Tamara Ober's haunting dance

  • Updated: August 6, 2012 - 12:33 PM

REVIEWS: Also surveyed, Fringe Festival shows about romance, musicals, a man and his therapy dog, and literary games.

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Sin Eater by Present State Movement.

Sin Eater, Intermedia

Tamara Ober has a history of creating top-notch Fringe shows, and "Sin Eater" is no exception. Here she plays Glory, who seeks out the menacing title character at her dying war-veteran father's behest. Ober delivers a searing performance that delves into the most frightening regions of the soul. She howls from the darkest reaches of her gut, dances like her life depends on it (because it really does) and pulls the audience along on Glory's rugged adventure, with a view from the inside out. This work will haunt you. (10 p.m. Wed., 1 p.m. Sun., Intermedia Arts, 2822 Lyndale Av. S.)

CAROLINE PALMER

Fear Factor: Canine Edition

Jackpot. If you can get to only one Fringe show, make sure it's this must-see tearjerker by New York actor John Grady. He moves between (poorly lit) areas of the Patrick's Cabaret stage as he talks about Abby, his life-saving therapy dog. Man and dog spend 13 years together, sharing and surviving many crucibles. In the end, Abby gets terminally ill and Grady has to make a tough decision about her fate, and his. In his gray suit, Grady, who has played raconteur Spalding Gray onstage, delivers with moving honesty and heart-rending simplicity. (8:30 p.m Thu., 5:30 p.m. Sat., 1 p.m .Sun., Patrick's Cabaret, 3010 Minnehaha Av. S.)

ROHAN PRESTON

The Love Show

Samantha Harris, Courtney McLean and Anna Weggel mix songs with monologues about their romantic experiences. Weggel threw over a guy who put boogers in his socks; McLean cops to a Tori Amos fetish, and Harris, who is pregnant, recalls the subtle odors she sniffed out when her husband plopped into bed next to her in the middle of the night.. These are engaging storytellers and confident singers. Weggel can't help laughing at herself on occasion (a little precious), but this is a fun show that's easy to like. (5:30 p.m Wed., 8:30 p.m. Sat., Brave New Workshop Student Union, 2605 Hennepin Av. S.)

GRAYDON ROYCE

Comedy of Edits

This debut play from Allegra Lingo, a co-founder of the Rockstar Storytellers collective, revolves around inspiration and literary games. Lingo and Taylor Brorby, neither of whom are strong performers, joust with allusions to James Joyce, Virginia Woolf and Mick Jagger. The witticisms were a bit facile in a writerly show that could benefit from more charismatic performers. (7 p.m. Wed., 1 p.m. Sat., Rarig Arena, 330 21st Av. S.)

ROHAN PRESTON

Pop Up Musical

VH-1's Pop Up Video serves as the model for this cabaret of familiar show tunes. In this decidedly low-tech version, the four singers take turns holding up placards with bizarre information, sometimes only tangentially related to the songs. (During "Luck Be a Lady," there's a riff on fuzzy dice.) The gimmick quickly wears out its welcome, upstaging the fine performances. It reaches its nadir when silly gags distract from a heartfelt rendition of "Send in the Clowns." The use of canned music also compromises the quality of the vocal performance. (8:30 p.m. Tue., 1 p.m. Sat., Rarig Xperimental, 330 21st Ave. S.)

WILLIAM RANDALL BEARD

Identity

The parts of life that offer up no easy answers intrigue Karen L. Charles of Threads Dance Project. She choreographs to make sense of the unexplainable. The "Vestiges" section of "MyDentity," for example, pierces the heart with a poignant, loose-limbed solo by Davente Gilreath about the lynchings of Black men in the South, while "In This Skin" tackles the pressure to conform. Charles has good instincts, but if she would rely less on literal movement interpretations of her song choices she might discover more opportunities to expand her point of view. (8:30 p.m. Thu., 4 p.m. Fri., 2:30 p.m. Sat., Intermedia Arts, 2822 Lyndale Av. S.)

CAROLINE PALMER

Serif Punglasses

YouTube videos are given sketch- comedy treatment by Maggie Danger and Spencer Retelle as a lesbian and gay man who lend one another emotional support and confuse audience members. They channel random characters as seen from outer space, which includes the spoofing of a spray product called 'gay-be-gone' and a SpongeBob SquarePants impersonator with a roving eye and bladder problems. There's a germ of a good idea in recurring skits about a so-called Friendship Lottery, which one assumes brought the pair together, but it's never seriously developed. (10 p.m. Tues., 8:30 p.m. Thu., 2:30 p.m. Sun., Bryant-Lake Bowl, 810 W. Lake St.)

john townsend

  • related content

  • Provided photo Fringe festival: The Love Show! ORL Productions

  • Pop-Up-Musical - Mix Tape Productions

  • Provided photo Fringe festival: Identity, Threads Dance Project

  • Provided photo Fringe festival: Serif Punglasses, Raven Timberlake

  • MINNESOTA FRINGE FESTIVAL

    What: 164 shows, and more than 800 performances in an 11-day festival.

    When: Weekdays, beginning at 5:30 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., beginning at 1 p.m. Ends Aug. 12.

    Where: 15 venues; interactive map at

    bit.ly/OE7gKF.

    Tickets: $12 individual shows. Must purchase $4 Fringe button. Multi-show passes. 1-866-811-4111 or www.fringefestival.org.

    Web: Listings and reviews at www.startribune.com/onstage.

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