An Intimate Evening With Fotis Part III: With his strongest material yet, Mike Fotis regales his audience with stories of mundane tribulations, yet he weaves them together into hilarious epic tragedy. Jen Scott's accompaniment on upright bass compliments Fotis's self-described neurosis, hang-ups, and eventual triumphs.
Sarah, Your Ovaries Are Drying Up: The Musical: Skeptical of anything with the word "musical" in it's title, I cautiously approached this show, and was pleasantly surprised at the excellent quality in the script and the musical performances. Musicians Molly Dworsky and Nate Rowan provide an excellent thematic through-line the show, and the cast has fun with the witty script.
Citation Needed: A short-yet concise sketch show, Citation Needed playful abuses the ability to twist the facts of the popular online encyclopedia. The sketches never dragged due comediennes Lisa and Mary Kate's unflagging energy and enthusiasm.
Buyer's Remorse: Attention must be paid to Sam Landman and Ian Miller's conflicting yet complimenting performances, serving as foils to the ridiculous relationship of assassins Parker and "Man of Few Words" Johnson. That they feel sidelined as secondary characters to a less interesting A-story is my sole complaint with this show.
Two Bowls of Cereal and Some Bacon: Alternating between two biographical anecdotes, Mahmoud Hakima weaves a heartbreaking tale of domestic abuse and racism, and the way a child justifies them into what he perceives as normality. Hakima's tales evoke vivid detail and authenticity that easily transport the listener into the world of a seven-year-old-boy. MaryLynn Mennicke's sound design provides the perfect companions to Hakima's vignettes.
Punk Rock Omaha: Eschewing their long-form improv format for a remount of their 2002 Fringe hit, Ferrari McSpeedy challenges themselves to put on a show not for the audience but for themselves. They're not looking for a precise show so much as they looking to have fun trying to remember the lines and poking fun at their own material, and their frantic pace amuses the audience about as much as their script.
[Since I have never read Moby Dick, I recuse myself from reviewing Moby Dick Tonight. But it was weird.]
The Harty Boys in The Case of the Limping Platypus: Any show that successfully parodies boy adventure novels with the same quality of The Venture Bros. is a winner in my opinion. While opening relatively slowly, the show picks up frantically yet tightly as the Harty Boys happen upon the crime scene. The script wittily pokes fun at its genres conventions as well as skewers many of the Twin Cities' landmarks. The cast superbly relishes in the absurdity of their characters, and the two child actors in particular give outstanding performances.
The Morning After the Summer of Love: Scream Blue Murmur's exploration of the tumultuous issues surrounding the year 1968 and its repercussions forty years later provides the Irish poets with a broad range of emotions and imagery for poetic material. Their works, while powerful, never connected with me emotionally, though that may be due to my lack of connection to the era of the '60s. The grasp they had on the audience was unmistakable, though, as they are still master storytellers with distinct voices.
Axed! (The Rockstars' Remix): Three mesmerizing short stories from three mesmerizing storytellers. Rik Reppe, Courtney McLean, and Dave Mondy took turns telling one story each in a chapterized format that left me disappointed that I had to wait, yet reminded me that I needed to hear each of the next stories as well. The encore showing at the BLB, beer in my hand, was the perfect way to end the Fringe Festival.