Best Local YouTube Video (2012)

Street Stories

Consider the commonplace. Be mindful of the mundane. And never "ho-hum" the humdrum. This seems to be the driving philosophy behind "Street Stories," a locally produced series available both at MPLS.TV and on YouTube. Executive producer Joanna Solotaroff, who works by day as a community organizer and by night as an improv actor, puts both skills to use curating the series, which seeks out ordinary residents and asks them to "tell their most interesting, weird, and moving Minneapolis stories on location." The stories are odd but not always shocking — there's a good chance you have a similar one in your own memory's cache. But what makes this series truly delightful is that Solotaroff and crew take the storytellers back to the locations of their tales and repopulate the scene with actors, animation, and illustration, allowing the narrators to dramatically re-create their anecdotes. Our favorite edition? When Solotaroff takes her own dear mother to Lyndale to tell a yarn about a first date gone awry — something about a freezer full of dildos. The endings are always unexpected and always sure to charm...even when they involve someone's mother and a stash of sex toys.


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