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2018 Audience Reviews

Member Reviews

The following reviews were submitted by Fringe Member: Christopher DeVaan

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

A Stage show about film?

Well, yes, and who else could write it but Aaron Sorkin? Of course, "A Few Good Men" this is not. Taylor Evans directs this show with extremely minimal set pieces and trusts his actors to help us use our imaginations and they do an admirable job. This was a fun show to wrap up my Fringe experience with!


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

Until We Meet Again

In the same vain as "Same Time Next Year", this show really tugs at our laughstrings and our heartstrings. We are gripped on the journey of Mara & Vaclav as they grow over the years of an annual encounter on Mara's break from university. This is one of those rare Fringe shows when you don't need effects, & you don't need a gimmick. You just have two actors who are so relatable & have such a tangible connection to one another.


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

Brilliant!...for the first half

Imagine seeing this show right after seeing "Christopher Robin." Well, I happened to. This show starts of great, with Lana Rosario as a lounge-singing Eeyore brings us not into 100 Acre Wood, but sets the stage for a much grittier tale. Everyone's impressions of their classic characters with a new twist is spot on, but the hilarity & impressiveness only lasts for about a half hour before it devolves into something meaner & angrier than it should be. Fringe shows only need be 40 minutes, so I would trim the ending to make a crisper show all around.


Company: New Endeavors
Show: The Buttslasher
Venue: Ritz Theater Mainstage

Lives Up to the Hype

After two years & nine shows, I saw the final performance of "The Buttslasher". Allegedly based on a real story, this play jumps right into Sam Spade streetlight asides. Glen Dawson as Heck Bills immediately captures our attention with his smarmy, noir style. The whole cast has great comedic timing with solid puns and "cheeky" one-liners that make you groan while laughing. Bravo to this mounting, and any others you may do in the future.


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

Rip Back the Martyr Flogging Curtain

Have you ever wondered why some networks even bother editing some movies to be shown on television, with their ridiculous dubovers? What would happen if you took a notoriously violent movie, FULL of expletives, and made fun of taking out all the controversial content? You would get this "Family Friendly" Pulp Fiction. I had only seen the movie once, a long time ago, & my friend hadn't seen it at all, but you don't have to know it to appreciate what this team did. Bravo to the writers & performers!


Company: Philip Simondet
Show: Self-Titled Debut Album
Venue: Mixed Blood Theatre

KUDOS!

Very jealous of actors who can sing & also play instruments, or maybe of band members who try to write shows & act while playing in their bands. Whatever this is, it's clearly a passion project for Philip Simondet. There were some awkward pauses while "actors" tried to remember lines at some moments of the show, but it was a funny, very creative "concert" about a band recording its debut, studio soundtrack.


Company: The Band Group
Show: TITUS: Sweet Water, Silent Walks
Venue: Rarig Center Thrust

SO creatively done

I know Shakespeare, but I have never read or seen Titus Andronicus. This group, largely all wearing the same costume, except for Lavinia, as it is in her perspective, the actors quickly name themselves and differentiate themselves. The interweaving of the Bard's classic text with the dance choreography is SO brilliantly staged! I have to hand it to the company and all the performers for the amount of time & physical stamina that went into this production. It is exactly equally beautiful and disturbing all at once. I would see a full-length version of this in a heartbeat...but now I don't have to see a production of "Titus" if I don't want to...


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

Chilling Theatre at Its Finest

You had me at "Transylvanian." The knockout team behind "Memory Box of the Sisters Fox" returns with another triumph that is theater at its absolute most creative and fantastic. it made me very jealous that I never followed up on playing an instrument, and it makes me very jealous that I will never sing like Emily Dussaut or Boo Segersin. It is so well-acted and so well staged (best use of banner-length scarves).


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

Make way for Super Heroines!

I can't really add much that previous reviews haven't already stated. I LOVED he show! I loved all the references. I loved the characters. I loved the actors! This and "Not Fair, My Lady" are reasons why Fringe is so important and delightful!


Company: Rooftop Theatre Company
Show: The Complete Works of William Shatner (abridged)
Venue: Mixed Blood Theatre

Energize-D!

This is a Tekkie's wet dream, but you don't have to be a ravenous Star Trek fan to appreciate it. Taking the title of a popular theater show & turning it on its head to pay homage to one of the most recognizable names in his most recognizable role. Three William Shatners at different points in his life collide for reasons unknown. Hilarity ensues. Each & every "Shat" nails the actor's signature cadence, with special respect to Edwin Strout as "Priceline Negotiator" (and the only castmember I am on a first name basis with). Great writing. Great acting. Get beamed aboard before this five-episode season is canceled!


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

Dam superb (hey, I can steal the obvious pun)

The team that shocked everyone last year with "It Can't Happen Here" deftly follows up its endeavor with this piece that is part smart allegory & parody of the trying times we live in, and part cute kids show. But, it's more the former than the latter. I have had the absolute privilege of sharing stage with Meri Golden, so I can attest how fabulous she is in everything she does, and her role in this show is no different. I have also shared a filmset with Julie Dayffd, so I know how witty and sharp SHE is, and her role in this show is no different. Add an exuberant, charismatic Natalie Rae Wass, and stellar supporting cast, and this show is a real hit!


