in'. None-the-less we had a great time, and were glad it was on our 'must see' list.

Company: Weggel-Reed Productions
Show: Couple Fight: The Musical!
Venue: Rarig Center Thrust

Loved the music, but the fights??

Like others, I preferred previous years when they were real disagreements (e.g., we still laugh about the 'landscape versus portrait' discussion). This version seemed more like Couple's Situations, except for the 'dance lift' fight which was great. The music was super and (especially Max's) singing was outstanding. It was a 'fill in' for us since we were sold out of another show, but we ended up glad we went (the option was to stop at Acadia for a beer).

Company: Gabriel Mata/Movements
Venue: Southern Theater

Dance for those who 'don't like dance'

We did see Gabriel last year (on recommendations of those we met in Fringe lines) even though we usually stay away from dance. It was great, and we were excited to see he was back in the show this year. As others have said, sit close to the stage to hear his dialog. An amazing, athletic, introspective work. Enjoy!

Company: Mermaid Productions
Show: Have You Seen This Girl?
Venue: Hard Times Cafe

Uncomfortable and fabulous

As others have said, the interactions are uncomfortable. None-the-less, this gave a solid look at the community right under our noses (I teach at Carlson School, so it is literally right under my nose). Ariel did a good job of helping us understand the complexity of homeless youth in our midst. Brava performance for her co-stars. That pair of women near the end of the tour were super awesome.

Company: Martin Dockery
Show: Martin Dockery: Delirium
Venue: Rarig Center Thrust

Love Martin, 'iffy' about this material

I love Martin's full length stories (the one about Chernobyl, Wanderlust, and both of his 2 person plays from Minnesota Fringe), however this one just didn't click for me. Three unrelated stories (at least for me) with Martin's madcap style. A+ for performance style and less for content.

Company: The Winding Sheet Outfit
Show: Blood Nocturne
Venue: Southern Theater

Don't think 17th century history is boring!

Completely mesmerized. Acting, script, story, music, costumes (and everything else) were top quality. We were suspicious at first (how could the story be interesting), but are now true believers. One of our top picks after 17 shows.

Company: The Herd
Show: I Killed the Cow
Venue: Augsburg Studio

Luminescent and talented performer

Larissa definitely has stage presence. When she walks on the stage, she owns it. But the content was overly abstract (and maybe a bit woo-woo) for my tastes. The sexual assault telling was serious and well done. But the cow, cheetah, months, days, food just didn't click for me.

Company: Concrete Drops
Show: Inescapable
Venue: Augsburg Mainstage

50 minutes baffled, and 5 minutes enlightened

Seriously, I totally loved it. It felt like a cross between Waiting for Godot and a flashlight into a really bad relationship. But only in the way that Martin Dockery could do it. If you like the 'fringiest of the fringe' and don't mind being baffled and confused (and finally enlightened), this one is for you. Loved it.

Show: Atlanta Burning Sherman's Shadows
Venue: Theatre in the Round

Deeper into the Atlanta Campaign

So much to say: just reading the bios predicts a fantastic experience. General Sherman's intellectual and moral prowess are brought to the forefront = very interesting. The debates between Sherman and his aide remind us of not only history, but the moral dilemmas of a professional soldier. BTW, my sister went not knowing much about the Burning of Atlanta, until I reminded her that we had both read Gone with the Wind when we were young. Oh yeah, now it makes sense!

Company: Say It Loud Productions
Show: Revolt of the Beavers
Venue: Mixed Blood Theatre

Fun and topical is an understatement

More like 'awesome and thought provoking.' The Show Description almost makes it sound like a pro-labor diatribe, and while that isn't completely wrong, it was some completely entertaining. I went in expecting to have zero sympathy for the HUAC, but alas, the whole premise is very thought provoking. It is only Day2, but this may be my favorite of 2016.

Company: minnerican productions
Show: Broken English, Mother Tongue
Venue: Mixed Blood Theatre

2016 was great, 2018 is super-great

Javier did a version of this show in Fringe 2016 at BLB. It was one of my favorites that year. But this version is even more professional and polished. [No spoiler alert], but the ending was really effective. Really effective. I read that this show was accepted into the juried NYC Fringe 2018. Congratulations Javier!

Company: That's Enough Drama
Show: Attention Seeker
Venue: Southern Theater

The son of standup and...

Great staging: Gerard told the story of his growth into a professional standup from a chair midstage. Hyper-fast, anxiety ridden, verbal ticks (and for this baby boomer, sort of hard to understand). When he was telling about his comedy performances, he would walk to mike and give a polish joke or set of jokes from that particular performance. 

Company: Beardog Productions
Show: The Things They Carried
Venue: Ritz Theater Studio

Memories that are disappearing

Jim Stowell does a fantastic job of sharing many of the stories of Tim O'Brien's book. The stories are emotional, heart wrenching and true. This is a show for all serious theater goers: for baby boomers it will recall many memories and for Millennials it might inform you of your grandfather's war, the one he never talks about. Highly recommended.

Company: Michael Rogers
Show: Now We See It
Venue: Ritz Theater Mainstage

Ghost stories for adults

My notes say: "I loved this and I am not sure why". Upon reflection it is fast moving (not a second to get bored), thought provoking (what exactly is going on?), with a bigger point (what if we could change the past?). I had been afraid it would be too 'ghost story-ish' or 'horror story-ish'. Don't worry about that, it is truly an hour well spent.

Company: Bill Santiago
Show: The Immaculate Big Bang
Venue: Strike Theater

Top level cerebral humor

Literally the show is about the Big Bang Theory (nothingness, somethingness, Schrödinger's cat) and its relationship to live in our real world. And this isn't just for physics majors (!), his examples were clear and funny. Bill's style is quite New York (at least to this midwesterner): brash, loud. It was perfect for the material, but with a very small audience (maybe 12 at 5:30 on Thursday, first day of Fringe) there was a pretty big disconnect! Go see it! He'll do much better with a bigger crowd.

Company: Michael Venske
Show: Home
Venue: Strike Theater

Low key stories of memories from home in Minnesota

The setup was clear: Michael is moving boxes from his grandparents' home. He uses the found objects from the boxes to reflect on his experiences both at home and while living in China. While some of the stories were heartwarming (the guard at the Chinese school), they could have used a stronger dramatic arc to keep our attention and help us focus on some of the bigger issues regarding 'how we think about home.'

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