Monday, November 4, 2013

Twin Cities Horror Festival II

It's horror!

This year my wife and I have been going to the Twin Cities Horror Festival at the Southern Theater (conveniently just next door to Town Hall Brewery).  We heard about this last year, but scheduling conflicts stopped us from going.  This year's festival is the second (Part II: The Revenge) time they have done this, and we made sure to be free.  Basically from October 31 through November 9, seven different theater and dance groups perform horror themed one hour shows at The Southern.  With a half-hour break between shows you have time to head down and get back in line (or take an hour off for dinner at Town Hall or Republic) for the next show.  I've been having a blast seeing these shows over the past couple days.

A perfect Edgar Allen

One of my favorites so far has been Edgar Allen: a creepily toned two person show about a young Edgar Allen Poe.  I can't give too much away in a review, but the acting was stellar and certainly hit the horror vibe without being excessive.  Katie Hartman has the voice of an angel and incredible control over her body language and expressions. 

Another great show was The Murderer Did It, by Four Humors.  This comedy group has put out consistently great comedy shows for years and are usually crowd favorites at the Minnesota Fringe Festival.  This year's Lolita was crazy funny!  As expected, this locked room murder mystery is a humorous take on the horror genre and reminded me a lot of the 80's classic movie Clue.  Well acted, funny and quite twisty, this show was a great one. 

For my final suggestion, I'd see Tainted Love by Erin Sheppard.  We saw a remounted version of last year's Bump In The Night show at Fringe and loved the mixture of bizarre storytelling by Courtney McLean and short disturbing dance numbers choreographed by Erin.  This year's show takes the same basic form, but all the stories and dance numbers center around twisted forms of love.  I am not a big dance fan, but these numbers actually tell a story by themselves and draw you in.  See it, you'll be surprised and possibly a bit creeped-out. 

I'll be heading out Tuesday to see the last two of the seven shows and will update this if there are any you must see.  Plenty of time yet to go catch a few of these shows, so get off your hinder and go see some live theater!

Since we are talking horror and Halloween style here, I thought I'd throw a couple more pumpkin beer reviews on this post.  I have a lot of these to get through before the month is out!

Timmermans Pumpkin Lambicus: I has this on tap at Town Hall (one of the few times I would order a guest beer at my favorite local brewery) before seeing one of the shows at The Southern.
Aroma: A strong mix of vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon.  I get a mild acetic tartness on the nose.  No hops.
Appearance: Crystal clear, almost a ruby color.  Large bubbles in head but disappears to nothing in seconds. 
Flavor: Slightly sweet and sour.  I do get some nutmeg and cinnamon flavors, but hidden by the tartness.  Not a lot of body to it.  Some subtle earthy notes that may be pumpkin or may be just a side effect of the bacteria/wild yeast.
Overall: This seems more acetic (vinegar) sour like a Flanders Red or Brown ale than a true lambic.  Not sour enough for me to really like it, but the spicing would be lost entirely if it was too sour.  Not a terrible beer, and one of the more interesting pumpkin beers I've tried this year.  3.5 of 5.

Northgate Pumpion: I tried this one on tap at Republic prior to another show on Sunday.  Actually Sj ordered it and I stole some (I was drinking a sampler of Imperial Stouts).  With my phone battery quickly dying, I had to resort to writing notes on a wet Bells this one might be a little messy!
Aroma: Powerful nutmeg nearly overwhelms some malty sweetness.  Some cinnamon and allspice as it warms.  Very strong spices.  No hops.
Appearance: Orange to auburn in color with a slight haze.  The beer has a small fine white head, that doesn't last long.
Flavor: Like the aroma has a huge nutmeg and allspice flavor that dominates this beer.  Medium bodied with some residual malt sweetness.  I like the first hit, but it ends insanely astringent with a strong ginger flavor/burn lingering long after the sip is done. 
Overall: I like the body and sweetness on this beer, but the spicing is too over the top and really ruins the balance.  The harsh finish makes this difficult to drink.  Sj and I left more than half the glass full.  2.5 of 5.

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