The Fringe is here! The Fringe is here!

Oh happy day! August is my absolute favorite time of year in Minnesota solely due to the 11 days of bohemian theatrical bliss known as the Minnesota Fringe Festival. Today is an especially sweet day because it not only marks the start of the 2005 Fringe Fest, it also is the day the St. Paul Pioneer Press (one of the two daily newspapers in our fair Twin Cities) came out with a Fringe preview that singles out and praises the Fringe Podcast. Insert Horton Happy Dance here.

Take a read:

St. Paul Pioneer Press Thursday, August 4, 2005


Can't fit in any Fringe shows? Get a taste for the festival via your portable music player.

Fringe organizers recently recorded two of their traditional sneak-preview presentations in audio-file format and released them on their Web site as downloadable podcasts — radiolike shows that can be loaded on an iPod or other digital device and heard anywhere.

Podcasts number in the thousands, and many are achingly dull, but the Fringe's podcasts are a cut above thanks in large part to their engaging host, actress Leigha Horton. Partly recorded before a live audience at two festival venues, they include performance excerpts along with artist interviews and newsy tidbits.

More podcasts are planned. One will be released just before the festival begins, said Leah Cooper, Fringe executive director and a podcast co-producer. A fourth during the festival will feature updates on how shows are selling along with "buzz and gossip," she said. A fifth podcast will be released shortly after the festival ends.

Find the podcasts at If you use Apple Computer's iTunes software, search for "fringe" in the iTunes Music Store's podcast directory to find and subscribe to the Fringe feed.

In a related effort, Thirst Theater miniplays once presented at a Minneapolis rooftop bar are now offered as podcasts. One is free, others are $4 apiece (a tough sell since virtually all podcasts are free). See

So, take a listen. And then check back, because I will be updating again in the very near future with other odes to Fringe.