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2018 Audience Reviews

Member Reviews

The following reviews were submitted by Fringe Member: Jeremy Motz

Company: schneeman
Show: Sober Housemate Wanted
Venue: Rarig Center Xperimental

some questions, sure, but i had fun

this felt like a decent pass at an early draft with a pretty solid central concept...especially when someone who's trying to live their life a certain way is finding it frustratingly difficult to have that one request truthfully respected. i don't need to get philosophical about it, but it feels like a real problem not many of us would think to face, and i appreciate stories about that. things i liked: the charming handwritten/drawn props and set pieces and program, the musical interludes, most of the cast was very energetic and entertaining, the "twist", though obvious, was still funny, so i'm okay with it. things i didn't understand: the characters that sat on stage that...were part of the action? i think? even though they weren't acknowledged until the ending? hey, regardless, i laughed, so i feel like my time was not wasted. great job!


Company: Concrete Drops
Show: Inescapable
Venue: Augsburg Mainstage

riverrun past Eve & Adam’s from swerve of shore...

many words so many words how does Martin Dockery keep track of so many words he's already got an hour long solo storytelling show with so many words and here he is in a two-hander full of so many of the same words and repeating words and cyclical words and yet he and Jon Patterson are so great at saying so many words over this hour that you don't mind the story they're telling isn't a solo show because so many words are so good and how does Jon Patterson keep up with Martin Dockery in a repeating and cyclical two-hander hour-long story full of so many of the same words and yet they are so great at saying so


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

my favorite part are always the transitions

you get so used to seeing solo storytelling shows in small, intimate venues, that to see martin dockery take the stage of a massive stage and still fill every square inch of space with his words will never cease to amaze. oh, his words AND his arms, of course. while this piece may not be as interwoven or connected on the surface level as his other shows, the thread that runs through each "chapter" of the story can be seen (or, really, "heard", if you're a sharp eared fan of a certain band) hiding in plain sight until the final moments of the show. you'll laugh, you'll sigh, you'll laugh some more, and you'll probably cry. that's martin dockery for ya!


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

sinner + gee?

here's a rather clever and labyrinthine production that starts so simply and straightforward that my fringe "radar" started pinging almost immediately that everything could NOT be as it seemed. i love when my fringe radar is right. i don't want to give anything away, it's so worth your time and effort to see this piece and going into any detail could detract from the utter joy of following the twists and turns. trust me, just grab your favorite rooibos tea, shift your paradigm out of the synergy box, buckle up, and enjoy the flippin' ride.


Company: Audacity Theatre Lab
Show: Robert's Eternal Goldfish
Venue: Rarig Center Xperimental

pre-review review, i like to review before reviews

here's a refreshing breath of fresh air of a solo show. while it appears on the surface as a conventional memoir-based storytelling show, it cleverly shapeshifts into a fictional character study w/ smatterings of magic, fantasy, and sci-fi leanings. while the misanthropy, sarcasm, and extreme anti-social leanings of "robert" seem abrasive, it's deliciously intentional and only feeds the dark pitch black comedy. i'm recommending this show to everyone, and only wish there was a more..."theatrical" way to convey the goldfish & bowl to match the cleverness of the twisty-turny story, but come on, that's the minorest of criticisms. well done!


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

oh, i thought this was martin dockery's show...

this guy isn't martin dockery? well, it was pretty good anyway. I KID, I KID! mr. lawrence is clearly a practiced and accomplished storyteller, using every tool in his disposal to control his rate, inflection, volume and characters into a finely crafted performance about nostalgia, fear, bullying, heart, and humor that makes the hour fly by. the last five minutes or so snuck up on me, but upon reflection, were waiting for me underneath the story the entire time, and that's the sign of not only an expert storyteller, but a consummate professional as well. VERY WELL DONE.


Company: So Shall I
Show: Estate of Affairs
Venue: Ritz Theater Studio

expertly delivered and spot on farce fun

you gotta love shows in this vein...everybody's got to have a drink in their hand at all times, the biggest problem they could ever face is not getting enough money so they can be SLIGHTLY more rich, suits, furs, gloves, butlers, valets, etc! so very witty and amusing, with sharp comic timing all around. loved the spit takes. "twists" visible from a mile away, if you're into this style, but that's all part of the fun, for me. ms. daniels' hair was on POINT, though mr. hooyer's looked like it wanted to challenge. an extremely fun way to spend an hour. well worth your time!


