By ERIKA SASSEVILLE
After two years of Covid hiatus, the Minnesota Fringe Festival is back in theaters with real live audiences! Returning fan-favorite creator/performer, Tom Reed, is back with a brand new one-man show: Erotica for Houseplants. Playing at Mixed Blood Theatre in Minneapolis, Erotica for Houseplants is a glorious hybridization (oh yes, just like the show, there will be MANY plant-based puns in this review) of a love letter to home gardening, a cabaret of botanical love-song covers, and a series of erotic stories by (and for) houseplants that are steamier than a tropical arboretum.
Reed is exceptionally charming, even wrapped in vines with a pair of bee antennae on his head. He has an incredible talent for crafting stories with pitch-perfect comedic timing, a beautiful singing voice, and wonderful self-awareness that welcomes the audience to laugh at the ridiculous premise of his show, which he admits was the strangest idea that made him “giggle.” It’s actually extraordinary how many scientific terms for plant reproductive parts he was able to reference, and each one murmured with the steamy utterance of a florist’s fan-fiction. Each story, bit, song, and moment on stage is expertly timed within the structure of the show, and the characters Reed creates are each as delightfully strange as they are relatable.
I encourage anyone who’s looking for a few Fringe shows to attend to make room for Erotica for Houseplants, it’s sure to make you laugh out loud, and Tom Reed’s stylistic performance is not to be missed for anyone who has… or wishes they had… a green thumb.
Erotica for Houseplants is playing at Mixed Blood Theatre at the following dates and times: August 6th – 8:30pm, August 10th – 10:00pm, August 11th – 5:30pm, August 12th – 10:00pm, August 13th – 2:30pm.
Tickets and more information can be found here: https://minnesotafringe.org/2022-show-information/erotica-for-houseplants#tickets
For a change of tone, you can also see Tom Reed (and myself!) in Slender Vale an Improvised Terror, also performing at Mixed Blood Theatre on the following dates and times: August 6th – 5:30pm, August 7th – 7:00pm, August 8th – 8:30pm, August 13th – 10:00pm, August 14th – 8:30pm.
Tickets and more information can be found here: https://minnesotafringe.org/2022-show-information/slender-vale#tickets