You’ve seen ‘em at Rarig. You’ve seen ‘em at HUGE. You’ve seen ‘em all over at Fringe Central. It’s now time to get it out in the open, people…this year’s Frot List (frot = Fringe + hot). And don’t forget to check out the Fringerati’s #frotties on Twitter. Let’s do this!
Sara Lahti, Our Freaking Kids Show
If I had a personal assistant like that, I’d never get anything done.
Jane Froiland, Tempests
When I saw this girl on stage, my penis busted out of my pants and did a little tap dance number ala that scene in “Spaceballs”.
All Females, Once Upon a Time in the Suburbs
Alexis Jones, Four Clowns
I’d really like to investigate her clown pocket.
Sarah Frazier, Uptown: The Musical
If only more hipsters looked like this…
Dawn Brodey, YARRRH! The Lusty, Busty Pirate Musical
My timbers were definitely shivered.
Rob Callahan, Callahan and Lingo presents: The Last Ditch
We got so many write-in votes for this guy, I just had to put him on the list. FROT!
Ariana Venturi, Sousepaw
Dear Lizard Girl, I have whiskey AND cash. Please love me.
Katherine Moeller, Indignorance
I didn’t even see her show and she still made my list. That’s how frot she is.
Brigid Kelley, Tempests
I’ll admit I had as much of a hard-on for Carrie Henn as a ten-year-old boy could have. Thank you, Brigid Kelley, for making my childhood fantasy legal.
Sara Jensen, Damn You Auto Caress
Seeing her makes me want to furiously masturbate.
*WATER MY PLANTS! DAMN YOU AUTOCARESS!
Lisa Berg, House Manager
Gentlemen, put on your waders and grab your Acqua Di Gio: it’s Cougar season.
The Girl in the Ice Cream Truck Outside Rarig
You smile at me and sell me something sweet to suck on. I love you.
Rebecca Ogren, Once Upon a CSI
I firmly believe that Rebecca Ogren is the frottest girl in Fringeland this year.
-SINGLE WHITE FEMALE-
Derek Lee Miller, Red Resurrected
Is it fucked up that I didn’t give him a second glance in Ballad of the Pale Fisherman, and then as soon as he plays a creepy molester I’m all over it? Based on the way he wields an imaginary axe, I’m guessing he’s pretty good with his hands.
Sam Pearson, The Day the Nineties Died
I have no idea if he’s as mouthy in real life as his character is on stage, and I’m never going to find out because I’m pretty sure he isn’t old enough to hang out at moto-i, which makes me a total pervert. But watching Sam tirelessly rattle off radical left-wing ideological made me want to know what it would take to make the torrent of words stop.
Darius Dotch, Tales of the Twisted Cities
Even through a winter coat you can make out Darius’s chiseled torso and perfect biceps. I’d get lost with him at St. Anthony-Main any time.
Jaimi Paige, Green Eyes
I don’t know if I’m bi-curious or just jealous, but goddamn that girl has got it.
Bruce DeMorrow, Tapsized
Bruce participated in one of the most homo-erotic-tap-dancing-shower situations I have ever seen. And I’ve seen a lot of those. He tapped into my heart and my pants.
James Rone, Deadline: A Choose Your Own Adventure Story
James is one of those nerd frotties that I love so very much. I would always choose the adventure that ends with him waking up to a few regrets and an unexplained pain in his rear.
Kevin J Thornton, I Love You (We’re F*#cked
This man is just plain frot. I want him to Love me, and…well, you know.
Billy Borea, The Folly of Crowds
I’m usually not into guys like Billy, but for some reason I wanted to run my hands across every muscle this dude had to offer. Every. Single. Muscle.
Tim Lee, Scientist Turned Comedian
If this guy was my science teacher, I would constantly have to hold my books in front of my boy parts.
Jordan Roll, Balls Out
I almost took my balls out during the show. But I didn’t want the audience to hear when my junk hit the floor. Amirite?
Nic Lincoln, FLESH
As I mentioned previously: Ho. Ly. Shit.
Bob Galligan, Detached: The Return of the Pastor Brothers
I am unable to explain this, yet it is somehow very real. I am filled with shame.
Adelin Phelps, Red Resurrected
She can pull back my red hood any time she wants.
Jenny Moeller, Venue Technician
This is my kind of girl: cute, funny, and curvy in all the right places. Totally frot.
Laura Baller Mahler, Delores Grimm
Why are mermaids so freaking frot?
Madelyne Riley, Nightmare Man
My only nightmare about her would involve a broken corkscrew and a stuck zipper.
Abby Zimmer, Front of House Coordinator
She can coordinate my front of house any day. And by “front of house” I of course mean my vagina.
Dawn Krosnowski, Macbeth: the Video Game Remix
Redheads are my kryptonite (if you haven’t noticed). Also, cosplay!
Just in case you’ve missed it in the comments, Johnny and I are engaging in a discussion of reviews – why do we write them, why do we read them, should there or is there a standard by which we evaluate Fringe festival shows (with the implied question of whether that standard is different from the standard we’d use to evaluate Non-Fringe Shows)?
I want to directly address Johnny’s most recent comment, because I think he brings up some awesome points, and I don’t want to forget to talk about any of them.
