The Fringe of the Fringe

As MPR’s Marianne Combs put it in her State of the Arts blog post yesterday, it’s impossible to see every show in the Fringe Festival. Pamela Espeland of MinnPost backs that sentiment up with numbers in her blog: 11 days, 165 shows, more than 800 performances on 15 stages, more than 1,000 artists. Everything from comedy to musicals to “different,” (yes, that’s a category), is represented. Uffdah.

No matter how many Five Hour Energies you drink or how hard you wish you could be two (or three or four) places at once, it just ain’t gonna happen, folks.

Before you get all sad and overwhelmed, however, check this out:

Combs kindly waded through the hundreds of show options for you and chose her top 10 picks based on previews, past performances, and word of mouth. And Espeland sat down with Fringe publicist Kate O’Reilly to make heads and tales of this crazy whirlwind fest of fun.

But wait, there’s more!

Tonight, at 7 p.m., there’s a unique “pre-Fringe” Fringe show featuring 20 out-of-town acts, called, naturally, “Out of Towner Showcase.” And on Saturday from 10–11:30 a.m., Peace Coffee is offering a free tour of its roaster to Fringe participants. Don’t worry: if you’re just a watcher and not an actual Fringer, Peace Coffee Shop is offering daily deals just for you. Also, there will be plenty of coffee available at the shows for you to sip on, as well as Summit beer (the two companies are sponsors of the festival).

So instead of trusting me to feebly attempt to wade through the multitude of shows and combination options, check out what the experts (i.e. Combs and Espeland) have to say, go see the new out-of-town acts tonight, then caffeinate up (and drink your way down) from Thursday, August 2, to Sunday, August 12, as you soak up the brightest, funniest, and most random shows to take stage in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Who knows, maybe you’ll uncover some insights of your own.

MN Fringe Festival
Thursday, August 2–Sunday, August 12
Locations vary, see website