Sunday, July 04, 2010

Fringe 2010 - I Am Trying To Break Your Heart

Well, the weeping and gnashing of teeth starts early this year.

The Minnesota Fringe Festival website is up and running in a big way.

It looks amazing, and already has tons of useful information, with more to follow.

For instance, you can download the entire Fringe program - now.

And you can download the entire schedule grid, or download individual daily schedule grids - now.

There is a full list of the artists currently slated to be part of the two-part Fringe-For-All preview on July 12 and 19, as well as several mini-preview showcases in between, with links to all of their show pages.

With all this information already in hand, the enormity of the Fringe becomes readily apparent so much earlier than it did last year.

And even a hard-core Fringer like myself must face facts.

Even if I saw a different show in every one of the performance slots, including the encore slot - I could only see a total of 56 shows.

The Fringe has 169 this year.

So not only is it physically impossible to see everything in the Fringe - no matter what you do, you will still end up missing twice as many shows as you see.

That is a wonderful and terrible problem to have.

And one must be ruthless, and make decisions.

And once you make those decisions, the schedules need to align.

And you have to be realistic about just how far you can travel in less than half an hour between shows ('cause let's face it, it's not just the travel, it's parking time)

Then there's the beloved Mom Fringing factor. I know how fast I can move. But I am not running my 70something year old mother that hard. This is supposed to be her vacation. Relaxation, not stress. Together time, not relay race time. So the first seven days of the Fringe will see a lot of picking a general locale, and staying within that hub (of which, thankfully, the Fringe has several, so options are plentiful no matter where you situate yourself.)

Doubtless I will fall in love with a show or two and want to go back, which knocks out another couple of slots with repeat viewings.

And the more I get to know the various shows, the more I want to see them. My list is growing, not shrinking.

The great thing about all that is, well, the Fringe seems poised to kick my ass again this year, and show me some really amazing, varied theater. With a little luck and honest planning, I may be fortunate enough to see over 50 shows, and not hate a single one of them.

Didn't happen last year, but hope springs eternal.

And everyone keeps bringing their "A" game.

Which makes my job as an audience member harder and easier at the same time (both in a good way).

Now it's time to start rattling off all the things I'm looking forward to, and the oddities I keep tripping over.

Go poke around the Fringe site, folks. It's only a month away now.

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