Minnesota Fringe Festival 2015: Five musicals not to miss

Trial By Jury
Trial By Jury (Minnesota Fringe Festival)

This year's Minnesota Fringe Festival opens on July 30, and as always, there are many musicals in the mix. From Gilbert & Sullivan to an all-female opera, here are five great picks.

Click each show's title to see details and showtimes; a complete list of shows, with information about pricing and ticketing, is available at fringefestival.org.

Trial By Jury

University of Minnesota Rarig Center Proscenium

The Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company are staging "the most successful British one-act operetta of all time!" It's Trial By Jury, Gilbert & Sullivan's 1875 comic opera about a woman who takes her lover to court after he dumps her.

The Clever Artifice of Harriet and Margaret

New Century Theatre

Really Spicy Opera describe their work as "opera by women, about women, featuring nothing but women!" Leanna Kirchoff's opera, winner of the the National Opera Association's 2014-2016 Dominick Argento Chamber Opera Composition Competition, casts two women's "inner voices" to stand alongside them and spill their secret thoughts as they converse over lunch.

Oregon Trail: A Musical

Mixed Blood Theatre

Literally Entertainment Productions is sure to pack 'em in for this show about Minnesota's favorite home-grown educational computer game. Bring your wagon caulk and settle in to watch the dysentery do its thing. As anyone who ever read a gravestone in their junior-high computer lab knows, there's some adult language in store.

Bartleby

Mixed Blood Theatre

"The difficulty in adapting this text," admits writer Connor McEvoy in a Kickstarter video for this new opera, "is that essentially nothing happens." Nonetheless, McEvoy and composer Alyssa Skinner are aiming to use music to portray the eccentricities and personality of Herman Melville's famous scrivener. In the Kickstarter video—which helped inspire eight backers to donate over $100, thus earning them boomerangs hand-made by McEvoy—director Alexander Gerchak says that "I hope that you will laugh, you will think, and you will leave unsettled."

Damn Kids These Days

Nimbus Theatre

Music teacher Katy Hays got her start at age 17 singing the National Anthem at the Tommy Bartlett Water Show in Wisconsin Dells, so you know she understands entertainment. A cast of tweens from Hays's music and choreography camp will share childhood stories in this Fringe show, which has somehow been "created around the soundtrack from the movie Guardians of the Galaxy." Are you as curious as I am?


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