Fringe Festival reviews: 'Native Man' confronts unsettling issues

  • Updated: August 6, 2014 - 8:35 AM

"Native Man the Musical," a forceful adult look into male American Indian identity, uses songs, anecdotes and cultural commentary to express various concerns.

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"Native Man the Musical"

Musicals range from one about American Indian men to one based on “Top Gun.”

NATIVE MAN

THE MUSICAL

This forceful adult look into male American Indian identity uses songs, anecdotes and cultural commentary to express various concerns. From questionable attitudes about women to bravely vulnerable sharing about being gay, live performers and video interviews make unsettling assertions matched with evidence of American exceptionalism, Christian oppressiveness and suburban homogenization. These native men from various backgrounds are unafraid to speak their truths. United States complicity with deaths of indigenous Central Americans, incisive analysis of sports team emblems and probing insights on pretentious misuse of the term “warrior” enhance a compellingly confrontational production.

(8:30 p.m., Fri., 10 p.m. Sat., Rarig Xperimental, 330 21st Av. S.)

john townsend

 

– Unscripted!

The Theater of Public Policy Players create lively improvisations very loosely based on actual stories from Minnesota history. A historical expert relates a story the actors have not heard beforehand. Out of this they shape scenes right on the spot. The players are mischievously clever, quick-witted and have no problem with cross-gender character portrayals. Though their work bears only sporadic resemblance to the actual story, they are great fun to watch and may very well stimulate your own curiosity about state history.

(5:30 p.m. Wed., 4 p.m. Fri., 7 p.m. Sat., Bryant-Lake Bowl 810 W. Lake St.)

JOHN TOWNSEND

 

The Second Oldest Profession

Peter Moore’s short piece is composed of little more than a litany of life lessons explicated through the lens of show business, but his genial stage presence offsets the occasionally pedantic material. When it works, truisms like “there are no small parts, only small actors” become the jumping -off point for some hilarious anecdotes and jokes about an array of famous figures ranging from John Barrymore to Moore’s father, veteran newscaster Dave Moore. When it doesn’t work, you wonder if you missed the theater and wandered into a motivational workshop instead.

(5:30 p.m. Wed., 7 p.m. Sat., 1 p.m. Sun., Rarig Center Arena, 330 21st Av. S.)

LISA BROCK

 

Hour Town

  • MINNESOTA

    FRINGE FESTIVAL

    What: Hourlong dramas, comedies, musicals and more, at multiple venues.

    When: Ends Sun.

    Tickets: $12, $5 for ages 12 and under, with multi-show passes available in a range of prices, fringefestival.org.

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