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2018 Audience Reviews

Member Reviews

The following reviews were submitted by Fringe Member: Jinnet Fowles

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

Stunning and polished

What a wonderful show! This may in fact be the most polished show I have seen this year at fringe. Both actors are incredible, but I think the show is a real tour de force for her in particular. They both have such presence onstage. And the staging, the lights, everything about it was just so precise and well done. Everything about this was great!

Company: Bollywood Dance Scene
Show: BollyProv: NOT a Dance Drama!
Venue: Ritz Theater Mainstage

Good story, great dancing, not great inprov

The story and the improv is different each show, so keep that in mind. For the show we saw the story-teller and the story she told were great! Funny, well-paced, good details, fun extra little staged bits. And the final dance number for the story was also good. I would give that part of the show a solid 8 (4 stars). But the improv part of the show was definitely lacking. I would barely give it a 6 (3 stars). There was a lot of uncertainty in the improvisers and a lot of rejecting the ideas the other player offered. Please stick to dance and drama in the future, because that part was great.

Company: GIRL Theatre
Show: Gay Hot American Summer
Venue: Rarig Center Arena

Summer fun

There were a handful of jokes and lines - like the Prairie Home Companion one - that made me belly laugh. Moments like those were the best and perfectly blended MN humor, social justice, and a self-aware sense of fun. There is clearly great promise in these young writers and performers. The show as a whole suffered from a lack of depth in the characters (they were mostly surface-level caricatures), but this is clearly a group that enjoys what they do and I look forward to them developing more.

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

It’s the end of world and it’s funny

This shows is a great hour just because of how committed, strong, and equally balanced the cast is. A Dr. Strangelove send-up could easily have fallen flat, but they pull it off in style. All of the cast members are strong, and the ending ties everything up without feeling cliched. Well done!

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

I’d swipe right on this show

A new show from a brand-new company. And it bodes well for their future. The first half - where people talk as if they were on tinder is well done - the stereotypes ring true, and the sexting scene is hilarious. And the second half, when people finally meet and connect in real life ends up much sweeter than I anticipated. The ensemble is all great and works well together. All in all a lovely show!

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

We should all love each other like drunk girls do

The highlights - the role of Penny is well played and well sung, the few odyssey references like the one-eyed woman, and the hamburger dance. And of course the recurring ways in which women (best friends, strangers you meet in bars, and a sober bartender who watches out for a drunk patron) watch out for and support other women, is a great message. I do wish there had been more of a structure the followed the odyssey instead of just a few throw away references. And the vocal abilities across the cast were uneven. But on the whole a sweet show.

Company: Mollywood Productions
Show: Saree-ously Speaking? Uff-Da!
Venue: Rarig Center Thrust

cold hands, warm heart, Minnesota thru and thru

A sweet and heart-warming show. The dancing is probably the best part, but I think the finale dance got cut short which is too bad. The scenes themselves are just OK - the lines are sometimes hard to hear in the big space, the script is a little simplistic and the delivery at times stilted. But the message of the show - finding common ground with people of different backgrounds - and the dancing make this better than it would be based on the scenes alone.

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

Fringe to the max!

See this show! Reserve your ticket! When I read the title I thought this will either be the best show this year, or the worst. Spoiler alert: it’s the best. Yes, Hamlet really is a real live chicken, but that is just the beginning of what makes this show amazing. There are more absurdities that await in every scene. And the attention to even small details (like a salt shaker and a nonsense note both being in iambic pentameter) price this company has a love of theater that shines through the absurdity and is made better because of the absurdity. See it, you won’t regret it. Best show this year!

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

Call me ... entertained

I haven’t seen a HTL production before so wasn’t sure what to expect a combo of punk rock and puppetry to be like, but we had a great time! The shadow puppetry was well done, and was just the right amount of puppetry. The musicians were wonderful! This is a high-energy show and the cast pulls the (somewhat disjointed) pieces together through sheer energy and enthusiasm. And if you like to indulge, make sure to bring a drink into the theater to toast pirate-style and play along with the show’s very own drinking game! Never thought I’d be saying this, but this manages to make Moby Dick and the history of whaling into an entertaining event.

