MN Fringe Festival: Plan of attack, one day out

Steamy: "A Nice Guy's Guide to Awkward Sex" at the Minnesota Fringe
Steamy: "A Nice Guy's Guide to Awkward Sex" at the Minnesota Fringe

The Minnesota Fringe lifts off in 24 hours, and serious Fringe-goers are meticulously laying out their plan of attack. The Fringe website, an excellent repository of all things Fringe, is an apt place to start. But I also got my hands on the Fringe's printed schedule for this year, and it lays out a vital consideration: geographical reality. 

Esteemed former Pioneer Press theater critic Dominic Papatola became a Fringe powerhouse in years past, taking in a show during every slot between Thursday and Sunday (that means 22 shows in four days, all of which he reviewed). This represents a sort of Fringe apotheosis, not recommended for the new or for those under a doctor's supervision (Papatola might have required a doctor's intervention at the end of the weekend, but never mind).

But if you're seeing multiple shows (my current plan is for about 15 or 16 opening weekend), you're going to have practical considerations: making sure you have time to get to your next venue, park, and buy a ticket to the show. There's half an hour between shows, a decent amount of time, but not necessarily if you're traveling from Gremlin in St. Paul to the Ritz in Northeast at 6:30 on Friday night.

The Fringe printed schedule gives you a step in the right planning direction, grouping Fringe venues into four categories: Northeast (the Ritz); St. Paul (Gremlin); Uptown (four venues); and West Bank (eight venues, including the Playwrights' Center which, in Seward, is a very short hop from, say, Rarig at the U).

So if you're planning on hitting it hard this weekend, cluster your plan around location. Spend one block of time in one area, then hit another the next day. Added bonus: walking in on a show you've never heard of. If it's terrific, you won the theatrical equivalent of a scratch-off ticket. If it's awful, well, Fringe vets enjoy remembering the horror stories almost as much as the hours of transcendence.

Another Fringe trailer: Shakespearean violence-fest "Kill Will":

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