Theater Spotlight: 2009 Minnesota Fringe

<i>This Show Will Change Your Life! </i>at Intermedia Arts

This Show Will Change Your Life! at Intermedia Arts

Looking to plot my annual gourmand's swath through the stage dishes offered up in the 2009 Minnesota Fringe, I opted to strategize around the Old Faithful of the seasoned Fringe-goer: geography. Each Fringe show is an hour this year (hooray, no 90-minute productions to gum up the schedule), and with half an hour to get to the next show, one can assume an attitude of debonair arts consumer rather than of sweaty, harried commuter from one show to another. I plan to spend opening night at Gremlin, seeing Boobs for reasons self-evident, Tommy Nugent's Pentecostal-turned-atheist Burning Man and the Reverend Nuge, and solo knockoff Jurassic Dork. On Friday it's Uptown night, at Intermedia Arts and the Theatre Garage, for This Show Will Change Your Life! (one can hope), gay-straight baby comedy Oops!, and Brooklyn import After Life. Saturday is West Bank day, with post-Manson thriller Something Witchy, Joseph Scrimshaw's Tragedy of You, and Allegra Lingo's Crescendo at the Rarig Center, then off to Mixed Blood for hit-man comedy Buyer's Remorse and An Intimate Evening with Fotis Part III. Not resting, even on a Sunday, it's back to Theatre Garage for the post-apocalyptic Strange Weather, and Rockstar Storytellers' Axed!, then Pathos, Punchlines, & Painkillers at Bryant-Lake Bowl. And that's not all: We're sending an ace team of writers into the city with recommended shows, including the New Theater Group's Strong, Walking Shadow's military spy/penguin enigma Squawk, the underemployed Slow Jobs, and Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors at Bedlam, along with many others. Take a look at the listings below to find a few of our choices for the most promising Fringe shows this year. Then pick up next week's City Pages for our annual Fringe roundup, including more reviews than you can read in one comfortable sitting, our annual and often hilarious questionnaire answers from Fringe performers, and our handy guide to the festival's final weekend. Pace yourself over the next few days, in other words. We'll reload next week and send you out for a final round of fever dreams. $10-$12, $5 under 12, multi-show passes $50-$150; Wednesday thorugh Sunday at various times and venues; Through August 9