Art Hounds: Theater abounds!

"A Justice League of Their Own" is just one of 132 shows in this year's Minnesota Fringe Festival. Courtesy of MainlyMe Productions

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Theater artist Matt Kessen loves participating in the Minnesota Fringe Festival, in particular, because of all the cool theater companies that come to town to share their work. This year he's particularly impressed by Fourth Wall's production "Fruit Flies Like A Banana" in which musicians combine classical music with dizzying choreography — Kessen calls it "joy made manifest." Then there are two shows by "Hit the Lights!": "Whales" is a punk rock show about 19th-century whaling, and "Horsetale," a family friendly show featuring shadow puppetry about a horse and its tail. Finally, The Coldharts return to the Fringe with their latest quirky Edgar Allan Poe-inspired show, "Eddie Poe." The Minnesota Fringe runs through Aug. 12 at multiple locations in Minneapolis.

Is the Minnesota Fringe not enough theater for you? No worries! Librarian Jessica Shaykett recommends going to New Native Theatre's 10 Minute Play Festival at Gremlin Theatre in St. Paul. The festival brings together Native American writers and performers from across the continent, and features authentic voices telling contemporary stories that are a refreshing antidote to outdated cultural appropriation. The festival runs through Sunday.

Longtime arts supporter Curt Gruhl is happy to see that Sod House Theater is returning to Red Wing this weekend for its summer tour of "An Enemy of the People" by Henrik Ibsen. Gruhl says the story feels more relevant than ever, as it deals with water quality issues and political corruption. Fittingly, performances take place alongside the Mississippi River in Colville Park.

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