Monday, August 11, 2008

On The Fringe

The Minnesota Fringe Festival is a wild mix of short plays, dance and performance art. I had the chance to see War of the Worlds- The Musical last Friday, and it was well worth the time spent. Presented as a 30's radio show, those of us in attendance became the "studio audience" as this recasting of Orson Welles' radio drama was turned on its head- the cast thinks the reports
of an invasion are a hoax, only coming to the realization that it was really happening after the studio has been invaded.

This was a broad farce, augmented by some clever songs (sung in close harmony with absolutely knock-out precision!) and vintage radio skits performed in the styles of Burns and Allen and Abbott and Costello. The musical had been shortened to fit within the Fringe format (one hour maximum) and this probably helped keep it in tight focus.

Due to the complex nature of theatrical production, it is always a challenge to present a polished performance in a festival setting. That Greg Eiden, who wrote the book and music pulled this off with such aplomb is a testament to him and a very talented group of actor/singers, and two tap-dancing, three-legged "Martians."

And yes, the Martians tap danced on all three legs!

By Professor Batty



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