Kitty, Kitty, Kitty
Ah, the cat’s life. Lie around, wait for humans to rub you, feed you, clean out your litter box. It’s such a great deal that we homo sapiens never stop to wonder if kitty finds the daily routine tedious. Sam Landman plays a cat who is ready to end it all because he’s lonely and bored. But then a scientist (Leif Jurgensen) clones Kitty and Kitty Kitty (Matt Rein) becomes an object of affection and adoration. We love ourselves best, right? Noah Haidle’s script is slight but has lots of fun. Katie Willers is great as a human and another cat (named Morris).
2:30 p.m. Sat., 8:30 p.m. Mon., 8:30 p.m. Thu., 10 p.m. next Sat.; Rarig Arena, 330, 21st Av. S.)
Tim Uren’s “The Tourist Trap” puts a cold and creepy polish on Ghoulish Delights’ reputation for producing theater in the specialized genre of horror. When four seemingly unwitting tourists visit a South Dakota site dedicated to the bloody history of a serial killer, they get more than they bargain for from their host, played with chilling black humor by Charles Hubbell. Expect the unexpected as the pace of this bloody gem starts small, then accelerates like a runaway train. Uren’s premise and fine direction will keep audiences scarily off-balance.
(1 p.m. Sat., 7 p.m. Tue., 10 p.m. Fri., 7 p.m. next Sat.; Theatre in the Round, 245 Cedar Av. S.)
It’s not a bad idea to put Jane Austen’s love-searching characters in the age of online dating. But the dialogue in “Austen-tacious!,” created by Jana Patrick Brown with music by Kate Marianna Brown, is flat. So is most of the acting, save for that of Camille Isadora Smith (Emma), who also delivers in a lovely soprano. There are some clever musical bits, but the whole thing would be better served with a more seasoned cast. After all, you want the show to be at least as good as its title.
(5:30 p.m. Sat., 8:30 p.m. Sun., 7 p.m. Wed., 5:30 p.m. Fri.; Rarig Thrust, 330 21st Av. S.)
Macaroni on a Hot Dog
Sandra Thomas has been to some bad weddings, seen some corny people at weddings and apparently took copious notes along the way. Thomas, skilled and sure of her characters, plays a bride doing community service for leaving her guests in the hot sun while she and her husband went drinking for three hours, a pregnant teen bride slugging down Boone’s Farm, and the brother of said teen bride. Some of the show gets rather familiar, and Thomas leans on cliché too much, but she is a cut above average.
(1 p.m. Sun., 7 p.m. Wed., 5:30 p.m. Fri., 2:30 p.m. Aug. 10; Playwrights’ Center, 2301 E. Franklin Av.)
Green T’s Odyssey
This inventive homage to Kubrick’s sci-fi masterpiece “2001: A Space Odyssey” — and the Arthur C. Clarke book produced collaboratively — is also a celebration of story expressed through movement. From knuckle-propelled apes to Kabuki dancers waving fans to the “Blue Danube Waltz,” the “realm of pure mind” is illustrated by pure body, with grace embodied even in gestures that are intentionally robotic. Less verbal explanation, more action would have made it even more entertaining.
(1 p.m. Sun., 7 p.m. Wed., 5:30 p.m. Fri., 7 p.m. Aug. 10; Illusion Theater, 528 Hennepin Av. S.)
An uncomfortable twist on a controversial 1960s experiment about society’s innate obedience to authority, this show started with high intensity and quickly took a turn in a different direction. The dark story line doesn’t stop until the last second of the show. The audience will not have a hard time empathizing with Robb Krueger’s character, James “Jim” McDonough. However, it was easy to get lost in the suspense and not appreciate the script. Despite lighting difficulties, the cast shone and the comedic relief throughout was just right.
(10 p.m. Sat., 7 p.m. Sun., 8:30 p.m. Thu., 2:30 p.m. next Sat.; Mixed Blood, 1501 S. 4th St.)
It’s the end of the world as we know it. In Peter Sinn Nachtrieb’s “Boom,” a comet threatens life on the planet. Earth’s repopulation seems to rest on two human survivors — gay marine biologist Jules (Daniel Flohr) and child-averse journalism student Jo (Sara Marsh). They met on a date and are now bolted underground in Jules’ lab while life everywhere perishes. Mel Day directs this muscular, funny production that mashes up the absurd with the scientific. Sadie Plendl plays lecturer Barbara, an explanatory character that feels tacked-on.
(1 p.m. Sat., 8:30 p.m. Wed., 7 p.m. next Sat., 1 p.m. Aug. 10; Playwrights’ Center, 2301 E. Franklin Av.)
Eighty percent of scruffily adorable comic Ben San Del’s charm is in his delivery, and that’s more than good enough. The latest solo show from the guy named 2006’s “funniest person in the Twin Cities” by Acme Comedy Club dances between observational humor — the arbitrary meanings we’ve given curse words, the titular “fiddlestick conundrum” — and anecdotes: “My parents were pissed when I became an atheist because they’re hardcore agnostics.” Dragging a skeptic to their first Fringe show? Make it this one.
(8:30 p.m. Sat., 5:30 p.m. Wed., 10 p.m. Fri., 1 p.m. next Sat.; New Century Theatre, 615 Hennepin Av. S.)
How is finding love like finding the perfect pair of shoes? Well, you get that spring in your step — and then come the blisters. This charming show examines those stumbles involved in discovering, yes, one’s soul mate, through a fortyish shoe saleswoman whose greatest fear is being alone should she choke, and a nebbishy New Balance rep who is “in love with love at first sight.” Tim Hellendrung and Maureen Tubbs capture the humor and poignancy in taking those first steps from the Nordstrom shoe department into the real world.
(2:30 p.m. Sun., 10 p.m. Thu., 5:30 p.m. next Sat., 2:30 p.m. next Sun.; Music Box, 1407 Nicollet Av. S.)