Fringe: “The Ohman Stone”

By guest reviewer Bryce Byron. The Ohman Stone is a truly Minnesotan musical telling the story of the Kensington Rune Stone and people whose lives it touched. After their deaths, the major supporters of the authenticity of the Kensington Rune Stone are still trapped in an afterlife of constant debate — until the daughter of the stone’s discoverer, Amanda Ohman (Emily Stephenson), finds a way to reach across the vale to Brian Storm (Andy Rakerd) who is investigating the mystery of the stone for his TV series. As Brian is temporarily drawn into the underworld, the audience joins him in discovering the truth behind the Kensington Rune Stone.

"The Ohman Stone". Photo from www.fringefestival.org

“The Ohman Stone”. Photo from http://www.fringefestival.org

Overall this is a fun show but the weaknesses are definitely apparent. The show was carried by the writer, director and lyricist Sheridan O’Keefe (Olof Ohman) and Emily Stephenson (Amanda Ohman), who gave great performances with both their singing and acting. This show hits its peak with a duet when Olof and his daughter are brought together by song. Unfortunately, the other actors on the show gave mediocre performances at best. Andy Rakerd was good as Brian Storm, but his vocal performance fell flat. Beyond the songs, there were a few missed lines, and at times it was a bit hard to hear what was being said (but not quite enough to truly detract from the story_.

Having come into this play knowing nothing about the Kensington Rune Stone, I am glad that I saw this show and this kind of story fascinates me. This play takes a piece of local history and brings it to a new audience. I only wish that it could have done so with a bit more polish.

For tickets and show times, see www.fringefestival.org . The Minnesota Fringe Festival runs July 31-August 10 at various venues in Minneapolis.

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