Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Fox News says: Follow the money-- wait, no, not that way!

In case you didn't see this elsewhere, when the Daily Show ends up doing actual reporting, it's pretty brilliant. Basically, Fox News is characterizing the Park51 project near ground zero as ill-intentioned because it has the financial backing of the Kingdom Holding Company, who they paint as anti-American. But the Kingdom Holding Company's owner is Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, AND is the second-biggest shareholder in News Corp., owner of Fox News. Hilarity ensues:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
The Parent Company Trap
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

Here's the Wikipedia entry on Al-Waleed bin Talal, an interview with him from Bloomberg/Businessweek, and a Forbes article from 2005, when bin Talal increased his stake in News Corp. (he was at the time at least #3 shareholder, perhaps lower) and voiced his confidence in Rupert Murdoch.

Update: Daily Finance was all over this connection a week ago, before Fox started specifically name-checking their co-owner's company.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Speech! returns to MN Fringe TONIGHT - more show music

Photo by Alex Wohlhueter from the 8/7/10 MN Fringe Slideshow
As previously mentioned, Speech! returns to the Rarig Thrust stage tonight at 5:30 after four days of blissful slumber. I hope you'll be there. Since last we talked, the CityPages gave us a very nice writeup. Spoiler alert, as usual.

Speaking of spoilers, I wanted to write up the music used in the show as a companion to the playlist I posted the other day. What follows will be self-indulgent, procedural, and full of spoilers, so don't read it until after you've seen the show. Seriously, go see our show before you read this. Go.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Fringe - 1st weekend down. Also: Speech! playlist

Wobbles the Kitty, MN Fringe mascot.
Congrats to the MN Fringe Festival on another record opening weekend, with another ticket record broken. Congrats also to all the show writers, producers, directors & performers who put them together. Our show, Speech!, had a terrific opening pair of shows, with long lines and big crowds who quite seemed to enjoy themselves. As of this writing, we are in a tie for the second-most-reviewed show on the Fringe website. The Pioneer Press named us a must-see! And the notoriously dyspeptic Fringe Famous gave us a rare five-star review! Yowzah!

I'm really proud of the show and everyone involved, but of course it's not over! We have three more shows,Thursday at 5:30, Friday at 10, and Saturday at 7, the last of which features Audio Description for the vision impaired. Ten dollars to anyone records the Audio Description for me. Seriously.

(Incidentally, if you're going to click on the reviews above, you should know: OMG SPOILARZ ALERT! Really, many of the audience reviews and both of the press bits above give away several moments that would otherwise be a surprise in the show. As does Saturday's Fringe slide show, featuring some lovely shots from the production. Kudos, by the way, to Fringe Famous for spoiler-warning the reader.)

((Also incidentally, what have you seen? I've seen six shows so far, all worth your time for various reasons: The Quest, Bite Me Twilight, Zombie High School [biggest surprise in the bunch so far], Cosmo the Musical, Match Game Minnesota, and Mike & Matt. Melissa also saw Can Michael Come Out to Play, and loved it; I hope to be able to fit it in before we skip town later this week.))

Lastly, to keep you in the musically-contemporary mood for the show, here's the list of pre- and post-show songs lovingly selected for our little play. If you come to the show, chances are you won't hear them, because even though the music volume in Rarig is a little high (especially for folks near the sides and therefore the speakers), the pre-show level is definitely not. And there's definitely no time for this much music anyway. So here's what you're missing (and a YouTube playlist of all of them):

  1. Green Day: When I Come Around
  2. Montell Jordan: This Is How We Do It
  3. Ini Kamoze: Here Comes the Hotstepper
  4. Collective Soul: December
  5. Sheryl Crow: Strong Enough
  6. Stone Temple Pilots: Interstate Love Song
  7. TLC: Creep
  8. Elastica: Connection
  9. Blessid Union of Souls: I Believe
  10. Bush: Everything Zen
  11. Dionne Farris: I Know
  12. Freedy Johnston: Bad Reputation
  13. Sponge: Plowed
  14. Melissa Etheridge: I'm the Only One
  15. Pearl Jam: Better Man
  1. The Toadies: Possum Kingdom
  2. Soul Asylum: Misery
  3. Madonna: Take a Bow
  4. Hootie & the Blowfish: Hold My Hand
See you all on Thursday!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Here's a little more 1995 flavor to get you in the Speech! mindset, this time from the whiny rock side of the fence. The Counting Crows' "The Rain King" ends with the ridiculous/amazing (take your pick) cri de coeur transcribed in the title of this post. Enjoy, and we'll see you Thursday night at 7 at the Rarig Thrust stage!


Monday, August 2, 2010

And a merry Fringe Festival to you!

Hail the first week of August and the coming of the Minnesota Fringe Festival! Eleven days of theater binge! The hustle and bustle of the West Bank and its densely-packed theater spaces! The brightly-t-shirted volunteers! The quickie meals at Jimmy John's! The zero-to-five-kitty review ratings! I love it.

This year, for the first time since originating the role of the mayor in JAWS the Musical! ("You yell samurai, everyone says, huh, what?") in 2004, I am involved in a show. Ferrari McSpeedy invited me to direct their show, the first time they are working with a full cast for one of their shows. The show is called Speech!, and it is hilarious.
Drama. Comedy. Flower-print dresses. The world of the high school speech team has it all. Ferrari McSpeedy returns to Fringe with an almost-true tale of competitive forensics.

Fringe Festival favorites, Ferrari McSpeedy do away with their typical 2 person show in favor of a full cast for their new show about the world of High School Speech Competition. Set in 1995 in suburban Chicago, Speech! is a semi-kind of-autobiographical tale about a high school speech team and all of the drama, intrigue and inner demons that haunt them as they compete for spots in the State tournament. Speech! is sure to be a walk down memory lane for former speech competitors, or for that matter, anyone who ever attended high school.
You should come see it. Funny script, great cast, the top hits of 1994-1995; you can't lose.

We'll be performing it on the Thrust stage (above) in this Brutalist beauty, the Rarig Center (MAP!), which, with four stages, has become the epicenter of the Fringe in recent years:

There's a ramp next door. It costs money. Sometimes you can find street parking out on Riverview or beyond.

We've got five shows, all of them in good time slots, so check out our show page, come see the show, tell your friends, and give us some kitties!

Here's a little something to put you in the right time period: