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Fringe File #17: The 2nd Annual Golden Lanyard Awards

Last night, the Minnesota Fringe Festival announced the recipients of the 2nd Annual Golden Lanyard Awards. These awards honor, among other things, the best-selling shows in each venue, several audience and artist voting categories, and Fringe staff favorites. A total of 28 awards were bestowed on 23 shows and 1 audience member.

The Venue Pick awards are bestowed on the show with the highest number of tickets sold for the first four performances. The winners are:

  • Augsburg Mainstage: Quiet Riot (Broken Box Mime Theater)
  • Augsburg Studio: Chocolate Covered Chicken Wings (Paradox Productions)
  • Barbara Barker Center for Dance: Minneapolis Human Rhythm Project (Keane Sense of Rhythm)
  • Crane Theater: You are Cordially Invited to the Life and Death of Edward Lear (The Winding Sheet Outfit)
  • Mixed Blood: Operation: Immigration (Wandering Jew Productions)
  • Southern Theater: A Cult Classic (Sheep Theater)
  • Rarig Arena: Edith Gets High (Devious Mechanics)
  • Rarig Thrust: The Scranton Strangler: An Office Musical (Literally Entertainment)
  • Rarig Xperimental: STOOPIDITY (Ian McCarthy, Michael McKitt & Domino D’Lorion)
  • Ritz Mainstage: Booth’s Ghost (Andrew Erskine Wheeler)
  • Ritz Studio: Which Middle Name of Philip Seymour Hoffman Are You? (An Alleged Theatre Company)
  • Strike Theater: Decision Artist: A Comedy Mind Reading Show about Decision Making (Kristoffer Olson, Funny Magician)
  • Theatre in the Round: Xena and Gabrielle Smash the Patriarchy (Mermaid Productions)

Using the first four performances’ sales is a practical expedience that doesn’t require staff to engage in frantic, last-minute counting and printing. Independently produced shows in off-site venues are ineligible for Venue Pick awards.

One of the perks of a Fringe with Benefits membership is voting having privileges for a special award. The Fringe with Benefits Member Pick was:

  • You are Cordially Invited to the Life and Death of Edward Lear (The Winding Sheet Outfit)

General audiences can vote on the Spirit of the Fringe award and three Audience Picks. The Spirit of the Fringe award, due to a tie, went to two productions:

  • Chisago: The Musical (Haute Dish Productions)
  • Fool Muun Komming! (Sam Kruger)

Audience Pick awards went to:

  • The Scranton Strangler: An Office Musical (Literally Entertainment)
  • Chisago: The Musical (Haute Dish Productions)
  • STOOPIDITY (Ian McCarthy, Michael McKitt & Domino D’Lorion)

Four Artist-driven Awards were voted on by Fringe performers. The three general awards went to:

  • Fool Muun Komming! (Sam Kruger)
  • Booth’s Ghost (Andrew Erskine Wheeler )
  • A Confederate Widow in Hell (@Breaker/Fixer Productions)

Artists also voted on an Underdog Award for first-time Fringe producers, which went to:

  • Unproblematic Faves: Best of Ladybrain (Ladybrain Sketch Comedy

Four additional awards were directly selected by Minnesota Fringe staff:

  • RELIC (Jesse Factor)
  • Magic Girl (Emily Michaels King
  • Adventuring While Black in Great Britain (The Adventures of Les Kurkendaal)
  • Beowulf (John Heimbuch)

A new award, honoring the late Beverlee Everett (a devoted long-time Fringegoer), was also bestowed on Candace and Sarra Beckham-Chasnoff. According to the Minnesota Fringe Festival, the Beverlee Award honors “one powerhouse audience member who exemplifies support for adventurous artists through their spectatorship.”

Basil Considine

Basil Considine is the Performing Arts Editor and Senior Classical Music and Drama Critic at the Twin Cities Arts Reader. He was previously the Resident Classical Music and Drama Critic at the Twin Cities Daily Planet and remains an occasional contributing writer for The Boston Musical Intelligencer and The Chattanoogan. 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.

Basil was named one of Musical America's 30 Professionals of the Year in 2017.
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