Fringe Festival: Naked like me: When parents were nudists

  • Updated: August 4, 2013 - 7:53 PM

Also, a zombie-fied dance show and one about the journey of a transgender parent of two.

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Fashion Risk or THE Accidental Nudist

Fashion Risk or the Accidental Nudist

How much nudity is there in this memoir about a woman who grew up with nudist parents? Tons! Tons and tons. On opening night, the show was sold out, and as one person in line noted, “It’s the nudity bump.” Natalie Rae Wass has a compelling story to tell about eccentricity, the sense of animal instinct in all of us and the barriers we erect with clothing often chosen to intimidate. It is smart work. There are 11 nude bodies at one point or another and the plethora of flesh has its effect: Sex and titillation are not synonymous with nudity. You start thinking differently about the basic nature of our humanity. That’s a stark naked truth. (8:30 p.m. Tue., 5:30 p.m. Thu., 4 p.m. Sat.; Mixed Blood Theatre, 1501 S. 4th St.)

Graydon Royce

Imagination Island: Surviving Reality

A staged memoir can be a minefield: You could be stepping into a vanity piece — the none-too-interesting life story of a not-so-engaging personality. Fortunately, “Imagination Island” is a wide-open, fertile field presented by a talented, energetic young actress who has “been there” and come out the other side. Hope Cervantes was a child star of TV’s “Barney and Friends” program. She creatively takes us — “warts and all” — through her life journey. Like life itself, the show is clearly a work in progress. But Barney loves Hope, and you will, too. (8:30 p.m. Tue., 10 p.m. Thu., 1 p.m. Sun., Red Eye Theater, 15 W. 14th St.)

Brian Leehan

Changing with Grace

Writer and storyteller Christy Marie Kent shares her life history in “Changing With Grace: When Daddy Becomes Mama Christy.” And what a story it is. She was formerly a he, married with two boys and living in the South. With the support of his family, he got divorced and underwent a gender reassignment. Now, she is married to man who formerly was a woman. Kent tells her complex story, from childhood to romance to remarriage, at a microphone. She uses a keyboard to illustrate the pitches of male and female voices, and the difficulty a one-time man has mastering female intonations. She also speaks of loneliness and chat rooms. She shares her genuinely fascinating experience in understated tones. (5:30 p.m. Tue., 7 p.m. Wed., 4 p.m. Sat., Rarig Xperimental, 330 21st Av. S.)

Rohan Preston

Dating Your Mom

This collection of sketches has no particular theme. Ari Hoptman, who I think can safely be called a Fringe legend, does the best vignette. It’s about how our slippery memories become even more compromised when pop culture injects into our consciousness such doppelgängers as Ashanti and Beyoncé, or Rita Moreno and Chita Rivera. Can you remember which one did what? Didn’t think so. Hoptman teams with Amy Shomshak on a recitation of rules for eating in the house, using Biblical language (all foods are good for consumption, except in the living room) that is kind of funny. But overall, this script by Ian Frazier, adapted by John Gaspard, is very thin gruel. (10 p.m. Mon., 5:30 p.m. Fri., 8:30 p.m. Sat., Intermedia Arts, 2822 Lyndale Av. S.)

Graydon Royce

Bump in the Night

Ghoulies and ghosties (plus zombies and psychopathic cheerleaders) are the stars of this witty horror show featuring choreography by Erin Sheppard plus works by Jessica Schilling, Rachel C. Bellotti and Regan K. Saunders. The groove-tastic monsters onstage seem to particularly enjoy moving to hip-hop beats, even if their joints are occasionally stiff with rigor mortis. Courtney McLean steps in between dances to keep everyone on edge with her wacky, creepy and sometimes wildly inappropriate tales. Plus the grim reaper makes a cameo appearance. That dude is a mean tap dancer. (5:30 p.m. Mon., 10 p.m. Thu., 4 p.m. Sun., Rarig Proscenium, 330 21st Av. S.)

Caroline Palmer

Forgetting the Details

Nicole Maxali unpacks memories about her father and her grandmother, revealing some dysfunction but also a lot of love. Her pursuit is noble, but Maxali does not have a frame for her recollections — a purpose and message that might elevate them beyond mere anecdotes. The stories are mostly sentimental, occasionally tinged with regret and generally disjointed. There is something of value here, but the performer and her director, Paul Stein, have not asked the hard questions necessary to turn personal indulgences into a meaningful piece of theater. (7 p.m. Tue., 8:30 p.m. Thu., 4 p.m. Fri., Playwrights’ Center, 2301 E. Franklin Av.)

Graydon Royce



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  • Bump in the Night

  • Forgetting the Details

  • Minnesota fringe festival

    What: 896 performances of 176 shows over 11 days.

    When: Weekdays beginning at 5:30 p.m., with last show at 10 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., beginning at 1 p.m. Ends Aug. 11.

    Where: 16 venues near West Bank, Loring Park, Downtown, Uptown.

    Tickets: $12 per show. Multi-show passes available. Plus $4 button. 1-866-811-4111.

    Web: startribune.com/fringe and fringefestival.org

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