Stranger-er Things: Netflix and Kill

Brave New Workshop ensemble member Tom Reed created and stars in this solo parody of the Netflix sci-fi horror series “Stranger Things.” Wielding minimal props (a flashlight, two rolls of Christmas lights) and accompanied by keyboardist Jon Pumper (BNW’s music director), Reed hilariously gets to the mock-scary heart of the show while making pointed social commentary. ‘Stranger-er Things: Netflix and Kill’: Playful and engaging, he, well, kills it. (10 p.m. Mon., 7 p.m. Wed., 5:30 p.m. Fri., 1 p.m. Sun. Aug. 13, Phoenix Theater, 2605 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls.)

ROHAN PRESTON

Songs of MN Summer

One great joy of long-form improv is watching a team of seasoned performers read and feed off each other on a near-clairvoyant level. Each member of Shrieking Harpies (Lizzie Gardner, Taj Ruler, and Hannah Wydeven, accompanied by pianist Justin Nellis) clearly knows and trusts her partners deeply, a necessity when you’re creating a mini-opera from scratch. The Harpies’ musical adventures delve into plenty of bizarre scenarios — Saturday’s performance of “Songs of MN Summer” centered on a rage-filled chef, a spunky orphan, and several sets of sentient cookware — but with a dose of warmth, heart, and three-part harmony that sets them apart from the crowd. (8:30 p.m. Mon., 7 p.m. Wed., 4 p.m. Fri. Aug. 11, 5:30 p.m. Sun. Aug. 13, Bryant-Lake Bowl, 810 W. Lake St., Mpls.)

IRA BROOKER

Out of the Shadows

Sly, subtle and totally virtuosic, theatrical dancer-choreographer Gabriel Mata holds the stage with expressive movement and witty words in this Fringe must-see. Mata’s 50-minute solo show is about a performer in crisis — he plays a dancer who has forgotten the choreography. Mata, of Zenon Dance Company, then talks and dances us through his thought process as he tries to unlock his memory through movements. His dancing is graceful and compelling while his running monologue, both breathless and humble, also is entertaining. He even breaks into a performance of Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive.” Mata does a lot more than that. (7 p.m. Mon., 8:30 p.m. Sat. Aug. 12, 2:30 p.m. Sun. Aug. 13, Intermedia Arts, 2822 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls.)

ROHAN PRESTON

De Hjerteløse (The Heartless)

An original story written and directed by Kimberly Miller, De Hjerteløse has the feel of an ancient fable updated for the new “Wonder Woman” generation. The work is about an unexpected sisterhood forged out of adversity. Central character Ingrid (Jayme Godding) shines as a talented shipbuilder who uses her courage and compassion to best a Norse giantess. A collaborative effort by W.A.R. Theater and Sidecar Theatre, this delightful effort about strength and resilience is a particularly good choice for teen audiences but will resonate with adults, too. (7 p.m. Tue.-Wed., 2:30 p.m. Sat., Southern Theater, 1420 Washington Av. S., Mpls.)

CAROLINE PALMER

RomCom-Con: A Meet-Cute Musical

Composer and lyricist Kyle DeGoey parodies the romantic comedy movie genre with clever rhyming couplets and oodles of pop culture references: “Star Wars,” “Harry Potter,” the entire 1980s John Hughes-Molly Ringwald catalogue. After their respective breakups, a pair of Minnesota dreamers head to San Diego for the Rom-Com convention, only to find themselves swapping “Pretty in Pink” observations and, maybe, falling in love. If you like “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” you’ll love this irreverent musical. Sure, the harmonizing is a little shaggy, but the jokes are funny and the characters irresistible. (7 p.m. Tue., 10 p.m. Thu., 8:30 p.m. Fri., 2:30 p.m. Sat. Aug. 12, Ritz Theater Mainstage, 345 13th Av. NE., Mpls.)

