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2018 Audience Reviews

Member Reviews

The following reviews were submitted by Fringe Member: Anna Scholin

Company: D Lobontiu
Show: Sfanta (Holy One)
Venue: Strike Theater

Truly weird in a great way

Can honestly say it’s the best play I’ve ever seen about a Moldovan wannabe nun! How the performer had the energy to keep that many characters alive and distinct for an hour, it’s astounding to watch! Little harder for the audience to keep up, but I love the ambition and risks being taken here. Applaud the performer for giving a hell of a show.


Company: Fearless Comedy Productions
Show: Deep in The 100 Acre Woods: A "Pooh"-dunnit?
Venue: Minnsky Theatre

Neither a rain cloud nor a honey pot

Like the dark take on well-known innocent characters. Personally, I always hated that bear myself, so glad to see someone else was on to him. The execution is uneven though, more of a schedule filler than a main attraction for me. Eeyore and Tiger were my favorites!


Company: NEPTUNE
Show: A Farewell to Armadillos
Venue: Strike Theater

Little show, big heart!

Sweet and goofy clown time with some moments of surprising beauty. It’s light and fun, great for kids, a lovely hour!


Company: Erin Sheppard Presents
Show: Book of Shadows
Venue: Theatre in the Round

Casts a Spell! (We’re all shameless)

Bewitching dance show! The Mortified Teen Witch edition interludes between pieces were charming, just sweet and funny and gave the whole show some structure. Strong costume choices and music selections. Really glad I was able to fit this into my fringe and I will definitely go to the horror fest version!


Company: Spaceheater
Show: Saint Ex
Venue: Rarig Center Arena

Storytelling in Motion

For the experimental performance art lovers at fringe! Beautiful visuals, more like storytelling in motion than a traditional dance show. I can’t say I followed the narrative particularly closely, but letting the words run like water is not inappropriate with poetry at least. Some beautiful things happened with props, though I wouldn’t have minded if the costumes were used less that way. Impressive physical control and range.


Company: Mainly Me Productions
Show: A Justice League of Their Own
Venue: Theatre in the Round

Just Super Fun

Ka-BLAMO! Laugh riot! A mile a minute cavalcade of pop culture references, feminist snark, and one line zingers! Plus tons of action and effects that are super low budget in the best possible way. Lines run a little fast and rough at times, but this is goofy fun with a lot of heart.


Company: Hit the Lights! Theater Co.
Show: HORSETALE
Venue: Celtic Junction

Sweet Little Fable of the Old West

The puppets are incredible and the live music brings the story to life! I came hoping for a second hour of Whales magic (if you’re an adult, go to Whales! NOW!) and this is a mellower, kid-friendly, more puppet-focused version of that. Definitely worth the trek to St. Paul. It would have been nice to light the band during the musical interludes when the screen was just sort of blank, but limitations of the venue. Anyway, I would officially watch anything this company does, because what they do they do so well!


Company: The Coldharts
Show: Eddie Poe
Venue: Ritz Theater Mainstage

Diddlingly Delightful!

The diddling song had stuck in my head since the previews, so I had to see it and I’m so glad I did! Excellent concept and script, masterful lighting and costumes, just a really professional production. A quibbler would say a dash more rehearsal would assist Edgar (with his many many lines), but this diddler’s so delighted, she finds she doesn’t mind. Would love to see the first chapter of this saga... and the next!


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

Everything you could want except for a 2nd hour!

I would have watched another hour of this in a heartbeat! The shadow puppets are unlike everything you’ve seen - the detail they achieve with craft knives and lighting gel! But it doesn’t stop there. Punk band, laughs, audience game shows, quality *educational content*, plus a drink along! Just tons of fun while still incredibly beautiful. Definitely go see this!!!


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

Striking movement cut with humor and intimacy

This isn’t pretty dance, it’s powerful. Usually I’m not a fan of when dance performances have talking, but this isn’t wooden exposition, it’s actual dialogue. About things that are personal and honest. Riveting to watch and worth listening to too!


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

A Pocket of Light

The script is incredible, going so far beyond the common narratives to create something truly special. The actors’ chemistry is.... FIRE. Even the costume design feels unexpectedly specific for contemporary street wear. Superbly polished and charming, almost like they’re professionals paid to make you feel something that isn’t actually real.


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

If this is Normal, I’m in!

Goofy and absurd, yet with high-quality acting! I’m definitely in the “could have gone weirder” camp, but I’m now more than motivated to seek out their improv shows. Also, extra cheers for the non-creator actors here - this is by no means a two man show.


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

Self-deprecation at its best

This is quality storytelling, with a dazzling number of balls in the air and the ever increasing tension of “WILL HE FINISH ON TIME?!” He does and it’s worth it. The risks being taken here are smaller than many fringe shows, but a great one to go to when you need an hour with a professional you know will deliver.


