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Fringe File #5: Previews, Round 2

The show postcard for Pound: A Musical for Dogs.

Last night saw the second round of live previews for the 2016 Minnesota Fringe Festival. A total of 29 shows presented 3-minute excerpts, many of whose opening moments were carefully designed to discomfort and upstage Fringe Executive Director Jeff Larson during the introductions and seize audience attention. This usually worked quite well for them, which in turn doesn’t bode well for Jeff next year. (Sorry, Jeff.)

The variety of shows previewed included standup comedy, dancing, traditional musicals, and more than a few shows that defy easy descriptions. The content was even more diverse, ranging from a show about Patrick Swayze (Sons of Swayze – one of two such shows in this year’s Fringe, actually) to stealing cars (Grand Theft Autobiography), mobsters (A Date With Dillinger), spies (Life in the Time of Spies), and a scatalogical theology of sorts…to name only a few. A scheduled Tamil dance show withdrew.

Here are six editor’s picks from the set, paired with the briefest of rationales:

PENELOPE, presented by Savage Umbrella. Pictured: Russ Dugger, Emily Dussault, Alana Horton
PENELOPE, presented by Savage Umbrella. Pictured: Russ Dugger, Emily Dussault, Alana Horton

A site-specific show set in a public picnic area, recasting the courtship of Penelope in The Odyssey as a modern garden party.

The Pound: A Musical for the Dogs, presented by Imagined TheatrePictured: Pal (Isabel Pone) and Lucky (Zachary Kulzer)
The Pound: A Musical for the Dogs, presented by Imagined Theatre. Pictured: Pal (Isabel Pone) and Lucky (Zachary Kulzer)

Family-friendly, incredibly cute, and peppy in sound.

Couple Fight II: Friends and Family presented by Weggel-Reed Productions. Pictured: Andy Kraft & Rachael Davies
Couple Fight II: Friends and Family presented by Weggel-Reed Productions. Pictured: Andy Kraft & Rachael Davies

A sequel to one of last year’s most hilarious shows, recreating real-life fights in the cast’s lives.

Sometimes There's Wine. Pictured: Shanan Custer & Carolyn Pool
Sometimes There’s Wine. Pictured: Shanan Custer & Carolyn Pool

Hard to describe, but wildly entertaining.

Good Friday with Dillinger, presented by LookBack Productions
Good Friday with Dillinger, presented by LookBack Productions

Classic mobster-moll, with a twist.

In the Time of Spies presented by Ferrari McSpeedy Theatrical Productions. Pictured: Rita Boersma & James Rone
In the Time of Spies presented by Ferrari McSpeedy Theatrical Productions. Pictured: Rita Boersma & James Rone

A timely, wry parody of Get Smart, The Man from UNCLE, and Kingsman.

Basil Considine

Basil Considine is the Twin Cities Arts Reader‘s Performing Arts Editor and the Senior Classical Music and Drama Critic. Before joining the Arts Reader, he was the Twin Cities Daily Planet‘s Resident Classical Music and Drama Critic and a contributing writer for The Boston Music Intelligencer. He holds a PhD in Music and Drama from Boston University, an MTS in Sacred Music from the BU School of Theology, and a BA in Music and Theatre from the University of San Diego.

http://basilconsidine.org
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