Wow! What a show to pop my Fringe Cherry with. Erotica For Houseplants is written and performed by Tom Reed who reminds us why his name alone put this on my must see list. Wickedly funny and oddly arousing at times. Tom’s script unearths every possible double meaning for everything from plant anatomy to gardening tools. It’s smartly earthy and when you think he has to have about run out of path he breaks into song, beautifully. It’s all in fun and never crossed into uncomfortable territory, but it’s not the show you or your Grandma want to see sitting next to each other. However, with adult friends or that special someone it’s… well, not exactly good “clean” fun, You’ll definitely be laughing at how dirty nature can sound. A quick run through the sprinkler afterwards should cool you down and have you feeling clean again in no time. This was my first Fringe show of the 2022 festival and my first live Fringe show ever, and when I left it I knew I was going to love the next week and a half!
Karaoke After Dark is a combination of Karaoke, Burlesque, and Improvisation. If you are looking for a way to join in on the performance side of Fringe this is the show for you. Audience members can put their names and song choice on a slip of paper before the show begins. Throughout the show Curvee B, the Emcee, will call an audience member down to perform their song. While they are singing, a burlesque dancer will perform. The Improv comes in the what the dancer comes up with for the song, as opposed to a normal dance performance they are not moving to a song they’ve rehearsed. The highlights of the show are the costumes and what the dancer does to make the song choices fun. This is an 18+ show, it’s risque but not too graphic.
Comedy Suitcase presents Bob and Reggie Go To Bed created and performed by Joshua English Scrimshaw and Levi Weinhagen. I don’t know what I was expecting when I entered the theatre for this show but it wasn’t to see my love of silent comedy brought to life, live on stage. Bob and Reggie get ready for bed confronting obstacles that arise with the problem solving skills of Laurel and Hardy. Set in the silent world of a Buster Keaton two reeler, the duo blend physical comedy with a Keatonesque surreal humor. Inventive in the way it keeps building on it’s situations. The humor comes as often from the reveal as it does from their solution to the next snag in their bedtime routine. Just when you think it can’t get any crazier it takes a turn that made me think of Sherlock Jr. The similarities to the silents doesn’t stop at the type of humor but also in the fact there is no dialogue. Just as there was with the silent movies, there is a live score and sound effects, created on stage by Rhiannon Fiskradatz, who adds more than just accompaniment to the proceedings. The final performer in this four person show is Sulia Altenberg as the Tooth Fairy. Scrimshaw and Weinhagen are brilliant in their gag creation and execution. You have to be pretty smart to act this stupid. I only knew Scrimshaw from his work with the Mysterious Old Radio Listening Society and would never have guessed that a genius for this form of comedy was in his or anyone else in the 21st Century’s wheelhouse. This is the perfect show to take everyone and anyone too, old and young, the larger the audience the more fun it will be.
I already knew that one of the downsides of Fringe is that it’s impossible to see everything, there is always the worry of what you are missing. Tonight I discovered another downside, you can’t justify seeing things twice. That’s really frustrating in this case because I want to see Bob and Reggie Go To Bed with everyone I know. If this was not at Fringe and just a normal show on a two or three week run, I’d be organizing group meet ups to enjoy this show again and again. If you could see only one of the three shows I saw today it has to be Bob and Reggie Go To Bed. And so it earns the inaugural, highly coveted and just made up on the fly The Stages of MN Best of Day Fringe Award!
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