Shade’s Brigade

by SOPHIE KERMAN For “Prairie Home Companion” fans who wish that the shores of Lake Wobegon saw a little more action, playwright Eric Webster has the answer for you: Shade’s Brigade, a 1950’s-style radio drama that’s all about adventure. In the role of Jack Shade, Webster has assembled a team of mercenaries (Dave Gangler, Lee Adams, and Shanan Custer)…

Agent Fidelio: A Picnic Operetta

by SOPHIE KERMAN It’s August again, and that means that Scotty Reynolds, Marya Hart and the gang at Mixed Precipitation are back with another zany adaptation of a classic opera. If you’re new to the company, this is an annual tradition worth getting on board with. Each year, the company picks an opera, tweaks it to make…

Humanimal

by CHRISTINE SARKES SASSEVILLE MPR storyteller Kevin Kling’s Humanimal offers a funny, touching and sometimes silly evening’s entertainment that blends masterful storytelling and superb musical interludes at Open Eye Theatre’s intimately hip space. Kling’s central theme explores the relationship between humans and the animals they love, drawing inspiration from Jack London’s White Fang, Jacques Cousteau, ancient cultures, pop and classical music…

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…

“The Final Act”

I’ve often wondered what the modern equivalent for gory Renaissance tragedy is, but I never thought to compare it with hardboiled detective film. The Final Act at the Woman’s Club of Minneapolis (407 West 15th St.) blends these two styles into a gripping murder mystery about the death of Christopher Marlowe.  There are few authors…

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…

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…