Illusion Theater's Fresh Ink 2010 kicks off three-weekend slate of shows

Illusion Theater kicks off its 23rd annual summer Fresh Ink series tomorrow night; the festival this year includes three very different works, each with its own set of intriguing possibilities.

This weekend audiences can catch

Beauty is a Rare Thing

, written and directed by

Marion McClinton

. It depicts a family gathered together to await the death of their matriarch; the Maroon family has a history dating back to rebellious freed slaves and instrumental roles in the Civil Rights movement. Here's a show documenting and exploring the dynamism and the endurance of the African-American spirit throughout history.

Next weekend it's 2 Sugars, Room for Cream starring Carolyn Pool and Shanan Custer. This was a huge hit at the 2009 Fringe, and returns retooled. It's a comedy in which the talented Pool and Custer explore observations about things large and small, all held together by the common theme of cups of jitter juice.

The final weekend (July 22-25) offers up Confessions From the Convent. It's a one-woman show by Madde Gibba that tells the story of growing up in the new millennium in Catholic school (plaid skirts and all).

Performances of Fresh Ink 2010 run 8:00 p.m. Thu.-Fri., 7:00 p.m. Sun., July 8-25 at Illusion Theater, 528 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis. Tickets are $15 per show, $30 for three-show pass. To buy, call 612.339.4944 or click here.

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