Minnesota Fringe, one of the country's oldest and largest fringe festivals, has announced some last minute changes to this year's lineup. The festival, which runs August 1-11 at venues throughout the Twin Cities, saw three of of its scheduled performance groups depart from the roster on short notice. Last minute replacements for those shows feature performers whose numbers were not drawn in the regular Fringe lottery, and who can assemble a complete show under a tight deadline. Executive Director Robin Gillette explained that a system is in place to replace shows quickly as the festival draws near.
“In mid-July we send out an email to all the companies remaining on our waitlist to see who still has a viable show," explained Gillette. "Those companies are then put on an email list. When we have an opening, it’s first come, first serve. Whoever emails first gets the spot.” All three of the replacement shows announced are spoken word shows produced by solo performers.
Fearless Comedy Productions' Jena Young adds one last show to her already packed schedule with "Memoirs of a Welfare Queen". Young calls the show, which is one of five she's working on, "a solo storytelling show about how I ended up on welfare, what it was like to be on welfare, and how I got off welfare." Young's show replaces “The Escalate Factor” in the U of M Rarig Center Proscenium.
Comedian Joey Hamburger presents "Blind Date", a storytelling show in which nine characters recount their relationship experiences. Hamburger is remounting the show, which he originally performed in March at the Bryant Lake Bowl, and promises the usual absurd anecdotes and hilarious hijinks upon which his comedic brand is built. Hamburger's show replaces “OKCupid We Are Not a Match.com” in the James Sewell Ballet Tek Box at the Cowles Center.
Joking Envelope's Joseph Scrimshaw enters the roster with “How to Swear Like a Minnesotan”, a show that sold out the Bryant Lake Bowl in March. He notes that this show differs from his past Fringe performances, and is scheduled for a much smaller venue than he usually plays. "It's a good match for the show," he says. "Which is a strange hybrid of storytelling and stand-up. An intimate space is great for that. So, while I've been performing in the festival for years, I'm happy to bring something stylistically fresh." Scrimshaw replaces “GEIDUSA love + hate” in the U of M Rarig Center Xperimental.
[Photo courtesy of Joking Envelope]