2018 Audience Reviews

Member Reviews

The following reviews were submitted by Fringe Member: Ben Harris

Company: Custer & Schmidt
Show: Our Best Life
Venue: Rarig Center Thrust

A slightly off-kilter romp

A one-woman variety show with plenty of belly laughs, interspersed with a few that might have been funnier with one more sip of wine. Catch her in other Fringe shows, too!


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

Captivating and heartfelt

This show felt simultaneously larger and longer-lasting than its deft performance, in that it provides fodder for the audience to ponder well beyond the final line. More than I expected and highly recommended.


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

Working the loom

A storyteller with a mastery of weaving together seemingly disparate points of hilarity and empathy into a surprise ending that feels more like being surrounded by a cloth spun on site than something he must have rehearsed repeatedly. Will be looking for return performances next year.


Company: Kelly Haramis
Show: Hard-Core CORN
Venue: Strike Theater

A few unpopped kernels

I appreciated the depth of knowlege and humor in the face of adversity that was shown here, but a few uneven segments -coupled, perhaps, with prior knowledge of much of the factual information through a family member facing similar restrictions- left me feeling somewhat empty. A slightly pared down show may have left a stronger performance.


Company: The Rest of Us
Show: An Odyssey Backwards and in Heels
Venue: Minnsky Theatre

Entertaining and polished

One of the more polished ensemble performances this Fringe - great humor, strong songs and performances, with a poignant take on friendship and life goals, but aimed at a more hipster/millennial crowd, maybe, than someone who may get the Odyssey references.


Company: MaryMackComedy.com
Show: BurnOut County
Venue: Minnsky Theatre

Church basement humor for the north woods crowd

A few good lines and a definite feel for the atmosphere of small-town northern Wisconsin. A variety show with not much to offend and plenty to chuckle at.


Company: Elaine Orion
Show: Delightfully Rude
Venue: Ritz Theater Studio

Tamer than expected

Not quite sure if it was the half-empty room or the early afternoon timing, but I don't think this was quite her best environment. Her material was witty and I felt like I was on her wavelength politically/socially, but it is slightly less hard-hitting in a room that's maybe a little TOO receptive conceptually (I suspect she might do better in a more adversarial role), and repeated references to the fact that "the last show was better" didn't help foster audience buy-in consistently through the hour.


Company: Life-sized Meme Productions
Show: The Moirologist
Venue: Ritz Theater Mainstage

Not quite the comedy I expected

While there were some funny interactions and lines, it came off more as a character examination, and I didn't really like him all that much. I don't know if that was due more to the nervous/rushed deliver in parts, or simply due to the unlikable qualities of the character himself. The comparison to a sex-worker definitely makes the prostitute look better - as she should, being more honest with herself and the world.


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

Entertaining and insightful

New to this performer, I wasn't sure what to expect. I enjoyed hearing him retell experiences of traveling through a few cities in country where he could neither speak nor read the language, complicated by fears and perceptions that he might/would be treated extra harshly. The more poignant moments included reflections on what it is like to live in a society where one needs to remain in the closet. The overall delivery, however, felt more canned than conversational, and I found myself distracted by that - like I was watching a taped version of the performance and not as much an interaction with a live audience.


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

Hilarious

A welcome hour of cringe-worthy awkward tales, reflection, joke writing, and self revelations. Despite a shared last name, I don't know of any relation between myself and Gerard, but I wish I did - family dinners would be a lot more memorable!


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

Broke the Fringe

This one tops the past years' entries. A little bit of everything: comedy, musical, dance, mime - and just about the best in show of each. The line was out the door on opening night, and with good reason. Reserve your seats, you will be sorry to have missed this one.


Company: Concrete Drops
Show: Inescapable
Venue: Augsburg Mainstage

Head-twisting and well-polished

A delightful take on the "hell is other people" concept, and somewhat reminiscent of Waiting for Godot. Good comedic timing and polished delivery made this a highlight of this year's Fringe.


Company: All's Swole That Ends Swole
Show: Swimming Against Fate, or How it Feels to Chew Five Gum
Venue: Rarig Center Xperimental

Worth seeing

A heartfelt and fresh look at what feels like a familiar love story. My only comment would be to ask the cast to slow down at points and speak up a bit more - parts of the dialog were hard to hear.


Company: WalthWorks
Show: Locker Room Talk
Venue: Rarig Center Arena

Somewhat dated and corny

A musical about *gasp* a female basketball coach for the boy's team at a Catholic school (and oh my, she's LUTHERAN!). A passable PG afterschool special from 1980. A couple of the cast members stood out with stronger performances, but the script and antiquated tropes were overall a disappointment.


Company: Tesseray Productions
Show: #NaNoWriMo: The Naughty Bits
Venue: Augsburg Mainstage

Passable

In a mostly empty room, on a glitch-prone opening evening, we were probably a tough crowd, but the cast managed to wring about 10 minutes of honest chuckles out of the hour. The team didn't seem like they've rehearsed much together, however, and the "naughty bits" reference in the title seems more like a marketing tactic to draw attention to a disappointingly tame show. Maybe the group will hit their stride with a larger audience on future evenings, but hopefully so will the lighting director.


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

Witty, multi-layered, and fun

The strength and promise of an Aaron Sorkin script is what drew us to this show, and the four-person cast delivered strong performances. Our favorite show of the opening evening.


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