Mike Fotis and Lauren Anderson present 'Foterson: Man Lady Funny Time'
Mike Fotis and Lauren Anderson have been colleagues and friends for years. Both have deep ties to the Brave New Workshop through longstanding onstage revues and as graduates of the associated Student Union program.
Foterson: Man Lady Funny Time gives the friends a chance to showcase their skills in a different format. While the pair has performed together before on improv stages, this time they're working with a script.
The friends have worked together before in various guises, from their time at the Brave New Workshop, to two-person improv, to a part in the weekly Show-X at Huge Theater. "We have the same kind of weird sense of humor," Anderson says. "We were both taking a show off [from Brave New Workshop] and thought, 'What could we do in a two-performer show?'"
Their close friendship has become fodder for the production, as the two are, in Fotis's words, as "close as two people can be without having sex."
While this piece will be scripted, the duo did some preliminary improv performances. "We wanted to have character ideas and scene ideas," Fotis says. "A lot of that ended up in the show."
One of the comedy inspirations they look to is Nichols and May, the partnership between Mike Nichols and Elaine May from the 1960s where the two were "an equal partnership."
While there is a script for "the spine of the show," the piece will include some improv along the way. "We make it clear for the audience from the beginning that this will be part of the show," Fotis says.
Part of the idea is also to help solidify the identity of the Student Union. The building was the longtime -- more than 40 years -- home of the Brave New Workshop, so there are plenty of people who still associate the two. Their production will be the first fully produced show at the venue since last fall's downtown move.
Changing the identity takes time -- the two note that they have to occasionally point confused-looking patrons downtown to find performances of the revue -- but the rewards could be great for the school, which has expanded its courses for both individuals interested in learning about the craft and professionals searching to develop and sharpen their skills.
IF YOU GO:
Foterson: Man Lady Funny Time
8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through May
BNW Student Union
2605 Hennepin Ave. S., Minneapolis
For information, call 612.332.6620 or visit online
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