Couple Fight 3: Weddings

Six heterosexual couples, plus a happy straight singleton and an officiating gay add up to one of the most hilarious shows in the festival. Creator Anna Weggel-Reed and director Tom Reed have hit upon a Fringe franchise that shares ridiculous yet relatable stories from real life couples. Laura Zabel and Levi Weinhagen re-enact their disagreement about their wedding playlist (he had a secret anti-gun theme running through it). Shanan Custer and Eric Webster wanted a simple lakeside wedding but their mothers and stepfathers had bigger ideas, all of which came to a head when a tornado interrupted the festivities. And bride Rita Boersma goes ballistic after realizing that her self-made jar-pies were not fully baked. (2:30 p.m. Sun., 10 p.m. Tue., 8:30 p.m. Sat. Aug. 12, 2:30 p.m. Sun. Aug. 13, Rarig Center Thrust, 330 21st Av. S., Mpls.)

ROHAN PRESTON

The Pursuit of Awesome

Watching David M. Harris balance on a shovel on top of a bowling ball is pretty cool, and he’s certainly got some mad juggling skills, but really, his tricks are beside the point of this one-man show. Instead, this self-deprecating circus performer removes the mask to reveal the vulnerabilities and neuroses that led to him spending months and years in his basement perfecting random weird feats for no other reason than it would be awesome if he could do them. It’s a show about the journey, not the end result. (5:30 p.m. Sat., 4 p.m. Sun., 7 p.m. Thu., 10 p.m. Aug. 12, Intermedia Arts, 2822 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls.)

SHEILA REGAN

Death in Yosemite

Most visitors to Yosemite National Park follow trails and heed the advice of rangers. But some (mostly men) do inadvisable things that put their lives, and those of their would-be rescuers, in jeopardy. This gleefully macabre production tells us about those reckless and ultimately tragic figures who succumb to the lures of Spirit of Yosemite, a beguiling maiden who ultimately puts on a Jason mask as she demands a blood sacrifice. Edwin Strout plays a park ranger/narrator and Dawn Kosnowski the Spirit. The clever, interactive production, created by Tim Wick and John Newstrom, is structurally wanting but often LOL funny. (10 p.m. Sat., 5:30 p.m. Sun., 7 p.m. Wed., 1 p.m. Sun. Aug. 13, Theatre in the Round, 245 Cedar Av. S., Mpls.)

ROHAN PRESTON

Whisper Into My Good Ear

It’s easy to see that something is up when two old men meet on a park bench in New York City just before Christmas in William Hanley’s one-act. What’s up is that these lonely old duffers are going to end it all. What follows is a masterfully acted and deeply moving conversation about what you do when it seems like life has run its course. Lawrence Ripp’s outgoing Charlie is a perfect contrast to Patrick O’Brien’s reserved Max, but both carry decades of hard living and loneliness in their sad eyes and stooped postures. Max’s big secret doesn’t carry the same weight now as it did in 1962, but Charlie’s reaction — and his sudden desire to keep living — makes this a sublime and moving show. (4 p.m. Sat., 5:30 p.m. Mon., 7 p.m. Thu., 2:30 p.m. Aug. 12, Strike Theater, 824 18th Av. NE., Mpls.)

ED HUYCK

It’s About Love Again This Year

Chicago-based RE|dance group is in love with love in this heartfelt work choreographed by Michael Estanich. Romance is the prime subject but he knows we humans have other passions as well, like cake and Netflix binges. The choreography, performed by nine women in gowns (plus Estanich, who occasionally morphs into a faithful dog), is a lively blend of classical elegance and modern-day anxiety. It’s as if Jane Austen and Nora Ephron teamed up to create a rom-com for dancers who like to occasionally burst into song. (8:30 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 1 p.m. Sun., 7 p.m. Mon., Southern Theater, 1420 Washington Av. S., Mpls.)

CAROLINE PALMER

Blackout Improv

U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, Confederate flags and Chuck E. Cheese figured into Blackout’s opening-night performance. With an alternating team of African American improv artists, this production spins conversations and spontaneous sketches out of politics and other random topics (as in: audience members pluck topics from a hat, generating an entirely different show every time). Blackout stalwart Joy Dolo Anfinson was the standout, especially when channeling Busta Rhymes and freestyling an alternate history without Harry Potter. Though her castmates struggled to hit their groove, it was genuinely interesting to hear their thoughts on current events — and exhilarating when on-the-spot jokes could fly. (7 p.m. Sat., 8:30 p.m. Mon., 5:30 p.m. Wed., 8:30 p.m. Thu., Phoenix Theater, 2605 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls.)

CHRISTY DeSMITH

Antonio and the Juice Man

Why would 19th-century outlaw Jesse James break into Stillwater prison? Why would he, along with fellow gunslingers Cole and Bob Younger, scurry back out dressed in Shakespearean costumes? How does the prison have an inmate paper that’s won over 20 journalism awards? And who’s that random blind guy? All this and more is revealed in a quippy, interactive one-act with tongue-in-cheek dialogue and an expert sense of absurdity and suspense. The show boasts an expert cast of senior performers, including director Don Cosgrove, who apologizes for starring in his own show yet again. We aren’t complaining. (10 p.m. Sat., 2:30 p.m. Sun., 8:30 p.m. Wed., 7 p.m. Aug. 12, Strike Theater, 824 18th Av. NE., Mpls.)

CRYSTAL DUAN

Dancing With the Enemy (and Other Celebrations of Life)

Mirah Ammal’s dancing is pure seduction. Whether performing an Egyptian raqs assaya, or a burlesque-type number where she removes items of her clothes in a flirtatious romp, or even improvising to classical Egyptian music, Ammal has the audience wrapped around her luxurious fingers. The show has group dances too, of the Middle Eastern folk variety and more contemporary styles. Guest artists included the enchanting Group de Danzas, a Colombian ethnic dance troupe, fresh from the Festival of Nations. (7 p.m. Sat., 8:30 p.m. Mon., 10 p.m. Thu., 4 p.m. Aug. 13, Jungle Theater, 2951 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls.)

SHEILA REGAN

35 Different Angles From Which to Hate Yourself

Choreographer Jesse Schmitz-Boyd of Rogue & Rabble Dance takes us on a tour of his tormented psyche and it’s pretty darn funny. We’re all familiar with the angles — who among us hasn’t recoiled at our own annoying tendencies? Schmitz-Boyd and his dancers are best in the short, sharp humorous moments and occasional absurd interludes. The longer movement sections function as calming transitions but they sometimes wander. A duet for Mirabai Miller and Lauren Vanchina is a bitingly funny depiction of how we hide our true thoughts from the world. (2:30 p.m. Sat., 8:30 p.m. Tue., 10 p.m. Aug. 12, 7 p.m. Aug. 13, Southern Theater, 1420 Washington Av. S., Mpls.)

CAROLINE PALMER

Spy in the House of Men

For transgender performer Penny Sterling, coming out took five decades. In this one-woman show, Sterling shares scenes from that journey — furtively donning her mother’s dresses as a child, telling her grown children the truth as an adult. The show is broken into vignettes, some more intimate than others. Sterling has a knack for lightening dark moments with humor, for revealing truths without veering into corniness. One teenage summer, she tells the audience, she grew six inches. Her voice dropped an octave. She started working out. “Perfect camouflage,” Sterling notes, “for a spy in the house of men.” (8:30 p.m. Sat.-Sun., 7 p.m. Tue., 4 p.m. Aug. 12, Bryant-Lake Bowl, 810 W. Lake St., Mpls.)

JENNA ROSS