Thank you for the response. I read the linked reviews. What I saw was one daily newspaper give it a negative review while the other gave it a middling-to-negative review. Both are writers who’s byline I’ve seen in previous years, which answers this question of yours: “But have these reviewers ever been to the Fringe Festival before? Like, even once?”
The third review is a rave review, but it’s not from a general-interest daily newspaper, but a specialized industry website that says it exists to provide “information and inspiration for Minnesota’s performing arts” It is also a long-form, first-person essay, which is not like the brief capsule reviews the newspapers run.
I just went and read audience reviews for the show and they seem to fall roughly into the same three categories as the reviews you cited: negative, middling-to-negative and rave.
To me, this example doesn’t really fit the issues you raised in your second point of the original post. Where does “on crack” fit in here?
Both of those newspaper reviews were written by actual arts writers, although Ross Raihala is, I believe, usually more of a music critic than theater, so less practiced at viewing and writing about theater. So that only halfway proves my point about random journalists reviewing shows. But it does illustrate the wide range of responses in the media to Fringe Festival shows – Playlist is more of a personal essay, as you said, with the focus on the writer’s personal connection to the piece. The newspaper reviews are perhaps more focused on what the readership of each newspaper would or would not enjoy. Which brings me to a question:
Tenet #1 of my Fringe-Reviewing Philosophy: As a Fringe fanatic, writing for FringeFamous, I am writing for medium to heavy Fringe users. I’m writing for ultra-passers, artists, people who see a ton of shows. The reason I say this is that I think FringeFamous is, itself, Fringe famous. I.e. if you don’t spend a lot of time at the MN Fringe, you’ve never heard of us.
That’s not universally true, and that’s not to say that sometimes-Fringers can’t use our site to help decide what to see, but I think our target audience is the hard-core Fringer.
Presumably, then, the bigger publications are writing for a wider group of people, a fatter slice of the demographic pie. They’re reviewing Fringe shows for people who aren’t as familiar with the Festival. In my opinion, if you are writing about Fringe for a publication with a decent sized circulation, it is your responsibility to do your homework. Get to know the Fringe. Be the expert, so that your readers don’t have to.
A better example of “have these reviewers ever been to the Fringe Festival before?” and “Are you on crack?” would be this review of …a Murder.
Nancy Ngo seems to be a writer for the paper who doesn’t otherwise specialize in theater or arts coverage. Which is maybe why she would recommend a show to her readers which includes “excessive dialogue [which] made it difficult for the audience to follow - as well as for the actors to memorize their lines”. She’s recommending a show in which the actors weren’t memorized? That does not sound “Worth Considering” to me. She seems to have a super low standard for what a “good” Fringe show is. Which brings us to…
Tenet #2 of my Fringe-Reviewing Philosophy: I am willing to meet the show where it’s at. If you are doing an experimental dance show with no music, I’ll show up expecting experimental dance with no music. If you are a Normal Guy doing your first ever play, I will arrive with the understanding that you aren’t a professional. If you are an established performer or theater company, I will expect something good. Even if it’s more of an experiment, something that doesn’t fit in with the rest of your professional theater season, something raw or new or in-progress, great. I’m not expecting perfection. But if I know you are good at what you do the rest of the year, I will be less likely to forgive a totally half-assed piece of shit.
I have no beef with you or this web site, I’m just trying to understand where you are coming from.
Right on. It’s mutual.
Personally, I enjoy reading reviews from numerous sources (audience members, newspapers, blogs like this one), and I use them to help me decide my own Fringe schedule.
Yeah – in my mind FringeFamous (and the Strib, and the PiPress, and Playlist, and Daily Planet, and audience reviews, and, and, and) is one of many different resources that Fringe-goers will use to determine which shows they want to see. I personally read everything I can get my hands on, and ask everyone I know what they’ve seen, and through the mess of information shows start to emerge that appeal to me.
But there are a lot of people in the Twin Cities who are not Fringe fanatics like me, who maybe have heard of the festival but don’t even know where to start in terms of picking a show, and these people turn to the Pioneer Press, or the Star Tribune to help them choose. (See above re: doing your homework and being an expert.)
I still wonder about your use of “free for all.” Fringe itself is unjuried, so to me, it truly is a free for all. Maybe I am seeing things differently.
Yes, the Fringe is itself a free-for-all. I love that anyone can put on a show, that there isn’t some committee of people to judge whether your work is “good enough” to be in the Festival. I think that creates a really vibrant, diverse, exciting Festival. But I don’t think reviewing the Fringe, or viewing Fringe shows, should be a free-for-all. This goes back to Tenet #2 – take each show for what it is, but don’t condescend to the festival. If something is lazy, it’s boring. If something is engaging and daring and smart, even if it’s rough around the edges, or half-finished, it can be electrifying. I’m saying, the Fringe has its own standards. Those standards are different from the standards we use to decide whether we liked something we saw at Mixed Blood, at Park Square, at Open Eye. But they are standards. I’m saying hooray for first-time play-makers, and experimental performances, and naturalistic drawing room dramas, but don’t tell me something is worth seeing because the actors tried hard, and don’t tell me something isn’t worth seeing because it’s not Guthrie-ready. That’s over-simplifying the Fringe experience, which is condescending to everyone involved, and I will not have it!