Company: HFS
Show: Wonder and Awe: A Play About Magic
Venue: Mixed Blood Theatre

Not a friend or family member

I’m puzzled. I like zany, I like weird, I even like campy. A lot. But there are so many other shows this year doing those things with panache, I feel genuinely disappointed I took time away from them to see this (based on reviews I now suspect had more to do with the size of the cast). It starts strong with a great original song and a dark twist! And then the star of that - and one of the better actors - gets banished to the corner for the rest of the show, providing only touches of musical accompaniment?! The Paul’s are great, the director of adult entertainment does some very funny things, but this felt disorganized and sloppy, with nowhere near the energy level necessary to deliver. Agree with other reviewers that children might be a good (the best?) audience for this.


Company: Oncoming Productions
Show: Geminae
Venue: Southern Theater

Genuinely Good Ghost Story

Staging and set design were creative and, paired with the delightfully unsettling sound design, pulled you into the world and didn’t let you leave. Cast created genuine relationships, so there felt like there were stakes. This was effective horror, if not a groundbreaking narrative.


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

Light, sweet, much better than tinder IRL

They make the most of a slim but humorous premise, taking it through laughs to a place of surprising sweetness. Some great physical and prop bits, costumes are spot on, and stereotypes are nailed without staying one-dimensional. Lovely little show and promising acting troupe!


Company: The Minnesota SkyVault Theatre Company
Show: Night Sets Her Foot In Morocco
Venue: Rarig Center Arena

Interesting ideas in need of crisper execution

I wanted to like this, these kids are young and excited and are attempting a lot of interesting things. But for dialogue this fast, you *need* to punch the delivery and keep the energy up. The performance I saw felt like improv, which is not great when you’re a scripted show.


Company: Black Market Dance & Film
Show: Voyagers Project
Venue: Minnsky Theatre

Dancing AS the Stars

This show was an excellent way to cut the often frenetic pace of fringe and just float in the vastness of space, appreciating talented movement and stunning visuals, without being hammered over the head with flashiness. The universe doesn’t plead for your attention, it just exists in all of its majesty, unaffected by whether we human specks look up and appreciate as we should. Like many dance shows, the spoken element is the weakest, but that is fairly brief here and you get to spend most of the time appreciating the much more eloquent physicality, plus all the inventive (and gorgeous!) things being done with lighting. The dancer’s single arm of stars from the first piece is an image that will stick with me.


Company: Paper Soul
Show: SOFT
Venue: Ritz Theater Mainstage

Just didn’t connect for me

Solid acting, but the pace was slow and the few “gasp”-intending moments were telegraphed too far in advance to have much impact. Overall, the tone was more sour than shocking.


Company: Tyler West
Show: ABEYANCE
Venue: Strike Theater

Some DAMN Fine Mime!

Incredibly imaginative, fast-paced, and so so funny! You can’t let your mind wander, as you need to keep up as Tyler blasts across time and space making the invisible into a totally involving world. The only thing I can compare it to is some of Rowan Atkinson’s best nonverbal (nonMr Bean) sets, but even that doesn’t do this justice. Just so creative and fun, it’s a privilege to get to see live in an intimate space. Note: there will be audience participation and those of you not in the front row are NOT invisible.


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

Haunting, yet uplifting

Lyrical and atmospheric, with beautiful use of fabric, lighting, and music to support a strong cast. Story takes a little while to find you feet in, but once you do it’s wonderful. All about dealing with your past, action that is haunting yet uplifting, a truly transporting hour that makes you feel like you gained something meaningful.


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

Bwaaaahk-aha-ha-ha-ha-ha!

Completely delightful! You can 100% take advantage of the Minnsky’s helpful bar offerings and just laugh your ass off at chickens on stage and other weirdness. That’s a hell of a fun ride, no deeper anything necessary. But. There’s also some fabulous experimentation being done here, playing with how completely you can break a text and still have a relationship with your source. With how absurd performing Shakespeare for a modern audience always is, not to mention the bananas mechanics of Hamlet itself. These kids are fresh and exciting and very very funny. Plus pickles on the floor.


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

Gorgeously Dark

Everything comes together - the perfect stage, lighting, live music, voice, props - a sensory feast! Plus a story that is genuinely frightening yet nuanced and even has moments of humor. Just an incredibly polished, professional production. The friend I went with is going to try to see it a second time and I might join them.


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

Raunchy, Relatable, and Maybe a Little Sweet

Went based on the song done at the preview (see video section) and that’s a very fair representation of what the show is. Performer really puts herself out there and the discomfort of doing that at close quarters with an audience of strangers gives it zest. Her story, while probably more successful in its lighter moments, felt authentic and open-hearted.


Company: Monster Science Productions
Show: What To Do In Case Of Dinosaur Attack
Venue: Mixed Blood Theatre

Dinosaurs are awesome! Don’t let them murder you!

Dinosaur attack is a super funny, zippy lark that gets you really jealous of today’s 5yos and the much superior paleontology they get to exhaust their parents with their lengthy explanations of. My enjoyment of this PowerPoint presentation was equivalent to my nonenjoyment of every other PowerPoint I have ever seen, so yeah, it’s a pretty great show.


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