Today’s Fringe adventure was another blind guess. We showed up to the Bryant-Lake Bowl and didn’t see the name of the show until we were handing over our passes to get tickets at the box office. There was a considerable line (and the show sold out only 10-15 people behind us in line), but sometimes that just means it’s the weekend, or in this case, maybe that a lot of people were already in the neighbourhood for the Uptown Art Fair. Whatever the reason, I was ultimately glad we saw today’s pick.
The Finkles’ Theater Show!!! is hilarious and entertaining. The plot is a little light, and definitely not breaking new ground — a married couple decides to put
on a Fringe show, despite a complete lack of experience, and -GASP!- things go awry. But the main attraction with The Finkles is not the plot. The main attraction are Carla and Wanda Finkles (also known as Ryan Lear and Rachel Petrie) themselves in all their awkward, neurotic, crazy-haired glory. Also, their cat Tinkles Sprinkles. From the bumbling beginning to the out-of-breath triumphant ending, the performers give an energetic (almost manic) performance full of self-deprecating humour, ungainly dance moves, and awkward pauses. At some point, I thought to myself, “I should be sick of this. How many times can I laugh at people bumping into each other or trying and failing to speak in unison?” But something about Lear and Petrie‘s mannerisms and energy kept me in stitches for the entire show. People bumping into each other never stopped being funny. Is it refined? No. Is it groundbreaking? No. Is it so freaking hilarious I almost cried? Yes. Do yourself a favour, and let the Finkles entertain you for an hour. And prepare to marvel at their killer dance number.
For tickets and show times, see www.fringefestival.org . The Minnesota Fringe Festival runs July 31-August 10 at various venues in Minneapolis.