Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Fringe 2022 - Returning Favorites - Brad Lawrence

Life Underground - Brad Lawrence

A one man show about going deaf in New York using the through line of the city, the subway, as the through line of the story.

Just because of the economics of scale, the Fringe circuit is normally awash in solo shows.  They’re simple to produce, easy to tour, the logistics are just much simpler when you’ve only got one artist to deal with,  But not everybody who tries to do a solo show has something interesting to share, or the skills to tell the story well.  A person who sees a lot of Fringe can see so many bad one-person shows that they could be forgiven for starting to wonder if the genre itself is just a bad idea.  But then, you get lucky and see a good one, or even a great one, and you realize, “Oh!  That’s how you’re supposed to do it!”  Brad Lawrence puts on a great solo show.  He was in my pre-Fringe Top 5 back in 2016 for his one-man show The Gospel of Sherilyn Fenn, and delivered beyond even my already very high expectations.  And he was great yet again when he returned in 2018 with The Idaho Jackson Action Playset.  I am so happy to see he’s back again with a new show, and I can’t wait to see it.  Whatever I think I’m going to see, I’ll have guessed wrong, and whatever he show he gives me instead is going to make me happy I haven’t given up on Fringe solo shows as an art form.  Artists like Brad Lawrence keep me coming back.


(You can click on the following links to see a set of links to the full Top 10 list, the Top 11-20 list, a list of returning favorites, and the full coverage of the 2022 Fringe on this blog.) 

(Side note: Also during Fringe season, Minnesota has a primary election coming up on August 9th.  Early voting options are currently available.  You can also check out what's on your ballot ahead of time on the Minnesota Secretary of State website, as well as other voting services and information.  In Minneapolis, not only do we have the Governor and Lt. Governor on the ballot, but there's our U.S. Congressional Rep., our MN State Senator, the MN Secretary of State and MN Attorney General, as well as our County Sheriff and County Attorney, and two members of the Minneapolis School Board.  These are the people who decide what laws we live under and how they get enforced.  These are the people who decide whether or not we have voting rights.  These are the people who decide how our kids learn.  This is how we change things.  Personally, I'm alternately furious and despairing that my goddaughter and her little sister now have fewer rights over their own bodies than they did a month ago - there are things we can do, voting in the primary (and the general election) is one of them - here's a place you can go to do more.)


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