2009

What can I say about this play The Cork Screw? OK, it’s a story about two women, Mary and Blanche. Blanche steals Mary’s boyfriend over and over and over and over and over and over again, back-stabbing her for years.

Mary, the devoted friend, puts up with Blanche stealing her boyfriends over and over and over and over and over and over again. When Mary discovers that Blanche has stolen her boyfriend once again, she thinks, “What a bitch, oh well I don’t have many friends (because I am such a loser anyway) so I better hold on...

At least the title is kind of a pun.

Theatre Terrific is back this year in its usual “fringe of the Fringe” venue at the gym in the Vancouver Japanese United Church out on Victoria Street. They are Western Canada's oldest theatre company for artists with disabilities, and they smartly take advantage of the Fringe to expose their work to audiences that are as yet unaware of it. Which is good, because TT offers an entirely unique and quite special theatrical experience.

This year's offering is on the lighter side compared to years past. TT plays are built in collaboration with the company, and tend to be message-driven;...

wordwear

First off, thank god the Fringe dropped the Pacific Theatre as one of their main venues. It's a fun little space but it was murder for any production not only because it was hurting their box office being off the island, but also forced productions to sometimes completely reblock their show because of the odd setup of having raked seating that faces each other.

As a regular venue it seemed like a punishment for groups in the Festival to be put there. As a BYOV at least productions that don't get into the Fringe know what they're getting into...

A one-shoe show

A word of warning: it seems every year I review one play that turns into less a review and more of a fanboy gush. Last year it was the Jonno Katz comedy The Spy. This year it's going to be AfterLife, a flat-out superb piece of theatre.

First off, Candy Simmons is simply a great actor. Watching her work solo for 70 minutes is an acting class in a box. It's a rare treat to watch a performer this poised, present and confident at the Fringe level. The play presents us with three distinct American women from different...

Afterlife...back for more.

1. [5:03 pm] What the fuck am I watching?

2. [5:08 pm] What the fuck is wrong with this woman? Is she supposed to be crazy?

3. [5:14 pm] Okay. Actually, she's pretty funny.

4. [5:15 pm] And remarkably weird.

5. [5:22 pm] Two old people just walked out in the middle of a pretty hilarious and obscenity-laced monologue. Now I'm really starting to enjoy myself.

6. [5:26 pm] Oh. Oh! She's examining grief over a mother's death from inside the mind of an under-educated, emotionally constricted and inarticulate small-town girl. That's...amazingly smart.

7. [5:37 pm] Okay, this is one...

crazy, funny & weird: perfect for the fringe

The Lesson is Airbag Production's debut production, and it's a bold choice, especially considering they've decided to Fringe it. Going traditional and cerebral here brings with it the risk of seeming  musty and institutional, and staying far away from the radar of the throngs of young theatre-goers lining up for Red Bastards and Cockwhisperers

But if done well, it also carries the opportunity of seeing the kind of material that's made it into the realm of theatrical greatness for a reason, plays that may not get another chance to be put in front of the eyes of these audiences...

The Lesson

Ways to describe The Gas Heart:

  • An upper - when the ride ends and you leave, you gett withdrawals and you wanna run back to your seat and take another hit.
  • It takes me to a happy place...hee hee hee
  • In one word I can summon up this show: Give me more..more..more!*

Not only is The Gas Heart awesome, it so fresh, young and tight you wanna spank its ass till it gets purple. If that sentence or the rest of my gibberish make you laugh or give you some kind of WTF, TMI, OMG-ICBYJST reaction, its nothing...

Victor liked the show so much he got a tattoo.

I heard of someone who walked out of the same show as I did, wanting their money back….  Wow. Was it THAT bad? Did they not like the subject matter? Were they Catholic? Presbyterian, perhaps? I didn’t get a chance to ask them so I’ll never know….

For myself, I’m not too much from the Christian bent (though I know enough to not go down that path) so my take was a touch lighter. It was an hour of my life that was entertained and amused.  Perhaps it was not enriched, but it was definitely not wasted.

Bob Legare...

Are you priest enough?

A coin is dropped at a bus stop. Someone gets it: But whom?

That is the question you will be asking yourself for the 75 minutes of this production.

Alms is a movement piece without words, that sneaks a moral in. It is perhaps a bit too long for its own good, but it does have some absolutely beautiful moments. The choreography, while at times precise and elegant, is at other times amateurish and under- rehearsed. Not what I would expect from an “internationally acclaimed” movement artist.
 
However, this is the Fringe and if it’s a staging...

Alms

This is Candy Simmons 2nd time here with the same show. Seems a lot of folks didn’t make it out last year as she was at an off island venue. Currently residing at the PTC, she’s at the centre of the action and anyone walking by SHOULD pop in and check out this little gem. However, at 70 minutes there’s nothing ‘little’ about this piece considering what the reviewers and audiences have been saying from across the continent.

I could tell you all about the 3 distinctly different yet connected women she portrays in succession. I could go on...

second life for afterlife in vancouver

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