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BEST LOCAL IMPRESARIO Minneapolis 2001 - Dean J. Seal

The Minnesota Fringe Festival continues to grow like that pinkish gelatin that terrorized Steve McQueen in The Blob: This past year's festival featured 104 shows in 17 different venues, seeping through the walls and floorboards of every possible performing surface (including some decidedly unexpected venues, such as basements and the back seats of cars). Total attendance: 24,349, making our festival the second-best-attended in the United States, and offering programs as varied as a film series, standup comedy, musical revues, and naked people cavorting about onstage. All this comes from the stewardship of Dean J. Seal, himself a product of small performing venues and upstart theatrics. Local fans of novelty a cappella groups (you know who you are) will remember Dean from Mr. Elk and Mr. Seal, and might even spontaneously start humming a Japanese rendition of "La Bamba." This year's festival promises to be even bigger, despite repeated attempts by Steve McQueen to freeze the whole thing with fire extinguishers. Dean J. Seal's monstrous creature continues to grow! Will nothing stop it? Will it consume us all?!

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