CHRISTY DeSMITH

Swords & Sorcery: The Improvised Fantasy Campaign

As much as long-form improv is about freedom and invention, the form often works best within well-defined parameters. With “Swords & Sorcery: The Improvised Fantasy Campaign,” the Bearded Men Improv troupe sets limits that play to their strengths. As a dungeonmaster dictates their movements via a 20-sided die, the five-man team builds a “Dungeons & Dragons”-style adventure that’s as unpredictable as it is hilarious. The team exudes confidence, whether playing oily villains, childlike warriors or aroused chimeras. Every performance is both a stand-alone adventure and a piece of a larger story arc, and the only disappointment is not being able to catch them all. (7 p.m. Tue., 8:30 p.m. Fri. Aug. 11, 5:30 p.m. Sun. Aug. 13, Theatre in the Round, 245 Cedar Av. S., Mpls.)

IRA BROOKER

The Zoo Story

Edward Albee’s play may be almost 60 but it’s not showing any wrinkles in this sizzling outing directed by Pat O’Brien. Two strangers meet at a park bench. Brad Erickson’s Peter is enjoying a book when Sam Ahern’s jittery and explosive Jerry compels him to listen to his story. Ahern then draws both Peter and the audience inexorably down a rabbit hole as he paces the stage, eyes darting, arms flailing. Erickson is a perfect foil, his genial urbanity devolving into bewildered panic. Together they remind us why this one-act is a classic. (7 p.m. Wed, 4 p.m. Fri., 5:30 p.m. Sun. Aug. 13, Huge Improv Theater, 3037 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls.)

LISA BROCK

Odd Man Out

Twin Cities theater artist and playwright Kory LaQuess Pullam brings us this riveting portrait of the Michaelsons, a working-class black family in south Texas. The family’s upwardly mobile college track star is summoned home by his grandfather’s death. With flashbacks and song, “Odd Man Out” establishes the Michaelsons’ essential lovingness — though certain members still treat each other terribly. Then the funeral fully exposes their fault lines, betrayals, inter-generational conflicts and worse. Yes, families are messy, but Pullam’s production is taut, relatable and utterly convincing. (5:30 p.m. Thu., 8:30 p.m. Sat. Aug. 12, 2:30 p.m. Sun. Aug. 13, Rarig Center Arena, 330 21st Av. S., Mpls.)

CHRISTY DeSMITH

The Best of All Possible Worlds

Fringe stalwart David Mann is a consummate storyteller and this year’s offering is no exception. Through an engaging mix of self-deprecating humor, droll impersonations and occasionally aching personal revelations, he spins the tale of his foray into parenthood and financial responsibility with assurance and authenticity. As he recounts his attempts to create a sense of home for himself and his family while scrambling for a living in the world of corporate motivational speakers and “big, huge life insurance,” the range of emotion he conjures — from guffawing hilarity to bittersweet pain — is always compelling. (7 p.m. Fri. Aug. 11, 10 p.m. Sat. Aug. 12, Phoenix Theater, 2605 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls.)

LISA BROCK

Finding Mohamed

With just a projector, a few pieces of cloth and a gurgling soundtrack, this solo show by Ifrah Mansour submerges the audience in a mysterious alternate world. She is on her knees, praying, when there’s a loud knocking on the door — the first of many. Where is it coming from? What does it mean? A poet, playwright and performer, Mansour is spellbinding, using her eyes and limbs to communicate fear, sadness, desperation. She darts across the stage. She dives into what might be the ocean. It all adds up to a portrait of grief, beautifully textured. After Saturday’s performance, she invited questions from the audience. What was the banging on the door, a young boy asked. “That’s the great mystery,” Mansour answered, smiling. “You get to come up with your own meaning.” (7 p.m. Wed., 4 p.m. Fri. Aug. 11, 2:30 p.m. Sat. Aug. 12, Rarig Center Xperimental, 330 21st Av. S., Mpls.)

JENNA ROSS