This year's annual "Five-Fifths" deconstruction, delivered under the banner of the Minnesota Fringe, is happening tonight and tonight only at the Ritz. The idea is simple: take a classic work, divide it into five parts, and find an equal number of performing companies to tackle each segment (preferably with divergent missions and track records, for maximum contrast and friction).
This year's installment is a take on Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes story A Study in Scarlet. The five companies signed up this year are:
Tom Reed, who last year created the Fringe hit show Parry Hotter and the Half-Drunk Twins;
Theatre Unbound, a small local company directed toward producing work by women;
Park Square Theatre, a medium-sized, full-season company;
Monica Rodero and Dan Schuchart, two dancers from Milwaukee;
Joshua Scrimshaw and Levi Weinhagen, who came up with the detective comedy The Harty Boys in the Case of the Limping Platypus.
So let's see: companies big and small, creators of comedies, children's mystery goofball adaptations, and dance thrown into the mix. "Five-Fifths" is always unpredictable, hard to pin down, and frequently good fun. The Fringe also seems to time it for the flush of spring, presumably evoking associations with the hot-weather theatrical Mardi Gras to come early this August.
Consider the free-for-all of the Fringe properly evoked. And who knows how these five fifths are going to collide with one another.
Five-Fifths of Sherlock Holmes plays at 7:30 tonight at the Ritz, 345 13th Avenue NE, Minneapolis. Tickets are $30 in advance, $35 at the door. For more information and to order, click here.