Illusion Theater's Fresh Ink 2010 serves "2 Sugars, Room for Cream"

"As Shanan describes it, the show is scenes from life and things we think are funny," says Carolyn Pool of Shanan Custer, her co-creator for 2 Sugars, Room for Cream (playing at Illusion Theater this weekend). "We're not trying to write a plot-driven linear show, and we wanted to write a show not just for us--we wanted to write two great roles for a couple of actresses."

2 Sugars

first appeared at last year's Minnesota Fringe, selling out every night and generally producing a great deal of buzz. It's exactly a year since that version of the show closed, give or take a couple of weeks.

"Coming back to the old material was surprising to me," says Custer. "It's been almost exactly one year; if it gets much longer than that, you start to forget things."

Pool and Custer have added new scenes to round out the show, including two new and original songs with music by Drew Jansen. As the piece has evolved, it has grown beyond a vehicle for the two performers; now they see a possible future for the play with others taking the stage.

"We wrote characters that could be any ethnicity," Pool observes. "And any age between 30 and 50, and any physical type."

"When I was at the Brave New Workshop, I was committed to writing for women," Custer adds. "For obvious reasons. "For comedy it's always, 'OK, there's a guy in the subway." Well, why not a woman in the subway? Basically, you're just trying to get yourself into the sketches."

It's clear that Pool and Custer have a chemistry that translates into part of this production's charm. Custer describes Pool fondly as "so smart," and Pool speaks of the two "watching each other's work from afar for 10 years" before this collaboration.

Finally, Custer describes this single weekend run of  2 Sugars as a "mini-Fringe" (condensed into four nights rather than two weekends); chances are, the expanded show will transcend even the considerable charms it offered the first time around.

2 Sugars, Room for Cream plays at Illusion Theater, 528 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis. Tickets are $15. Showtimes are 8:00 p.m. tonight and Saturday, 7:00 p.m. Sunday. For tickets call 612.339.4944 or click here.

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