Paper Darts Unofficial Guide to Fringe

Paper Darts staff was asked which upcoming Fringe shows tickle their bellies. Here's what they had to say. 


Three words: Dance Money GrindThis show features a lot of Gustavus (my alma mater) grads and is co-directed by Henry MacCarthy, who directed all of my favorite theatre pieces at Gustavus. More importantly, it’s a comical interpretation of the marathon dance contests of the 1930s, and that sounds amazing. Not only will it be visually appealing, with costumes and shoes of the era, but I can’t wait to hear the music they dance to. It will be interesting to see how the actors/dancers move and whether they will take all of their time spent practicing and putting this show together as inspiration for being tired of dancing. If that makes any sense.

Also, I’m interested in Sara Stevenson Scrimshaw's show Happy Hour. This is another dance show! In Happy Hour, each dance is entirely inspired by alcoholic beverages. It will be great to see how different drinks are interpreted by such talented dancers, and what songs are used to convey the beverages, (and if said drink can translate through song when the dancers are not in motion). All the best drinks will be repesented—there will be whiskey, absinthe, champagne, vodka, and wine; there will be marriage equality and a little bit of striptease! All of these things are good. 


Class of 1998 is probably not going to wow anyone with its hackneyed time travel story about going back to high school, but let’s face it, 1998 was a good year. Great music, great movies, and America’s Funniest Home Videos was still giving us a taste for what would eventually be known as YouTube. As long as writer/director Josh Carson of Mainly Me Productions keeps his show real in terms of pop culture, everyone’s going to have a killer time, no matter what his scientifically impossible explanation for time travel is going to be.

There’s something inherently romantic, at least culturally, about the idea of carnival freak shows, although that’s probably not the feeling Bodacious Beauties—a show by Eileen Rosensteel—is aiming for. But maybe. The show lifts back the curtain on the lives of five obese women from the annals of carnival sideshow history. A little knowledge, and a little voyeurism. That’s what entertainment is made of.


Joe Dowling’s William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet on the Moon
, featuring Kate Mulgrew as Lady Capulet was born out of mixed feelings regarding “concept Shakespeare”—the idea that if you’re putting on a classic, you have to slap a unique setting on it to make it accessible (by putting it in a modern Little Italy, for example). The spotlight isn’t only on the actors-playing-actors on this play-within-a-play, however. It also examines audiences’ relationships to this production that’s doomed to fail. And in case you’re curious: no, Kate Mulgrew is not actually in it.

I’m equally discerning as an art nerd and a tech geek, so I’m kind of preparing myself to be disappointed by Someone Is Wrong On The Internet, but that doesn’t mean I won’t try it on first. It’s a one man show—naturally—about flame wars, both online and IRL, and I hope the conflict is resolved with an existing browser extension that I can go home and download. After that, I can troll the show’s reviews thread and tweet about how splendidly meta I am.


A Comedy of Edits is about two writers, one of whom is struggling to find her voice, both of whom are trying to figure out what really drives the creative process. That’s something that’s always intrigued me, so I’m looking forward to seeing what conclusions they come to. The show was written by Fringe veteran Allegra Lingo, and it stars Lingo and Fringe newcomer (and high school classmate of mine) Taylor Brorby.

The Theater of Public Policy has been performing for almost a year now, putting on improv comedy shows with varying political themes, and their Fringe show, Big Thinkers, Serious Issues, Improv Comedy, will follow the same format: part interview with a local expert on a given subject, such as immigration reform, bullying, or the Minnesota State Legislature, and part improv comedy based on what they learned in the interview. Each Fringe performance will have a different theme and interviewee, so really they're putting on five different shows. You can go to their performances just to laugh, but feel good knowing that you're secretly thinking about some serious issues in the mean time. 

If you didn’t get your fill of Fringe, read our Pollen article
Figuring Out Fringe,” highlighting interviews with and festival recommendations from four Fringe 2012 participants.

What shows are you looking forward to? Help us grow our list and leave us a comment with your recommendations!

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