Nothing beats an actual look-see.
The Minnesota Fringe's Fringe-For-All No. 1 showcased 30 shows with three-minute previews July 16 at the U of M's Rarig Center. "Rip" is a musical adaption of the Rip Van Winkle story. Billy Balmer, center, plays Rip; David Darrow as Hudson is at left.
Depending on your commitment level, there is a great opportunity to sample Fringe shows. Still available this year is the Out-of-Towners' Showcase, at 7 p.m. this Wednesday. A bunch of productions will offer three-minute previews. The show is at the Brave New Workshop Student Union, 2605 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls.
The Fringe also presents two "Fringe-For-All" previews that allow 60 show producers three minutes each to make their cases. Those are over for this year, but keep an eye out for 2013. I attended both and came away with these notes:
Keepers: "Rip," by Dovetail Theatre Company; "Sin Eater," by Present State Movement; "Ash Land" by Transatlantic Love Affair; "Joe Dowling's ... Shakespeare on the Moon," by the Peanut Butter Factory; "Portrait of the Artist as a Yo-Yo Man," by David Harris; "Comedy, Magic & Neurosis" by Southern Comfort; "Hans the Obscure," by Mindless Mirth; "The Gay Banditos" by the Mechanical Division; "Fruit Fly: The Musical," by the Jansonowicz Players; "Sneak Thief," by International League of Diamond Thieves; "The Complete Works of William Shatner (abridged)," by Snikt! Bamf! Thwip!; "Steampunk Apocalypse," by Far From the Tree; "Candide," by Four Humors Theater.
Above average: "Room for Cream: A Caffeinated Nightmare," "Even Yours," "Prophecy," "casual encounters," "Happy Hour," "Ms. Luisa Eats," "A Comedy of Edits," "Their Century," "Nightmare Without Pants," "Salem," "Tales From a Twisted Universe," "Class of 98," "Serif Punglasses," "The Computer Wore Semiotics," "The Love Show," "Curt and Laura Used to Be Good at Gymnastics and Stuff," "Pretentious Conversations," "BOOGIEography."