The Mankato Free Press
---- — Two productions with local ties were honored as Audience Picks for their selected venues during the Minnesota Fringe Festival.
The annual theatre showcase held in 16 Twin Cities venues wrapped up Sunday. But the final showtime for each venue is reserved for the Audience Pick — which is that venue's top-selling show.
Selected at the University of Minnesota Rarig Center Proscenium was "Clocked," a humorous exploration of daily routine explored through dance and physical theater. The show was created and executed by a nearly all-Gustavus Adolphus College cast and crew — including producers Renee Guittar, Sarah Jabbar and Ben Kolis, all of whom are Gustavus graduates.
With dozens of reviews on the Fringe website, comments included: "top-shelf production," "captivating" and "hysterical." One reviewer said: "If you decide to get off of the couch for any reason this weekend, make sure it's to book it over to Rarig to see 'Clocked!'"
Selected at the New Century Theatre was “Shelly Bachberg Presents: How Helen Keller and Anne Frank Freed the Slaves: The Musical,” a biting political and social satire couched in a nonsensical historical scenario. Directed by Minnesota State University graduate Nikki Swoboda, the musical centers around Shelly Bachberg, a “charming but woefully misguided congresswoman” who bears a striking physical and conversational resemblance to Minnesota’s embattled U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann. After the conclusion of her political career, Bachberg resorts to writing children’s history books where she continues to display her penchant for somewhat less-than-accurate storytelling.
Touted as one of the smartest scripts at the festival, reviewers called it a "pure delight" and "wonderfully executed." One reviewer claimed "it's the best satire I've seen anywhere this year."
More than 50 patrons have already signed up for Mankato's first Locavore Supper Club on Saturday.
Hosted by Kirsten Markiewicz, owner of Flour Power Bakers Cafe, the supper club is founded on principles that support locally grown food and sustainable growing methods. For $25 tickets, participants will be treated to a five-course meal with fresh Farmers Market ingrediencts selected by Markiewicz herself.
Markiewicz said she's hoping to host several such events a year: "I think this is an interesting way to expose people to seasonal cooking and local eating."
Though the full menu isn't finalized, Markiewicz hinted that courses will include a watermelon salad and a mixed grill of beef, lamb and chicken for the main course.
Tickets for the event must be purchased in advance at Flour Power, which is located in the downtown Mankato Place mall. For more information, call 507-345-3721.