FRINGE 2022

Happy Fringemas Everyone! Check back for more coverage as the festival goes! Aug 4-14th! Hope you are out there seeing some shows 🙂

EROTICA FOR HOUSEPLANTS by Tom Reed

EROTICA FOR HOUSEPLANTS was an incredible way to start my 2022 Fringe! A series of stories about the sexier side of plants. From pistons to pollination, you will never look at your house plants the same way again. Tom speaks candidly to the audience in between the silly and humorous stories. Highlight is the improv “crowd work” with the houseplants brought by audience members (only at the Fringe is there designated plant seating for a show!) Bonus was running into fellow bloggers Cherry and Spoon and The Stages of MN. This is a MUST SEE this year! Location: Mixed Blood

ON A STICK: A Minnesota State Fair Musical by Literally Entertainment

ON A STICK follows the story of a band trying to make it big, but playing to an empty bar. After striking a deal with the bar owner they head to the state fair to find an audience. They must work through their differences to save their band and the entire Great Minnesota Get Together! Full of MN Fair references, this show is entertaining and a fun way to get in the mood for the fair!  Location: Rarig Center

FINGER LICKIN’ GOOD with Special When Lit

FINGER LICKIN’ GOOD is the hilarious “true” story behind everyone’s favorite bucket of chicken, KFC. We follow the life of Colonel Harland David Sanders as he recounts how the business began, how it grew, and how greed and chicken go hand in hand. It’s funny, clever, punny as heck, over the top energy and fun, original, and at times sexy. Shanan Custer as the flustered fact checker matched by the enthusiastic and perfectly cast Colonel Sanders, Sam Landman was a JOY to watch in action. Another MUST SEE this year! Location: Rarig Center

COWBOY & WIDOW, A HONKYTONK MUSICAL with Belville Productions

COWBOY & WIDOW, A HONKYTONK MUSICAL is a love story with a few unexpected twists. From rags to riches a cowboy leaves his world behind when he falls in love with a well off widow. This “fairy tale” cinderella story quickly changes as money becomes a larger part of their relationship. I was prepared for more music all the way through in the musical, but the songs included were catchy and charmingly country. Eloquent narration by Lynn Lohr carries us through the story all the way to a surprising ending!  Location: Theatre in the Round

STRANGER VS THE MALEVOLENT MALIGNANCY with The Feral Theatre Company

STRANGER VS THE MALEVOLENT MALIGNANCY is full of superheroes, super flashbacks, and super Cancer (literally). Themes of mortality and knowing when you need to ask for help resonate through a script that is comical, silly, serious, and absurd at times. Hidden identities and arch enemies will keep you guessing on how this hero will survive. Location: Theatre in the Round

WHO’S AFRAID OF WINNIE THE POOH? with Clevername Theatre

WHO’S AFRAID OF WINNIE THE POOH? was brilliant! Years of living together has tested the friendship of lovable characters Piglet and Pooh. When Piglet invites new people over for a night cap the darker side of the Hundred Acre Wood comes to light. This script was clever and crisp with an execution that makes it a 100 % must see this year! The entire cast is phenomenal but Thomas Baun as Winnie brought the bitter and dramatic side to our favorite silly old bear to life in the darkest and most unexpected way. Location: Theatre in the Round

THE SHRIEKING HARPIES

Finally got to see THE SHRIEKING HARPIES in action! They are a musical improv group that performs a brand new musical every night based on prompts from the audience. This team is so in tune with each other to take improv to a new level. It was a pleasure to watch them create and play off each others energy! Our prompt was YA romance and the apocalypse… and one of the funniest musicals I’ve seen in a while. Check them out to see what musical journey your audience will go on! Location: Rarig Center

SWORDS & SORCERY: The Improvised Fantasy Campaign with Bearded Company

SWORDS & SORCERY: The Improvised Fantasy Campaign is a fully improvised campaign with the fate of our heroes placed on the roll of a 20-sided dice. It was a BLAST watching this group play off each other and work together to fully create this fantasy world. Guided by a dungeon master and accompanied by music, by the end of the 45 minutes I realized I could have watched them for all full 2 hours. Nerdy, quick, funny, adventurous, and impressive! Location: Theatre in the Round

A DAY WITH THE NEWHARTS with Melancholics Anonymous

A DAY WITH THE NEWHARTS is a clever mix of a 1950’s sitcom family and the darker side the Minnesota Nice. The Newharts are the picture perfect MN family welcoming their new neighbors with an old fashioned summer BBQ. But behind those permanent grins holds a dark reality. It’s clever, full of MN references, dark, and keeps you on your toes. Location: Mixed Blood

NEWTON JR

NEWTON JR is the son on Sir Isaac Newton and working on finding their own scientific discovery. When they keep coming up short the enlist the help of the audience for more ideas and encouragement. Follow “Newt” as he discovers exactly what he needs to make his father proud. It’s silly, fun, very audience interactive, and in the end very sweet. Location: Augsburg

SHE’S ALREADY GONE by Dierke Productions

SHE’S ALREADY GONE has been the biggest surprise of the festival so far. I went in with no idea what to expect and left inspired, moved, and with tears in my eyes. Erika Dierke (16) is the playwright and I can tell, she has a bright future ahead of her. We follow Maria in 1940’s Belgium awaiting her boyfriend coming home from war when her surroundings slowly become unfamiliar. A thoughtful examination of memory, companionship, and the heart breaking reality of aging. Go see it, bring some tissues, and see for yourself the newest generation of Fringe artists. Location: Augsburg

SHOE NIGHT with Encompass Theatre

SHOE NIGHT is a slice of life as ex’s run into each other at a shoe store 4 years after he abruptly ended it. In an attempt at closure they share memories, good and bad, laughs, and hardest parts of their time apart. The awkwardness and forced small talk was incredibly relatable and real to witness paired with an unspoken chemistry between these ex’s. See how it plays out for yourself…. Location: Theatre in the Round

ARSGANG: WHAT YOU FOLLOW FOLLOWS YOU with The Winding Sheet Outfit

ARSGANG: WHAT YOU FOLLOW FOLLOWS YOU was a haunting beautiful walk through the woods exploring what we would sacrifice for the ones we love. WSO is known to for their ability to transport the audience to other places focused on the atmosphere and storytelling before us. It was visually interesting, eerie yet somehow calming, wonderful writing, and a solid performance by the whole ensemble Location: Theatre in the Round

DEVELOPERS

DEVELOPERS was worth staying out for a 10pm show! My knowledge of video games ends with OG Nintendo and Frogger but found so much to relate to in this show. When three video game developers venture out from their big brand company to make their own game, the studio lead reflects on his own career and when the passion for creating turned into cranking out what investors wanted. At the end of the day the developers left to create something they believed in and as artists we can all understand that need. A great performance by the whole ensemble, great writing, and creative staging. Check it out! Location: Center for the Performing Arts

ENDOMETRIOSIS: The Musical

Run don’t walk to the final performance of ENDOMETRIOSIS: The Musical Aug 14 at 1pm!! Wish I would have been able to see it earlier in the festival but so glad I finally witnessed this clever, funny, relatable, and amazing musical about this important topic. We follow the story of Jane as she goes to an infuriating numbers of doctors who won’t validate her pain, she’s just trying to get through the day and it feels like none wants to listen (or even talk about) such a “inappropriate” topic of a menstrual cycle. So many relatable moments that our corner of the theatre begin snapping in agreement and audibly gasping at other parts. Top notch production and music numbers.. I will be watching to see where this show goes next! p.s. Can you record a cast album?? Location: Theatre in the Round

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