Tonight we took Beatrix to "Buckets and Tap Shoes" at the Fringe, which she thoroughly enjoyed. For me, the show was enjoyable, but even more so, it set off a stream-of-consciousness series of memories.
Walking into the Music Box Theater (or whatever it's called now), and remembering when we first began to develop that space as the Cricket Theatre in the 1980s. At that time, the space was a moldy, run-down former meeting hall for the Jehovah's Witnesses I believe, or maybe Seventh Day Adventists. The balcony was almost falling in, and an interior room in the basement was painted in bright colors as a "Jesus Grotto." That project was a labor of love, and though the Cricket is long gone, I am pleased the theater still exists.
Watching the show, and thinking of when I first saw Buckets and Tap Shoes, nine years ago with Annie Cady. We saw tons of Fringe shows that year, and B&TS was the "Best of the Fringe" so we saw their crowded, steamy extra performance to a full and exuberant audience. The performers were young, raw, totally jazzed to be there. If I remember right, they were a last minute addition to the Fringe, something about running into Leah Cooper in the elevator at Hennepin Center for the Arts and agreeing to take a suddenly open slot. That was a great Fringe, and a great night.
Thinking about waiting in the returns line to see Bring in Da Noise, Bring in Da Funk even more years ago on Broadway, and a young, young Savion Glover with that same energy. That was the same trip where I saw Rent, and got to see my college friend Kristen burn up that stage with the rest of the cast.
Remembering some of the beginning days of the Fringe, seeing Kevin Kling at the Women's Club, the days when small audiences were the norm (and so pleased with how much they have grown!), sneaking out at lunch on a Wednesday to see a 1pm show (those must have been brutal slots). The original multi-show passes; I think one of them was even on a stick.
Leaving the show, and seeing my friend JP, and happy to know all the amazing performers and talent here. Walking past the building where my grandparents used to live. Thinking of summer evenings spent hanging around Loring Park, seeing Music and Movies in the park, drinking at the Loring, eating at Ye Gadz before it was the Loring. Feeling like I would always be young.
I highly recommend the Fringe. Not only do you get great shows (I fully expect Beatrix to develop a full tap routine tomorrow morning), but you get a free stream-of-consciousness memory trip with each order.