Company: Ghoulish Delights, LLC
Show: The Screaming Skull
Venue: Rarig Center Thrust

Thriller with no thrills

As per my review of SOFT, one person shows are incredibly difficult to stage and make interesting. And it's hard for me to connect to the piece. The Screaming Skull was particularly difficult to relate to. It boils down to one line: "I should have said something," but takes over 50 minutes to beat it to death, no pun intended. I give exceptional credit to the lead actor for memorizing this very long monologue, but the show failed on every level to me. It bothered me that I could see the Foley artists clearly. It bothered me that whoever he is speaking to (or imagines he is speaking to) is 4'8" by where his eyeline is. There are several ways I think this show could be done differently.


Company: Theatre Corrobora
Show: Rejection
Venue: Augsburg Mainstage

Nearly perfect

This is a very smart look at love & relationships! It's very unfortunate that the troupe lost & replaced an actor right before opening. It IS a distraction, & it does take away from this beautiful piece. But the performances are so good from the whole group that it's still a fabulous show! Lily Lancaster's Penny was an exceptional stand out. If they remount with a full cast, I am definitely seeing it again!


Company: Navel Gaze Productions
Show: Fringe Orphans 4: Back in the Habit
Venue: Theatre in the Round

Orphans no more

Because we have all adopted it. Another vignette show, the first piece wasn't very strong, & I could have done without the mock talk back, but the remainder of the pieces, the interludes & all the performers are incredibly talented & skilled!


Company: Oncoming Productions
Show: Geminae
Venue: Southern Theater

Thrilling Corporate Treks

A cross between "Apollo 13" & "Event Horizon" (if Event Horizon was good), Geminae keeps the audience riveted & tense until the very end. Superb acting & use of underlying music throughout.


Company: TROMPE L'OEIL
Show: Bits & Bobs: An Evening of Short Plays
Venue: Theatre in the Round

Short attention span theater

As someone who has performed in an evening of 10 short plays a number of times, I can certainly appreciate half that. There were some great moments of performance by all the cast members. The one show in particular about two elderly people who don't recognize one another was incredibly sweet. The fourth show was extremely confusing with no pay off, and the fifth was just a bunch of zinging one liners. All in all, not a bad effort.


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

Amusing and fun!

Wonderful performances by all the cast, but especially its stars, Holly & Emma. Not the strongest vocal performances, but this delightful show kept the audience in stitches & in tears the entire time! We didn't want the rollercoaster ride of Liv & Penny's evening to end, and the ending was a bit more confusing and sad than it needed to be, but, again, it was a fun ride!


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

Disconnected

As a longtime theater performer and goer, I have to preface this by saying that I enjoy getting absorbed into shows, and, for me, that involves getting invested in the characters & how they relate to one another. I give credit to the writer & lead actor for undertaking a largely one man show, but I failed to be able to connect to his character, whose only interaction is with a "program" manifested in an actress with a music stand upstage. The show made me uncomfortable for all the right reasons, and also all the wrong reasons. I can appreciate the message of mysogyny & double standards, but the cheap special effects for graphic sense was lost on me, because mentally I hadn't ever been able to check in. I hope you continue to create good things, but as far as SOFT? Swipe Left.


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

Twisted yet soulful

What starts out as a dark, nearly demented comedy becomes a sweet drama the rest of the way. Great performances by all the cast, but especially a tremendous undertaking by Andy Rakerd as John, the professional griever who must come to terms with his own inability to grieve. Not what I expected from its preview, but a pretty good show.


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

Way to Go, Ali!

This show wouldn't be much without a fantastic performance by Ali Daniels, and a surging, very strong performance by Lois Estell towards the show's resolution. There is good comedic writing and some great comedic moments, but on the whole, it's a very mediocre, predictable show.


Company: Literally Entertainment
Show: The Great Canadian Maple Syrup Heist or, Ocean's 'Eh'T?: A Musical
Venue: Mixed Blood Theatre

Anti-Poser

The fantastic Mankato-based team at Literally Entertainment is back in full swing after "RomComCon" that kind of swung & missed last year. The characters are funny & easy to relate to, the acting is marvelous and the music is well done. Some of the voices on some songs aren't the strongest, but this is a fun tale! The villain is hysterical and Moose-erotic... Don't mess with a Canadian's Maple Syrup, beer, or friendship, and go see this show, Eh?


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

Phenomenally Clever & Honest

Seven gifted actresses begin the hour with the greatest "Beauty & the Beast" riff ever composed. These wonderful women tackle mysogyny, casting directors, casting couches, race, stalking & the overabundance of male-character-dominated theater schedules. Brutally honest, it didn't make me feel awful about being a heterosexual white male, but made me determined to try & do more to tip the scales and balance our world. This is an absolute DO NOT MISS this year!


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