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POST BY ANDREW WAGAMAN
The Minnesota Fringe Festival opened this weekend, attracting about 7,000 people to 352 performances and selling 17,758 tickets.
Five of the best-reviewed shows so far have been “The Zebra Shirt,” “The Nose,” “Fashion Risk or the Accidental Nudist,” “Hickory Minimum Security Correctional Facility Presents: Hoosiers: The Stage Adaptation” and "The Legend of White Woman Creek." To see when they play next, check out our calendar.
For more Fringe fun, head over to Fringe Central at the Crooked Pint on Monday night for Karaoke and Tuesday night for Trivia. Karaoke begins at 11 p.m.; Trivia sign-up begins at 10:30 p.m., with questions starting at 11:15.
Patrick Scully hopes he'll be marryin' up a storm of same-sex couples the moment it becomes legal on Aug. 1. Photo taken in 2012 by Kyndell Harkness.
Patrick Scully plans to put his sideline as a minister to all-encompassing use when the clock strikes midnight on July 31. Aug.1 marks the first day that gays and lesbians can legally marry in Minnesota, so the performance artist and founder of Patrick's Cabaret is inviting as many same-sex couples who so desire to come on down to the theater at 3010 Minnehaha Av. in Minneapolisand get hitched in a mass ceremony to be held at the crack of at 12:01.
There will be no charge; the only requirement is a pre-obtained official marriage license.
The festivites begin at 10:30 p.m. and will rock on until 1 a.m., with music dancing and of course, a bit of wedding cake. The event is free and open to the public, but if you plan on saying vows, please rsvp to amy@patrickscabaret so they can get a head count.
After taking last year off, the Uptown Pride Block Party is back on this year. The free event, produced by Bryant Lake Bowl, happens Friday, June 28, from 6 to 10 p.m., rain or shine. It's at Lake Street and Bryant Av. S. in Minneapolis.
The just-announced set times at the bandstand are:
6:00-6:30 Southside Desire
6:45-7:20 Sick of Sarah
7:35-8:10 Dykes Do Drag
8:25-9:05 Chastity Brown
9:05-9:20 STREET - Tipsy Bike Karaoke *Located by the BLB parking lot, sign up early to reserve your song!
Also slated to entertain are Epitome No Question, MC Foxy Tann and the North Star Roller Girls. Food and beer (Fulton, Lagunitas, Bell's, PBR, more) will be on sale.
The zero-waste event will benefit OutFront MN.
Hey, Sherlocks: A self-guided spy game you play on your smartphone starts here at Janine's.
Whistle-blowing has been a hot topic this week, thanks to NSA leaker Edward Snowden. Now theself-guided, interactive spy game-slash-art project "Invisible City" invites players to track a virtual one, taking place within a four-block radius inside the North Loop 'hood.
It starts at Janine's Coffeehouse on N. 1st St., where the whistleblower has left you a message about what to do next, and ends at Dunn Bros. The app allows wannabe Harriet the Spies and Encyclopedia Browns to scan objects on cue and get embedded info, some of it in video form.
Instructions include using later-model phones, turning off auto-lock, and bringing headphones, two quarters and something to write on. Read full instructions and tips here: http://www.startribune.com/a2303
Invisible City was created by digital artist Sean Kelley-Pegg, who recommends it for "gamers, Fringe Fest fans, adventurous people who don't mind opening strange doors to see what's behind them." It only takes about an hour to complete, as long as you play it while the co-operating businesses are open.
The project, funded mostly with a $7,000 grant from Forecast Public Art, was first launched last fall but didn't get too far due to cold weather and unfortunately timed construction. It will be playable through the end of June.
A few thoughts on Marina & the Diamonds and the Skyway Theatre, which I was experiencing as a music venue for the first time on Sunday.
• The Skyway, the old downtown Minneapolis multi-plex, has potential as a live music space. It has room for 2,000, which makes it bigger than First Avenue (1,600) and smaller than the Myth (3,200). The Skyway’s deep balcony accommodates about 700. The sightlines are good from both levels because the main floor is graded/sloped (think a movie theater with the seats torn out, duh) and the balcony has many steps/levels (and no seats, either, except in two “VIP boxes” in the front corners.).
• The sound was very good on the main floor, pretty good (read not as loud) in the balcony.
• The Skyway has featured Andy Grammer, the Big Gigantic and a couple other live acts, as well as lots of DJs.
• The balcony could definitely use reflector tape or some other device to mark the steps/levels. I could envision clubgoers taking a tumble in the dark during a show.
• There is one bar on the main floor and the others are in the spacious lobby, which also has chairs on which to lounge.
• The place is clearly worse for wear. At least, the air-conditioning worked, but the carpeting on the main staircase was badly torn in spots and the escalator did not work. And, after all these years, the place still smelled of popcorn.
• As for Marina, it’s easy to see why she’s a star in England (she’s from Wales) and why the Skyway crowd – mostly teen and 20-something women and some young gay men-- enjoyed her. Her lyrics speak to the frustrations, insecurities and dreams of youth. And she has built a following with an appearance at the Triple Rock, a slot opening for Coldplay last year at the Xcel Energy Center and lots of viral buzz.
• Musically, the 27-year-old’s piano ballads suggested Regina Spektor without the sophistication and deep talent. Her dramatic dance-pop brought to mind Florence + the Machine without the vocal power and Imogen Heap without the inventiveness.
• As forthy fun as “Primadonna,” “Radioactive” and “How to Be a Heartbreaker” were, they were pretty generic. Maybe that explains why clubgoers were Pogoing and not actually dancing to those numbers.
• Backed by a four-piece band, Marina Diamandis (her father is Greek, her mother Welsh) demonstrated the panache and quirkiness of a star – from dancing with a manikin to wearing beauty queen sashes with faux titles (“Teen Idle,” which is one of her songs, was one) to sporting a tiny heart on her left cheek (which many female clubgoers imitated).
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