2009

Vancouver: Oh, my god, like OMG! I just have to tell all you Fringe types how important it is that that you go see this play. It’s just fantastic. Like, Ryan Gladstone is AAH-mAAzing!  I think I’m in capital-l love.

So, T7LLR (The Seven Lives of Louis Riel, duh) begins by flippin the bird to the fourth wall. Like, at first I think Gladstone is a second usher or something, brought out to remind us to turn off our cell phones, but instead he talks about reading seven different books, each about this guy named Louis Riel and each...

Doesn't seem so hot to me, and what's he doing with his finger?

I kept looking at my watch after 20 minutes of this show hoping the hour had gone by.

That’s my opening remark.

I am a huge fan of Oscar Wilde, and I really like the idea of all women casts with shows that are not necessarily written that way. However, I am not a fan of when both of these things are not done well.

I was hyped to see Manchester Central Theatre Company’s The Importance of Being Earnest at the Fringe this year, it was one of my first picks to go see. The show, however, unfortunately did not...

No show photos, so here's a red book.

Outside the venue I wait patiently to be allowed entry. Beside me sits a slip of a woman, gray-haired, back and hips perfectly perpendicular. When approached by the usher, trying to hand her a ballot to vote for the show we’re about to see, she haughtily informs the usher that she does not vote. On the other side of her a couple sits down to enjoy a delicious pastry. Standing at the kiosk a man and woman seem unsure if this is the show they’ve pre-booked tickets for.

A third couple hover near the door. A man in platform...

One of these men is Balthar - but we can't see his junk so we can't be sure

Do you like dragons? Me neither. Well, what about toys and free stuff and funny voices and a real live dragon? Okay. That sounds pretty cool, right?  Especially if you’re under ten.

Jacques Lalonde is an exuberant performer, he wore a vibrant dragon t-shirt, of course, and is excellent at engaging children. There were a few snotty whimpers, but none of them seemed related to Lalonde’s performance. Kids happily sang along, clapped, roared and giggled throughout the performance. They cheered while he displayed and discussed his extensive dragon collection, including stuffed toys, masks, decorative dragon sculptures and a variety...

Dina in the Land of Dragons or artwork from club dragonland (Gale Franey)

The Saddest Girl in the World tells the stories of women who are trying. Trying to make their dream job a reality, trying to make sense of their past, trying to fulfill themselves, trying to make a connection.

Ava is a naïve and idealistic woman with a penchant for putting all of herself out there and a deep love of glittery jewels. With a waning happiness and a sliver of desperation in every breath, Ava presents her story with startling poetic clarity. Ava is reaching for something that seems just out of her grasp. Physically we see her...

The Saddest Girl

There's something to be said for walking into a Fringe play cold, knowing absolutely nothing about it. With no expectations, the lame ducks tend to be easier to bear because hey, it's a crap shoot anyway, and if it's good you get the bonus of the pleasant surprise of feeling like you found yourself a little gem, enhancing the experience of the play itself. Murder, Hope represents the great hope of the Fringe concept: the discovery of a diamond in the rough.
 

To clarify; this type of rough can be good at the Fringe. Rough is true to the...

Murder, hope

Teenage Jesus has swept Latin America and apparently he wants pretty young girls to come down to Honduras to help convert the heathens. This is the catalyst moment for Madeleine, the protagonist in Leah Bailey's Some Reckless Abandon.

Madeleine Cross (played by Cara Yeates) is an 18 year old from a small Prairie town in Alberta and is looking for any excuse to escape her life. (This is the second one-woman show that I saw in a row with the central theme of “escape.” Could this be this year's Fringe Trend?)  She gets her wish when she is recruited...

Just what the picture says.

John Brenann and Chris Drake - the Charleston, SC duo that make up Shoe Horn Comedy - write in their sparse show description simply: “Fast paced, high energy sketch comedy.”  Upon seeing their show I suppose that is the best and, indeed, the only description you could give what they do.

Right off the bat I thought they were shooting themselves in the foot with their self-promotion, because a little bit more description of who they are and where they come from could draw in better crowds than the skimpy description they gave. Even the website was confusing...

This is a picture of John and Chris

Everyone remembers their first time, right?  I do and it was quick to forget it.  Unfortunately, you can't forget your first time.  Come on!  The first time is always something you remember even if you want to forget it.  The First Time is a production that covers this fact in great detail whether your first time was good or not.

I was a little suspicious about this play when I walked into Performance Works.  I had experienced verbatem theatre before and some of it was quite dull or didn't "hit the mark".  If you don't know what verbatum theatre...

I know you wanted your first time to be with Elvira!

Bert V. Royal's play, Dog Sees God, is very cute.  It is a fan-fiction story about the iconic Peanuts gang as confused, unhappy, and drug and sex addicted teenagers.  The script it nothing amazing and it is quite standard teenage angst fare but, if you're a fan of the Peanuts gang, you'll like this play.

  It is cool to see how some of those age-defying characters (the strip ran for over 50 years and the characters aged and, sometimes, got younger) would have turned out if they had hit puberty.  If you aren't a fan or never read the...

Hey, I didn't get permission either.

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