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The Most Dangerous Game Goes for Deadly Laughs

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If you're looking for a bit of Fringe-like action in the dead of winter, the Bedlam Theatre may have your ticket this weekend.

The hour-long adaptation of The Most Dangerous Game is loaded with Minnesota Fringe Festival cues. It's low budget, fast paced, and doesn't take itself at all seriously. It's even a friendly 60 minutes long, giving you plenty of time to get in and out (or enjoy some beer and food at the Bedlam).

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If you remember your high school English classes (or have seen any of the million or so adaptations made on practically every action-orientated television series), The Most Dangerous Game concerns itself with a vain hunter, Sanger Rainsford, who finds the tables turned on him when he shipwrecks on an isolated island.

There, he meets the eccentric Count Zaroff, who has grown bored with shooting traditional game "in the face," and has taken to hunting human fare. Can Rainsford and the plucky Eve Drobridge survive?

Well, of course. We've all seen the story before. What creators Joey Hamburger and Michael Hugh Torsch have done is ramp up the absurdity to the breaking point. Hamburber's Rainsford is more than just a vain hunter, he's a very stupid one as well. Tosch's Zaroff takes his barking madness to the extreme. It's up to Iris Page as Eve to provide some sanity.

The length and low-tech approach work well together. If things were any longer the show would start to push our patience with the simple story, and the basic approach gives the whole thing a "let's put on a show!" charm.

Sophisticated? No, but The Most Dangerous Game is a good way to chase mid-January blues away.

IF YOU GO:

The Most Dangerous Game 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday Bedlam Theatre, 213 E. Fourth St., St. Paul $9-$10 For tickets and information, call 651-209-0597 or visit online.