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2018 Audience Reviews

Member Reviews

The following reviews were submitted by Fringe Member: Wes Volkenant

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

No Ass-terisk Needed Here

We got exactly what we came to see - a fast-paced, well-written, well-played comedy-cop show mystery. This whodunit was just good fun. We were glad to see Det. Heck end up Jo and Det. Balls, while putting an end to that crime spree terrifying the residents of Stillwater, as if Michele Bachmann wasn't still terrifying enough for the folks from Stillwater.

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

Thank You Prior Reviewers - A Great Show!

1:00 Final Sunday - which of three show to go to - and then we read the reviews of Eddie Poe, and we hooked to check it out. What a treat - so much to appreciate even 10 hours later. First and foremost, I have to say that Katie Hartman was probably the best female performer we saw this entire fringe.From her singing, to the inhabiting of three distinct characters - I fell for her Elmira, but was amazed by her Eddie Poe, and thought her Edgar Allan was just enough over the top. This was staged beautifully, and the use of shadows in the card game was so cool. Nick Ryan - those teeth scenes - yuck - in a good way. For those who were left with a cliffhanger... Elmira came to see Edgar at U Va, and he asked if he she loved Denny. She didn't as much as she loved him, but he told her he was cut off from funds and was going to leave school, and he held out his teeth to her. She turned and left, and another tooth, and then lots of teeth fell to the stage.

Company: Red Dice Collective
Show: Cyrano on the Moon
Venue: Ritz Theater Studio

Uneven Show Helped Immensely by Its Stars & Swords

Flat out Brid Henry as Roxanne was superb, and Travis Bedard (who recommended his show to us while volunteering as Southern the weekend before) was sublime as Cyrano. That swordplay was a delight, and I started to tear up at the sweet ending that brought these two star-crossed lovers together for eternity. And a duff of the hat to the wonderful costumer. But, we felt let down by the writing, as 10 minutes of mime to start left us afraid that we'd walked into a silent drama, and later agonizing over missed opportunities and misunderstandings, and the writing of made up memoirs just confused and stalled our momentum with the tale.

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

One of Our Favorites

We got there on the final evening, and were so glad to catch up with this show. Our version clocked in at 60 minutes, and except for suggesting a bit of tightening, there was little else to complain about. The writing snapped and crackled as an homage to League of Their Own, Tom Hanks, Geena Davis & Company. The repeated verbal (and sight gags) to draw about both DC and Marvel Superheroes was a joy. Few other reviewers have singled out Kelsey Cramer, but I'd like to - she was the heart and center of the show for me. I did however, love all five of the other women, from Heather's brief interludes to Lauren's effervescence, and Allison's heart-warming strong, nearly silent hero.

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

Best Show 2018

We saved it for last. We just happened to stand in line with Travis's (Gary) wife and son (great meeting you, Miles - have a great year in school!) and sat next to Songwriter and Lyricist Kyle's good friends. That had us pulling for the show, and we weren't disappointed. Kyle wrote some terrific numbers, beginning with the ode to Canada. The cast performed the songs well and gave us a great show around Travis's script. Everyone was excellent, but specials kudos to tonight's star, Erin Kennedy! This was the best way to end this year's Fringe experience!

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

Thoughtful and Memorable

We came to the Ritz to see Cyrano, but it got sold out, and with no other choices, we gave the Moirologist a try next door, and it turned out better than any of the shows we pourposefully chose to attend earlier in the day. As John, I give big props to Andy Raykerd. Andy took over and inhabited a guy who was at various times smart and likable to a jerk and sleaze at other moments. He had solid support from the role of his brother Brandon and Cassie, the prostitute. We liked the use of the stage props in this one, and the evolution of the character, leading to the twist ending that made you question if this man was more than the jerk we thought he was earlier.

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

Rewarding Story of Social Justice

This was a late addition for us, and we went in with some uncertainty. We were rewarded with a very pointed, well-crafted, well-acted play about worker rights and the never-ending battle between the rich and powerful and those whose labor brought that wealth to the employer. Bring this show to some local union conventions in the next year - they'll not only get it, they'll love it! Four real standouts in this play - Julia as The Chief, Erin as Kim, Natalie as Oakleaf and Meri as the Teacher.

Company: Flash Grenade Productions
Show: The Flashlight Zone: 20 Science Fiction Plays in One Hour
Venue: Theatre in the Round

So Much, Couldn't Process Them Them from the Blend

Loved the concept with the subject cards. Wished I could identify the cast members, as I thought every one of them had a solid performance at least once in the 5 or 6 they were in. In hindsight, the Ghosts short was very intriguing, the Superman short was very memorable and touching, and the 62 Kilograms was well-crafted. Overall, it was erratic, with a few clunkers frankly, like "Love" and "Directions".

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

Dang - Guess We Were Expecting...

... a tighter, better script. It drags somewhat, and I can't really pin where - some of the interrogations??? Show clocked in at almost 60 minutes - 50 would have been better.... that said, individual performances really stood out, beginning with the Eyeore opening, and any minute Rabbit was in the action. We also thought the work of Piglet - her voice and mannerisms were a delicate treat.

