Fringe 2015 roundup: Loving Bollywood

Spicy Maslala Chai

Spicy Maslala Chai

The 2015 Minnesota Fringe Festival is in the books, and it appears that Bollywood won this year's event.

Well, to be exact, the Bollywood Dance Scene did, as the company's Spicy Masala Chai "won" the Fringe triple crown: It sold the most tickets, tied for percentage of tickets sold, and sold out all six of its performances at the Rarig Center's proscenium stage. That's nothing new for Bollywood Dance Scene. Last year, they had the top selling show at the Fringe as well.

For the Fringe as a whole, attendance numbers were a tick up from 2014, making it another record setting year. A total of 50,330 tickets were issued for 909 performances of the 174 shows. That averages out to 55 patrons per performance, though the number of limited seating, site-specific shows (Broken Bone Bathtub sold out all 11 of its performances, but only played to a total of 77 people) may warp that average a bit.

Regardless, apart from some grumbling (really, after two decades, someone must have come up with a better way to usher patrons through the various lines to get into the theaters), the 2015 Minnesota Fringe Festival was a success. 

By pure ticket sales, here are the top 10 shows of the 2015 Minnesota Fringe festival:

  1. Spicy Masala Chai (Bollywood Dance Scene)

  2. A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Death Star (Go For Broke Productions)

  3. Trial by Jury (Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company)

  4. Comedy Suitcase Presents The Averagers (Comedy Suitcase)

  5. 105 Proof or The Killing Of Mack ‘The Silencer’ Klein (Transatlantic Love Affair)

  6. Couple Fight (Weggel-Reed Productions)

  7. Shelly Bachberg Presents: Orange is the New POTUS: The Musical (The Catalysts)

  8. Oregon Trail: A Musical (Literally Entertainment Productions)

  9. Goblin in the Attic Joins a Dance Crew (Peterson Brothers Productions)

  10. Fruit Flies Like a Banana (The Fourth Wall)

    In all, 20 different companies had sold-out performances, with many of them showing up on the list above. Like the festival itself, the sell outs ranged from dance to drama to comedy to off-kilter pieces, like a walking tour around West Bank area.

    That closes most of the book on the 2015 festival. The final payout for the artists is still to be announced. Last year, nearly $260,000 went to the festival's artists.

    Beyond that, it's never too early to think about Fringe 2016, which will run August 4-14. There might be a new dance piece centered on fruit, a mash up of Babylon 5 and Hill Street Blues, or a juke-box musical based on the music of the Blue Oyster Cult. Whatever your passion, it can have a home in the Fringe.