Gary Anderson as Clarence Darrow. Photo by Petronella Ytsma.

Naked Darrow

by SOPHIE KERMAN “If you lose the power to laugh, you lose the power to think.” – Clarence Darrow If you grew up in a radical left-wing household – or if you’ve been to law school – you’ve probably heard of Clarence Darrow, the famed defense attorney whose messy personal life didn’t interfere with saving 102 individuals from…

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The Odyssey

by SOPHIE KERMAN Charlie Bethel has garnered rave reviews, both locally and nationally, for his one-man adaptations of classic texts from Beowulf to Gilgamesh and, now, The Odyssey. Local critics seem to enjoy listing positive adjectives to describe Bethel’s performance: Dominic Papatola calls him “dazzling”, Ed Huyck says the show is “funny, thrilling, moving, and educational”, and John Olive qualifies Bethel…

September 20 is a big day!

It seems that everyone has decided to open their shows around the weekend of September 20 this year, and we just can’t cover it all! You can stay tuned for reviews of Moon Show 143 at the Guthrie (Sept 14-18), Good People at the Park Square (previews Sept 13, opens Sept 20) and Uncle Vanya at the Guthrie (again, previews…

Katie Knutson. Photo by Scott Pakudaitis.

Fringe Day 10: “The Grimmer Side”

I had planned to cover more than one show on my last day at Fringe, but my plans got unexpectedly cut short after my first performance of the day. Although I’m disappointed not to have seen more, The Grimmer Side: Classic Stories for a Modern Time served as an excellent capstone to the festival, as it embodies…

Ariel Leaf in "Died in a Trailer Park/Woke Up a Mermaid"

Fringe Day 8: “Died in a Trailer Park/Woke Up a Mermaid”

As far as solo shows go, I discovered yesterday how much they can inspire self-reflection. Tonight’s experience was less about introspection and more about compassion: not only towards others, but towards oneself. In Died in a Trailer Park, Woke Up a Mermaid, actress Ariel Leaf tells the story of her own circuitous journey, from an abusive relationship…

Matthew Trumbull in "The Zebra Shirt of Lonely Children".

Fringe Day 7: “The Zebra Shirt of Lonely Children”

Some Fringe shows really don’t need reviewing, because they are pretty well guaranteed to sell out the entire run no matter what. The unusual thing about this show, however, is that it isn’t a big, flashy musical or a comedy by one of the known Twin Cities names. No, The Zebra Shirt of Lonely Children is a…

Gray Matter.

Fringe Day 6: Consciousness, Clowns, and Classrooms

Like Liz, I felt the need to try something a bit different today. There were some highs and some lows of tonight’s selections, but it was an interesting smorgasbord! I first went to the Southern Theater to see Gray Matter, a dance performance choreographed by Zoé Emilie Henrot. I usually shy away from dance – not because I…

Elysium Blues.

Fringe Day 3: Journeys Below, Around, and Across

To continue my weirdly thematic Fringe experience, today I saw three plays about the things you can learn when on a journey. From the underworld to ancient Greece to contemporary immigrants, the who and the where seems less important than the what: a lot of truths get revealed when you put yourself in a different…

Wade A. Vaughn in "Cul-de-Sac." Photo by Justin D. Gallo Photography.

Cul-de-Sac

by SOPHIE KERMAN It’s official: the success of the Loudmouth Collective is not a fluke. Following on her deep and funny January production of Will Eno’s “Thom Pain: Based on Nothing”, director Natalie Novacek opens the Loudmouth’s second season with another one-man show, no less well-acted or thought-provoking than “Thom Pain”. This time, we are treated to an unstoppable performance…