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Fringe File 2018, #1 – Intro to Fringe Fest & Family Fringe

A collage of promotional images for the 2018 Minnesota Fringe Festival.

One week ago, Minnesota Fringe released the schedule for its 25th Annual Fringe Festival and the inaugural, concurrent Family Fringe. Since then, a certain breed of Fringe fans has been poring over the schedule and show list, planning everything from where to eat to where to park – and, of course, what shows to see.

Where to begin? This year’s Minnesota Fringe options are divided into two separately ticketed clusters: the main Fringe Festival and Family Fringe. Fringe Festival shows take place in the Cedar-Riverside and Northeast neighborhoods in Minneapolis, while Family Fringe takes place at the Celtic Junction Arts Center in St. Paul. Fringe Central will be at the Red Stag Supperclub in Northeast Minneapolis, while Family Fringe Central will take place at Can Can Wonderland in St. Paul.

Still unsure where to start? Here are five mostly-not-family-friendly shows to consider that embody some aspect of the craziness and trading on pop culture that runs through Fringe:

  1. Deep in The 100 Acre Woods: A “Pooh”-dunnit? (Fearless Comedy Productions)

    Nothing says “fringe festival” like trodding on your childhood. This time it’s Winnie the Pooh plunging into the world of film noir, with Christopher Robin as a hardboiled detective.

  2. Couple Fight: The Musical! (Weggel-Reed Productions)

    How do you top a miniature pie mishap-induced marital breakdown? By turning the next installment in this long-running Fringe franchise into a musical!

  3. The Buttslasher (New Endeavors)

    Puns on buns are just the start of this comic horror mystery, which dares to bare a derriere while parodying classic gumshoe yarns. One of several returning shows from last year’s Fringe, The Buttslasher packed audiences into the Ritz Theater Studio, missing the encore by just a handful of no-shows.

  4. MEDUSA (Vox Medusa and Infiammati FireCircus)

    If in doubt, set it on fire. Last year’s flame-toting journey through Greek myth and monsters battled severe rains for bonus points, but lived to tell the tale with sold out shows.

  5. Kaboom (Sheep Theater)

    If still in doubt, blow it up. Sheep Theater brings its hilarious comedy mix to what’s normally no laughing matter: nuclear war!

Hanne Appelbaum