Company: The Herd
Show: I Killed the Cow
Venue: Augsburg Studio

Terrific Actress in a Fascinating, Abstract Show

We met Larissa volunteering at Augsburg last weekend, and were captivated by her cause, so we came to see and support her work. We're kinda sheltered suburban types, so the material fascinated and left us scratching our heads at times, but we were also rewarded by a powerful acting performance - by far the best actor we have seen yet at 2018 Fringe! It's on to the Boulder Fringe Festival for Larissa and this show, so we can't encourage to attend any final performances. But we're still amazed at the intensity and broadness of Larissa Marten's performance, and how she revealed herself, drew the audience in from the start, and brought us to a conclusion sure to leave us thinking and talking about the work as we headed for home afterward.

Show: BurnOut County
Venue: Minnsky Theatre

We Have a Don & Dawn in Our Family Too!

Tim knocked it out of the box in the first two minutes, but the full show was uneven, even as there were many laughs and a good vibe throughout. Unfamiliar with their work, we enjoyed the skits, but thought Don & Dawn dragged a bit, especially when brother Scott stumbled through. Fun singing, good comedy at the expense of northern Cheesehead country - thanks for keeping us entertained.

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

Mixed Bag

Loved David Schlosser's Gay Dating 101 - can't wait for his Lesbian Dating 101... the mime bits from Jena and Brynn were just right - and good fun. Duck Washington's unicorn piece was charming - and fun interaction, while his Lemonade Stand quickly evolved into sharp satire.

Company: Mysterious Old Radio Listening Society
Show: The Mysterious Old Radio Listening Society Versus the Nazis
Venue: Rarig Center Thrust

If Only We Had the Big Radio Broadcasts Today

What a joy to take it all in. Four skilled performers - four skilled voices. I loved the recreation of what would have been performances in 1942 (Bulldog Drummond vs Nazis and Nazi spies) and 1952 (a South American adventure from the short-lived NBC Radio series, The Chase). I did close my eyes and took in the spirit of those broadcasts my folks must have listened when they were young. And to watch them utilize the homemade tools of the trade from a box full of stuff on the floor, to an empty bottle, to a rubber tire tube around the neck - what a delight. A great hour of fun and intrigue.

Company: Marvel Ann Theatre
Venue: Rarig Center Thrust

Entertaining, Solid Acting -But Didn't Fully Click

The absence really, of any set was off-putting from the first scenes, forward. The Dullsville vignettes were excellent, but led on to the weaker Fourth Dimension section. But solid acting saved the day. Hunter, as the son, wowed me., Taelyn as the daughter was nearly as strong. I also appreciated the dual role work Lydia provided, especially in the minor piece as the lead's mother. But, the real powerful center of the show that Kelly provided, was excellent. A memorable portrayal of one housewife's awakening.

Company: Dilettante
Show: Brogonauts
Venue: Rarig Center Thrust

A Miss

Rarig Thrust Theater swallowed this show up - it might have played much better at Augsburg Studio, for example. The lead women's voices disappeared in song, and never clicked for us. The story felt poorly constructed. We nearly left halfway though, but stuck it out for the feel-good ending. One positive note was the "prisoner cell" which was an interesting prop. The laser chair was less successful.

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

Satire is Tough - This One Rises to Challenge

What I didn't expect was a love story, but that may have been the best part of this show, as both leads playing Ander and Laura really excelled, with strong support. The negative - it ran the full hour, which might have been 10 minutes too much. Could the coop store scenes be trimmed, Tom? Positives - I'm sending an invite to members of my Indivisible group - I think most would love this show. The Machine Gun Association IS bad, but not everyone in it, is. And the music that went with this show was a real plus in scoring the satire hits.

Company: Shrieking Harpies
Show: Shrieking Harpies
Venue: Augsburg Studio

Rewarded by Good, Fun Improv

I can only echo earlier reviewers... our musical comedy show, set off by the word "kayaking" was genuinely fun, strange, and full of laughs. All three cast members were in fine form, although I have to profess a great appreciation for Hannah's performances as kayaker, sister, evolver, squirrel, troll, and Queen of the Forest. I look forward to seeing the Shrieking Harpies in future shows.

Company: On the Verge Theatre
Show: Boobilicious
Venue: Augsburg Studio

Terrific Good Time

Go! See this funny, thoroughly entertaining show! Start thinking of all those names you've heard women's breasts referred to, and be prepared to see those bras in a new light. Kudos to all four performers on Saturday night!

Company: Pacific Midwest Ballet
Show: Zombies And Pirouettes
Venue: Southern Theater

Unexpected - Surprising Storytelling w/o Voice

For a show whose only sounds from the performers were two shreiking women and the groom shouting No, there was quite a story told here. We went in expecting more zombie action than pirouettes, and perhaps thought this might be comedic. Far from it. Excellent music and choreography. As a first show, to be fair, the dancing itself was flat, and at times, out of synch. Which pulled my rating down, as the show was all dance. That said, I would echo that Amber, "Patient Zero" really stood out as a dancer and menacing presence. Amber just needed some steadiness on those one-foot moves. And as the bride, Persephone did a good-to-excellent job throughout, as the real featured performer.

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

Strong Cast and Music, Muddled History

Caught in a winding story that jumped forward and back, with multiple identities for the cast, this production even invites us to accept 'breaking the fourth wall' twice. That said, it's an unfamiliar history, although I think that Hammer Films did a '60s movie about the Countess who bathed in blood to retain her youth. The cast members were strong and compelling, and the music was interesting. Wasn't sure what to expect, and was more pleased than not.

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