Fringe Day 8: A spooky tale

Edgar Allan.
Edgar Allan.
Photo courtesy the Coldharts

The last days of the 2014 Minnesota Fringe Festival are upon us. That means the final chances to see this year's range of shows are here, right now.

There are a couple of changes to the familiar schedule. The shows start at 4 p.m. today, but there is not a 10 p.m. show Sunday. Also, the 8:30 p.m. Sunday slot has not yet been scheduled. The top-selling show at each venue will take the stage at that time. That announcement is made late on Saturday evening, with the winners posted on the Fringe website.

And like any great gathering of folks, there will be a party to say goodbye to this year's Fringe. That happens Sunday evening at the Varsity.

Now go out and find those final gems for 2014.

See also: Fringe Day 7: Come watch the cats play

Edgar Allan

Horror works great in a one-act format. It helps to keep the mood going and lets us suspend our disbelief for the duration of the tale. The genre has always been a part of the Fringe, and has even spun off in recent years with the Twin Cities Horror Festival.

The Coldharts' Edgar Allan premiered at last year's Horror Festival, but it is making a nice return at the Fringe. The piece is a creepy and sometimes funny bit inspired by the writings of Poe, though not necessarily an adaptation of any of them.

Performers and creators Katie Hartman and Nick Ryan both play characters called Edgar Allan. They meet as preteens in an English boarding school. Hartman's Edgar Allan is like a crow, forever darting here and there. He wants the top roost at the school, and is willing to engage in any activity to do it.

Ryan's Edgar Allan is quiet of body and voice. He never speaks above a whisper, and his actions are slight and precise. The two begin as rivals, but slowly a bond is formed. Both are misfits in the school. Ryan's character isn't at all interested in the other students, while Hartman's rise in the school hierarchy is mainly in her mind.

The spooky vibe intensifies as the show progresses, with both actors using the simple staging to great effect. There are also jokes (Hartman did time with the likes of the Brave New Workshop; Ryan is part of Four Humors), and a number of songs brought to life via ukulele and trumpet.

The Minnesota Fringe Festival continues through Sunday.

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