One of the sponsors of this year’s Minnesota Fringe is having a contest of sorts for video trailers of Fringe shows. We were planning on doing one anyway, so we’ve entered. (You can see it, and vote for it—up to three times per email address—here.) While it would be a nice little contest to win because $500 would come in kind of handy, it’s not the end-all and be-all of this experience. I mean, I’m doing this for the theatre experience, trying to create something, perhaps even something that might have another incarnation. It’s about live performance, not video. Although, I’ll admit that putting it together was a lot of fun, and I enjoy editing and shooting stuff like that. But this isn’t a summer about the video.
Nonetheless my slight, yet persistent, competitive streak doesn’t allow me to not check on how we’re doing for votes. The online votes count for something in the final judging, along with three non-biased, completely separate from everything else, judges. There’s only a small crowd of videos up so far, and voting continues for another few weeks. So far, we’re in fourth place. We were third for a while, but there’s been some shuffling among a few of us. I expect there will be many more videos, much more shifting around, and no one really knows who will end up where by July 29.
The genres of the three ahead of us, as I write this, are Comedy, Puppet Musical* and Musical Comedy.
*I’m not kidding here – apparently Avenue Q started its own genre. I question why it’s not called Puppet Musical Comedy.
Then there’s us, in fourth place (as I write this) and listed in the Drama category. In fact, we’re the only video listed as such a genre. Dramas are not exactly popular or plentiful Fringe fare, and even those that are drama are not often of the true story, historical, crime and trial mode. It’s kind of what I was saying the other day, feeling a bit like a fish out of water. And part of the reason for that…..
Two of the three shows ahead of us, again – as I write this, have titles ending in the word “The Musical”.
In fact, I just checked the Fringe’s site, and seven shows have the words “The Musical” in their title. Two of those seven are actually “The Musical!”
Now, I’ve been known to enjoy the spirit of a fresh new musical, whipped together for a fringe festival. In fact, a couple summers ago “Musical, The Musical!” was one of my favorite shows of the Fringe, because it was so tongue-in-cheek. But, and I know this may not be popular with some folks, I sort of find that making it a musical, and adding “The Musical” to the end of the title is more cheap like bad cable reality tv than clever or creative like Monty Python.
Urinetown started as a fringe festival original musical. The big budget, Broadway touring production I saw still retained a flavor of dusty basement rehearsal space gumption, too. I’m not sure why I mention that, but I guess to point out that you don’t have to put it in the title.
Maybe I shouldn’t fight it. Maybe I should already be planning my next fringe show? And the next incarnation of this project?
William Williams: The Musical!
Maybe have a love ballad, titled “Winnipeg” sung by Williams to his boyfriend, convincing him to leave his parents and come away! Perhaps a duet between prosecuting and defending attorneys! (“He killed them!” “He’s crazy!”) A show stopper called “Freedom of the Press”, followed by a big chorus number as the crowd, witnessing the mangled execution, break out in to song as the body hits the floor!
Now if I could only figure out how to make that in to a 60-second trailer for youtube.