Company: Comedy Suitcase
Show: Slapdash Panic: Comedy Suitcase ended up in the Fringe Festival with 3 weeks notice and no show!
Venue: Strike Theater

Fun for the family

The show itself is maybe 3.5 stars, but I am giving them an extra half star just because they did a brave and good thing going ahead with such a last minute show! The opening to the show is very strong, but the second half definitely loses steam. Kids would love this, it’s silly and has some good physical comedy moments.

Company: Tyler West
Venue: Strike Theater

Tyler West makes mine enjoyable!

Mime? With live sound effects? I was skeptical based on the description but have seen Tyler perform in other shows and styles and really enjoyed him. So we went hoping that he would make magic out of mime. And he did! The show is inventive and hilarious, and Tyler’s joy and attention to detail (for example - the sounds are quieter when he is behind something and louder when in front of something - even if that something is an imaginary mimed glass wall) makes this show a true joy to watch!

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

Fun and funny

This is a fun show. Probably better if you know Shatners work. I clearly missed some of the jokes (don’t know TJ Hooker that well for example), but had a good time anyway. Some of the actors had better Shatner-style delivery and accents than others, but they were all pretty good.

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

Amazing performers

Gunplay is exactly as described - a funny show about a not funny topic. But what made this a perfect rating for me was the caliber of everyone on stage. Often at fringe shows (or any show really) you get some great performers and some not so strong ones. Not so here! Every person on that stage was performing at the top of their game. And that alone makes this show worth seeing!

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

Fun filled pop culture riff

This is a fun and fast-talking, fast-moving show! It has a lot of the jokes you might expect from the title (about the lack of women in super-hero tales, and jokes about marvel and DC super heroes). You will get more of the jokes if you are familiar with a lot of the super-hero movies of the last 15 years or so. what impressed me most in fact was how much of “a league of their own” they managed to incorporate and reference! There were whole parts and subplots of the movie I had forgotten but remembered when the show referenced them - quite a feat of script-writing to include all of that! On the whole a fun show to see.

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

My first couple fight - and it was great

I hadn’t seen Couple Fight at the previous fringes, so this was my first introduction - and what fun it was. I enjoyed that there were multiple types of relationships represented, not just romantic. Highlights for me included the traveling couple, the Bollywood couple (who did an amazing recovery after a fall during the show we saw!), and best of all was a great moment “breaking the 4th wall moment” in a fight that took place in a “kitchen” - hard to describe but so very funny! All in all a great show.

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

Personal, funny, heart warming, and sad

This is a lovely show filled with both personal stories and a some history lessons. Through his story, his mothers, and his fathers, Javier explores the complicated nature of the Puerto Rico - mainland US relationship and also his own relationship with his father and mother. Funny at times and sad at others, this is a beautiful blend of emotions.

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

When your best life gives you lemons ...

This two person show became a one person show about a week before opening! Shanan Custer takes that lemon and makes it into a hour-long solo comedy event. Simply based on her joyful, infectious, and comedic energy she pulls it off! As with any sketch show some bits work better than others but on balance it’s a great show and she’s a trooper for continuing on without her partner.

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

Comedy + PowerPoint

I know it seems like comedy and PowerPoint shouldn’t go together, but somehow Matt pulls it off. The show is exactly as described in the title and description. You will probably enjoy it more if you get the pop culture references (from jurassic Park to Godzilla to some older comics). But even if you don’t get all of them, Matt manages to weave together science, comedy, and PowerPoint into a cohesive whole. Some of the lines are complete gems (the best way to stop a bad guy with a dinosaur is a good guy with a dinosaur), while others don’t quite land, and in general Matt talks fast and seems a little rushed. But on the whole a fun show - I even learned some new Dino facts!

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

Musical history fun

A nice fun show! The opening is quite strong as are many of the performers. We hadn’t known at all about the syrup heist, so it was fun to learn a little bit of history with a side of laughs and music. The accents are sometimes a bit all over the places, and the Canada jokes get a bit old after an hour, but none the less this is still a sweet little show and worth seeing.

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

Best of Fringe!

Saw this opening evening of Fringe - as the very first show. And boy did it set the bar high for the rest of Fringe! Wonderful show, smart writing, well performed. A truly great show if you love musical theater (filled with references both old and new), and still a good solid show even if you aren’t a theater nerd.

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