The Show Must Go On... and On... and On

Not Reviewed Here: Another 140 Fringe Plays. Sorry.

—Jessica Armbruster

She, So Beloved
Emily Gunyou
Orpheus had his love Eurydice rescued from Hades, so long as he trusted her and didn't look back on their voyage home. He looked back. Eurydice, in most accounts, took things pretty well. Emily Gunyou, turning a blowtorch and power saw to the myth, thinks otherwise. She fuses dialogue from Ovid and Rilke to her own monologues, songs, and movement. The result is a discomfiting intensity, a nice depiction of the struggle between the heart and head, and a sense of a work still in progress, though not lacking in flashes of insight and beauty. Fri 5:30 p.m., Sat 10:00 p.m. U of M Rarig Center Arena.

—Quinton Skinner

Tall Tale of a Broke Heart
MandM Productions
In this entirely enjoyable show, Simone Perrin plays Lucy, a girl from Winona with a knack for getting her heart broken and a life-long jones for the accordion. (Think the two might be connected?) Perrin punctuates Lucy's tales of woe with tunes by broken-heart specialists Hank Williams, Jimmie Rogers, and Lucinda Williams, and strikes a near-perfect balance between laughing off life's travails and admitting how deeply they cut. Co-written by Perrin and director Randy Reyes, the monologue script is a small-scale gem, and Perrin is charming throughout. Confidential to Lucy: Girls who play Autoharp get all the guys. Thu 6:00 p.m., Fri 10:00 p.m., Sun 4:00 p.m. Bryant-Lake Bowl Theater.

—Quinton Skinner

The Unbearable Lightness of Being American
Ministry of Cultural Warfare
Leigha Horton and Nathan Surprenant tackle the state of the nation in 11 sketches and monologues scripted by Matthew Foster. What works is great: a chilling security-state interview that naturally can't happen here, an exposition on slavery to housecats, and an affectingly raw piece of musical storytelling that commands us to live in the America we were taught should exist. A few segments need more time in the oven, but the show's format ensures that another take on American life comes around the time you'd be looking for the remote control. Thu 7:00 p.m., Sat 8:30 p.m. Intermedia Arts.

—Quinton Skinner

La Vie Theatre
How campy do you like your camp? A cowboy hoedown number, inspired by Brokeback Mountain, makes its way into this Alice in Wonderland story set in a gay nightclub. It's fun, really, as are the other dance sequences, bawdy jokes, and giggling visits from succubae types. These last torment and dance with our hero Alex, lost in the Wonderland discotheque. His only chance for escape is to win the Queen's dance-off. That's a tall task, as the Queen (Fran Benjamin) is a diva and the land's best dancer. Heads would surely roll if her king, a leather man in seatless chaps, weren't present to provide the voice of reason. Wed 8:30 p.m., Sat 8:30 p.m. U of M Rarig Center Proscenium.

—Christina Schmitt

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