Thursday, August 11, 2022

2022 Fringe Review - Bob and Reggie Go To Bed - Sometimes Comedy Doesn't Need To Make A Sound - 4.5 stars

Synopsis: Two idiots get ready for bed. Complications arise. A live show full of physical comedy, music, and no words.

Tweet review: #mnfringe Bob and Reggie Go To Bed: mishaps w/pajamas, magical bed transference, battles w/the Tooth Fairy, the 4th wall completely breaks down, plus a dance off; you know, the usual - 4.5 stars

A review of Bob and Reggie Go To Bed from me seems a bit superfluous at this point.  They already have over 30 glowing audience reviews posted on the Minnesota Fringe Festival website that are averaging out to 4.5 out of 5 (they have kitties, I have stars, it’s the same idea).  Comedy Suitcase, and the men behind it - Joshua English Scrimshaw and Levi Weinhagen - have an established reputation and are three of the many reasons that people are happy the Fringe his back, so we get a chance to see them in action again.  Add Fringe MVP Sulia Altenberg to the mix, as a chain-smoking Tooth Fairy, and that’s all the more reason to see this show.  Rounding out the ensemble is composer/musician Rhiannon Fiskradatz (a name that would be high scoring if you were allowed to use it in Scrabble), providing musical accompaniment and sound effects throughout.

This is Scrimshaw and Weinhagen’s signature brand of physical comedy.  It’s always a little disorienting to hear one of them speak at the end of the show because you’ve gotten so used to them being mute.  Here the situation is the two of them supposedly trying to get to sleep at the end of a long work day, but it turns into an odyssey of pranks and battles that expend a whole other workday’s worth of energy.  Struggles with pants and shirts and shoelaces and pajamas.  Bouncing onto one bed creates a transference of energy that expels the other person from their bed.  This magical connection is abused with everything from pillows to crackers to urine (fear not, it’s the suggestion of urine, no one’s actually exposed to bodily fluids).  Trying to outwit Altenberg’s Tooth Fairy is a losing game they nevertheless push their luck trying to achieve (beware, she comes armed with toothbrushes and dental floss).

When the fourth wall accidentally collapses, the cast becomes aware of both the audience and the musician onstage, which of course leads to musical shenanigans and a dance off with audience participation.  And don’t worry, they don’t forget to work in a banana peel bit - you can’t forget the classics.  Some randomly selected audience members were having so much fun that I could hear another child whining in the audience that they wanted to be onstage, too.  Thankfully the show wrapped up before the child could progress to a full meltdown.  (Comedy Suitcase knows how to pace things for their audience.)

If you’re looking for some well-executed, silly fun, Bob and Reggie Go To Bed is a show appropriate for all ages.  They have two more performances, tonight 8/11 at 5:30pm and Sunday, 8/14 at 5:30pm.

4.5 Stars - Very Highly Recommended


(You can click on the following links to see a set of links to reviews of all the 5 and 4.5 star shows (VERY highly recommended), 4 and 3.5 star shows (highly recommended) as well as other shows, plus 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: The primary may be over, but the midterm elections are coming up soon. Early voting for the election starts Friday, September 23 (so, not much more than a month after Fringe is over). You can 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 - like handy links to all the candidates who have websites so you can learn more.  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 when 2022 began. There are things we can do, voting in the general election is one of them - if you're looking to volunteer, here's a place to learn more.)




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