Jill Schafer, arts writer at Cherry and Spoon, calls Complicated Fun a "very Minnesotan story about the Minneapolis music scene of the early '80s" and says the show "is a compelling new play with music that tells an important piece of Minnesota history, integrating music into the story in an exciting and organic way."
And Christine Sarkes of Aisle Say Twin Cities says "the band under Nic Delcambre is excellent." Also, "The show is an entertaining, high energy bit of Minnesota history and a fitting tribute to Prince’s legacy and influence on the national music scene. Playwright Alan Berks should be commended for tackling this complex tale and the History Theatre for staging it. Little did they know that it would be so timely and sadly prescient."
I was curious about the show's focus on First Avenue with the timing of Prince's recent passing as well as Nic's involvement with the production, so here is another behind the scenes Twin Cities artist Q&A for Artfully Engaging readers.
I'd done work on musicals for the History Theatre before, and it was just sort of a natural fit. Leading a band for a musical is one thing, but leading a band that can transition swiftly between punk, folk, and funk is an exciting challenge for a Music Director.
The show has been influenced heavily. It has not been changed at all. I know that sounds weird, but from the start, Prince was never going to be a character in the show. He's just too big. There are ten different plays you could write about Prince. He's practically his own genre. His influence is felt very heavily throughout the play, but the choice was made very early on not to include him as a character or any of his songs, because once you hear one Prince song, you want to hear them all. This play is about Minnesota music, though, and I hope I can say faithfully that we give Prince the honor, respect, and truth he deserves.
If you could describe the show in three words what would they be?
Loud Fast Rules (for all the Soul Asylum fans out there...).
I'm lucky enough that I have the opportunity to work mostly with established theaters that have their own marketing and PR departments to help spread the word. Having said that, when I'm performing in a show I always try to personally invite the people I think would really enjoy it. Every show has the right audience, it's just finding them that's tricky sometimes.
Do you have any other thoughts to share?
This show is fast, loud, and most of all, fun. It covers a ton of ground of the music scene here in the early '80s, and does so through the eyes of someone who loves that music ferociously. The music scene here is still thriving, but this play is about when it exploded. If you want to know just a little bit more about what makes Minnesota kick-ass come see this show.
Ticket Information: Complicated Fun
Complicated Fun: The Minneapolis Music Scene
April 30-May 29, 2016
By Alan Berks
Directed by Dominic Taylor
198x. Ronald Reagan, Rubik's cubes, and the underground music scene of Minneapolis. Get swirled up with two young misfits who discover themselves in the musical madness pouring out of First Avenue. Everybody's dressin' in this mixtape love letter to the counterculture sounds that made the city famous.
Cast: Stephanie Bertumen, Bowen Cochran, Josh Carson, Ricky Morriseau, H. Adam Harris, Skyler Nowinski, Joseph Miller, Andrea Wollenberg, Eric Hoover, Lynnea Doublette, Clarence Wethern, Mikayla Dates, Chloe Hansen, Evelyna Rosario, Alexis Sabo, Ellen Walz, Nic Delcambre, Blake Foster, Riley Jacobson, Mitch Benson, and Lynnea Doublette.
Createve Team: Dominic Taylor, Nic Delcambre, Carl Flink, Michael Hoover, Amelia Cheever, Kathy Maxwell, Lisa Conley, C. Andrew Mayer, Wayne Hendricks, and Gina Musto