The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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August 15, 2013

News and Notes: Locals honored at Fringe; Locavores dig in on Saturday

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."

Locavore's unite!

More than 50 patrons have already signed up for Mankato's first Locavore Supper Club on Saturday.

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