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Fringe File #14: TCAR Awards

Arun Velliangiri as Aman Khan and Ranjan Dumra as Appa in Bezubaan: The Voiceless.

The annual Minnesota Fringe Festival floods Minneapolis with an 11-day deluge of theatre, music, dance, spoken word, and sometimes something else. With more than 150 shows crammed into that period, it is physically impossible to see more than a third – although many diehard theatergoers wish they could.

A theatre critic’s schedule is always some combination of what should be covered, what must be covered, and what one wants to cover. To cover Fringe, the Twin Cities Arts Reader staff individually conduct extensive preshow research, poll street contacts, follow word-of-mouth, and otherwise seek out shows that are especially popular, resonant, controversial, or novel. Some of these shows get reviews; some pass without leaving any strong impression. A very small subset gets singled out for special recognition by our staff.

Here are the recipients of the Twin Cities Arts Reader‘s 2016 Fringe Awards:

  • Editor’s Pick
    • It Always Rained in Paris, presented by Theatre Corrobora
  • Critic’s Picks
    • Bezubaan: The Voiceless, presented by Bollywood Dance Scene
    • Game of Thrones: The Musical, presented by Really Spicy Opera
    • Happenstanced, presented by Pipermonkey
    • Penelope, presented by Savage Umbrella
  • Best of Fringe
    • The Abortion Chronicles, presented by the Red Letter Society
    • Game of Thrones: The Musical, presented by Really Spicy Opera
    • H.P. Lovecraft’s The Rats in the Walls, presented by Ghoulish Delights
    • Sometimes There’s Wine, presented by Shanan Custer & Carolyn Pool

The list of award recipients only partially overlaps with the top-grossing show list. Four of these eight shows received encore performances (Bezubaan: The Voiceless,  Happenstanced, It Always Rained in Paris, Sometimes There’s Wine); two were Top 10 shows for overall ticket sales (BezubaanSometimes There’s Wine) and two were Top 10 shows by percent capacity (BezubaanH.P. Lovecraft’s The Rats in the Walls).

Editor's-Pick-2016 Critic's-Pick-2016 Best-of-Fringe-2016

Hanne Appelbaum