2009

What you don't know can save your life.  According to Vagan, a motivational speaker who expounds the power of ignorance, we need to cultivate confusion which is the boulevard to ignorance. By following the Ig Mantra (slowly repeating DUH several times), you can apparently create ignorance and overcome the fact that many others may call your new philosophy absurd.

At first it is quite intriguing to be reminded that humans only use 10% of their brains – what Freud called the Ego, Super Ego and the Id.  Vagan's entire philosophy is linked to the inevitable power of the remaining 90%...

You can't ignore me.

Caberlesque is a cross between Cabaret and Burlesque. OK, let’s see some hot and saucy stuff. Lather me with the rompiest, sexiest show.  I am ready! 

I guess there is an audience that would appreciate this cute performance around burlesque history, and I suppose if it was really late at night, and I was in a smoky dim lit underground bar, hard liquor on the table, unabashed women gyrating on the stage flirtatiously, and men in dark suits brazenly wanting to fulfill their sexual fantasies, it would have really worked for me. But the show would just not...

Unmet desire.

I can almost see the emotions in this play as if they were instruments in an orchestra. A quiet and cautious beginning with a dash of quick chirps here and there, like a sugar rush and too much coffee. A long soft clashy melody goes back and forth with the tempo quickening steadily. As the melody plays on, the notes become sharper, louder intense and harsh.

My mind focused itself and as I was watching The Professor played by Josh Hallem and the Pupil by Sive O’Neill (they switch roles on alternate performances). I realized that the gears slowly began...

The Lesson

Catherine Montgomery (writer/actor) is a spitfire manic performer and she pours everything she has into her balls-to-the-wall --  sorry, pussy-to-the-wall -- performance in Straight From That Side of Town. Whether you want to go to that town is another story, but hey, this is the Fringe. Sometimes we're forced to go to places we don't really want to go to.

Trace Morgan's mother has just died, and she will do anything to forget this and everything else around her. She will travel galaxies away from any human being that drives her into “Emotional Overloads”. It appears that all...

Straight from that Side of Town

Twice the Same River is a comic existentialist romp that tackles the meaning of love, adultery, and identity.  Four faithless lovers become entangled in a web of supernatural intrigue that leaves them profoundly confused about the nature of the self and the soul.

The cast of characters consists of Guy, who has tried to strangle his girlfriend Julie after finding her in bed with his friend Benny, whose girlfriend Allyson has conspired with Guy – whom she is in lust – to kill Julie, so that they – Allyson and Guy – can run away together. The fact that Benny...

Twice the Same River

I have been praying to the Theatre Gods to send someone to write a play about ghosts that would leave my skin crawling and my heart pounding. Well, someone up there heard me, and sent Andrew Templeton along with MachineFair and Craning Neck Theatre baring their newest creation: Biographies of the Dead and  Dying.

Biographies tells the story of Alice, a writer who claims she has no imagination.  To cure herself of writer’s block, she decides to rent a haunted house in a remote location on Vancouver Island with the goal of writing the biography of the ghost who...

Biographies of the Dead and Dying

Verbatim theatre to me is like a documentary or an interview where the names and faces have been altered to keep the people anonymous.  The characters in this show were as if you had met them before and listened to their stories. The stories besides the main character, Jackie, are real accounts from elderly people who reside at Emmy Monash Home for the aged.

Lana Schwarcz is innocently quirky, cute, high-strung and funny as fear induced Nurse Jackie. Using her honed skills as a character actor and puppets, Schwarcz plays all the other characters and this is done very...

Grandpa Sol and Grandma Rosie

Vancouver: John Hefner, estranged 2nd cousin (or is that first cousin once removed?) of the world famous playboy himself, Hugh Hefner, brings us a true tale of life in the shadow of a name.

In a dark little coffee shop (that doesn’t sell coffee) on Granville Island I sat down to hear the tale of woe that had befallen the self professed “black sheep of the white bunny family”. What I got was an hour of anecdotes that wend their way through a lot of firsts…  first love, first heartbreak, first time on stage, first striptease, first (and only)...

The black sheep of the bunny house

The actor who portrays the titular character of this one-man show – he isn't introduced anywhere as the performer but I'm guessing either Jeff McMahan or Chris Cook, the two guys credited with 'created by' in the Fringe guide – is a charming, confident and comfortable performer.

He's simply a likeable fellow, the kind of guy you'd love to have at a dinner party because you know he'd bring beer and keep everyone laughing. It's from this natural affability that the comic irony is mined in the piece, which could easily be subtitled Portrait of a Self-Absorbed Asshole. It's...

Getting stuck.

Vancouver: What a premise, I thought. If I ever ride the rails from coast to coast, what more could I ask for than a Canadian soundtrack performed live by a guitar virtuoso? Not much but the artists themselves and the time-travelling ability to catch the train in 1969.

Imagine the landscape, the motion, the romance, the melodies: A slinky Oscar Peterson though the dilettante decay of Montreal; Leonard Cohen, aged yet virile, as the St. Lawrence slips behind us like a lover, a visit to Neil Young’s town in north Ontario; a frosted window pane and Glenn Gould’s tribute...

Colin Godbout

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