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A bunch of ‘Dummies’ descending on Blue Earth

By Staff | Mar 30, 2010

‘I’m No Dummy’ film producer Marjorie Engesser returns to her hometown of Blue Earth on April 24 for a fundraiser for the Blue Earth Community Library.

Engesser and her husband, director Bryan W. Simon, will be signing copies of their DVD with all proceeds from the sale of the discs benefiting the library.

‘I’m No Dummy,’ the first feature-length theatrical documentary about ventriloquism, will be released worldwide on DVD April 6. An “audience favorite” and “Seattle Weekly pick” at the Seattle International Film Festival, and a hit at the New York International Children’s Film Festival, the film has received high marks from critics and audiences alike.

Funny, whimsical and insightful, ‘I’m No Dummy’ takes a rare look inside the world of ventriloquism, from vaudeville to standup comedy and the television of today, showcasing the rich history, art and craft of this unique art form.

Directed by Simon and produced by Blue Earth native Engesser and executive producer Timothy T. Miller of Montivagus Productions, the film features hilarious clips and interviews with an impressive array of contemporary vents including; Tony Award® winner Jay Johnson (of sitcom SOAP fame), Comedy Central’s two-time Comedian of the Year and YouTube sensation Jeff Dunham and Campus Entertainer of the Year Lynn Trefzger. It also pays homage to legendary “vents” like Edgar Bergen, Paul Winchell, Senor Wences and Jimmy Nelson, with rare performance footage not seen in 40-50 years.

‘I’m No Dummy,’ which runs 86 minutes, is the third film collaboration for the husband and wife team.

“The film will introduce contemporary audiences not only to the masters of the art form but to modern geniuses as well,” Engesser states.

On Saturday, April 24, Engesser and Simon will be at the Blue Earth Community Library, 124 W. 7th St., from noon-3 p.m. for the sale and signing of DVDs. A screening of the film will be presented by the library beginning at noon. Attendees may also register for several giveaways of the ‘I’m No Dummy’ “Guide to Almost Instant Ventriloquism” along with materials to make a sock puppet.

“I’m thrilled to show ‘I’m No Dummy’ to the community of Blue Earth and can’t wait to experience the show,” Library Director Eva Gaydon says. “I am very pleased that Montivagus Productions is donating to the library. I think it’s great when folks return home and help out their community.”

Engesser, a supporter of public libraries, recalls fondly the days when the Blue Earth Library was a home away from home for her.

“Growing up here, I spent many hours in the Blue Earth Library. It was hard for them to get rid of me,” she joked. Her mother, Loretta Engesser, sister Marie Northwick and brother Tom Engesser live in Blue Earth.