Company: Clevername Theatre
Show: THE NEWS: A Musical
Venue: Ritz Theater Mainstage

huge talent & energy, not enough to boost material

as has been stated, the cast is extremely talented and embraces the scenes and songs with extraordinary energy, but most of what happened on stage only had me asking more and more questions as the show went on. why is there a newsboy in 1968, and why is he dressed like it's the 20s? why is everybody swearing like a sailor? (i can bet these are specific choices to boost the absurdity--heck, that's why i came, after seeing the preview--but still, it took me out to keep asking these questions) why is there a live band playing the music, when they have to play so quietly to not drown out the actors, and yet still pretty much drown out most of the actors? the performance i saw had a flashing/color changing lighting effect over the band during the publisher's solo song that i had to block with my hand after it wouldn't let up, that i hope was a technical flub, and not a deliberate choice, because it was incredibly distracting. the tone was kind of all over the place, from pitch-black comedy to wacky comedy to absurd comedy, but because of all those shifts, many of the jokes didn't land or seemed out of place. and while the overall message is a timely one, and worthy of exploring, by the time we got there, it was way too little way too late.


Company: Some Lady's Production
Show: The Phone Sex Play
Venue: Rarig Center Xperimental

a great starting point!

this show was how i started my fringe viewing on thursday, and it feels fitting, since it was a fine start to my fringe, and feels like a fine start to a story worth telling and a character worth spending time observing. in its current state, the ideas are all there, but feel loose and disconnected between her life on the phone and her real life she was...avoiding? dreading? convincing herself was what she wanted? that's where i lose the thread. however, the calls are very funny, as is our performer/creator on stage's antics, and i'd be glad to see where this show and the creator head next.


Company: Jamie Shriner Tells Stories
Show: Wife Material
Venue: Augsburg Studio

how dare you get this music stuck in my head!

mrs. biddle is charming and wonderful and fearless. this is a well polished and fringe-y show from chicago with finely timed & executed projections. (there's one song in particular i don't want to spoil, but it's a...it's like a new spin on karaoke that is just EVERYTHING and fits so perfectly.) great songs, great storytelling, great singing. an hour well spent!


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

sea shanties & punk make sense to me!

this is a rousing good time with a rowdy crew and a drinking game i WISH i could have done more, but i ran out of beer like 5 minutes into the show! still, that's some audience participation i can get behind. punk & sailors & sea shanties are all a fine mix, and executed flawlessly. excellent music, though i would have liked a touch lower on the volume, only because i didn't think to bring the earplugs i typically bring to concerts, and got a bit of a headache after the show. some of the shadow work was really effective, others a little loose, but doesn't detract! the variety show elements are fun, funny, and informative...and reveal the excellent heart of the piece hiding in plain sight among all the theatrical elements. overall, i think the sum of the parts falls just short of the mark for me, but i'm gonna think back on all those individual parts for a long time. great work!


Company: Gabriel Mata/Movements
Show: DREAMING
Venue: Southern Theater

phenomenal. breathtaking. terrifying.

i've never seen anyone use the space of the southern theater so completely and so easily. gabriel mata returns to MN fringe to challenge our expectations and conceptions of not only what a dance show could be, but what a solo performance show can be. like dreams, the show ebbs and flows and goes places light, funny, fantastic, or often darker than anticipated, if not altogether frightening. the movements are fluid, the structure elegant, the terror...very real. this is a gorgeous show with a lot of depth and a lot of heart. DO NOT MISS THIS SHOW!


Company: Tyler West
Show: ABEYANCE
Venue: Strike Theater

5 STARS ARE NOT ENOUGH!

strike theater is a pretty simple space, without many seats, or much stage space...but then Tyler West comes onstage with just himself and a headset microphone...and oh, the worlds and spaces and dreams where he transports us. sound fx, physical comedy, clowning, funny voices, action, adventure, suspense, and the BEST kind of audience participation. MAKE TIME FOR THIS SHOW


Company: Goof Goof
Show: (a) Normal Theatre Play
Venue: Strike Theater

this is the goofiest goof that ever goofed.

these goofs goofed us good. i went expecting a good goof, but i didn't think these goofing mothergoofers would goof us THIS good. i mean, goof. go(of) see this show!


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

that's it, i'm quitting fringe.

this is quite possibly the funniest, weirdest, most joyous, and delightfully confusing fringe show i've ever seen, and i'm so angry about it. yeah, i know it's not a competition, but we all KNOW it's a competition, and they've just won. forever. this is chicken hamlet's fringe, guys, and we're all just in line waiting to see it. reserve your tickets NOW. PS - i heart layla.


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