So yeah, I've been doing The Fringe Fest thang for the past week or so, which is why I've had like, nothing to say here. In lieu of my usual hang-ups n' bullshit, here are the reviews that I have posted at the CBC board:
This year, the Crumbs Improv Troupe became a trio with Devin McCracken leaving to do his own thing. I wondered how they would fare going their separate ways. After seeing McCraken's God's Country, I knew he'd be fine, but I couldn't help but wonder about the others. As a unit, each member brought something unique to the table. Steve held the general narrative together, Lee was good at playing women and kids, and Devin brought the chaos...you never knew where he was going! And of course, Craig set the mood for each scene. In the end, I didn't have to worry about how well the remaining Crumbs would work together. Over this past Saturday's performance, the Crumb dudes weaved a nutty narrative with four suggestions: sex, dinosaurs, midgets, and balloons. With sex being a rather popular suggestion at improv shows, they could've gone down a juvenile or predictable route, but didn't. All-in-all, I was left howling, like I always do at a Crumbs show. Props to Craig for sticking his neck out on a couple of occasions to add more to the story. A good time guaranteed!
Here's an example of persistance paying off. My girlfriend and I ran into Darcy Bruce several times during the Fringe while he was pimping his show or volunteering. We sorta took it as a sign, so we gave him a chance. Boy, were we glad we did! Cake Town is a series of monologues (five, to be exact) spoken through different characters with one common theme: paranoia. I was really impressed with Bruce's rather vaudvillian delivery and the energy he displayed, especially when you consider just excruciatingly hot Venue 15 is. If you're looking for a show to make your last Frequent Fringer Pass notch with, this is the one. It's like an after-dinner mint: tasty, and at 45-50 minutes long, not too filling.
Uh...that didn't sound as good as I wanted it to. Just go see it.
Year of the Panda
I loved this! This was one of those shows I picked on a whim, knowing only that Trish Cooper(formerly(?) of the Royal Lichtenstein troupe) was in it. What can I say? Ms. Cooper and Vanessa McRae(I apologize if I misspelled your name) had me holding my gut during the whole show show, and left me wanting more. Yup, it was that good. There was a little something for every type of (adult) humour palate: relationship jokes, lewd sex, and a touch of the scatalogical. The pacing was great...not one empty moment in this show at all. Kudos, ladies!
I was not sure what to expect from this show by former CRUMBS guy Devin McCracken. What I did know was what he was capable of on stage...good laughs. Seeing him on stage without Lee and Steve was different, but different for the better. Those of us in attendance today at the premiere of God's Country were brought into the world of go-nowhere dude from the North End, somewhat troubled with his place in society, but even more troubled by the dreams he's been having lately about fellow North End inhabitants. In short, I liked it. A lot. McCraken's usually "out there" stage persona was perfectly channeled for this distressed character. I'd like to think of this show as a stage version of CBS' Early Edition. Except there's no newspaper. And there's a lot of drinking. And swearing. Yup.