Tuesday, July 22, 2008
The Fringe So Far...part 3
Posters outside MTC.
The Further Adventures of Antoine Feval
If you're not aware of Chris Gibbs' lunacy, it about time you got familiar, got-dammit. And for the record, no, it's not necessary to have seen his previous Antoine Feval show to understand this one. The premise for both shows: Gibbs' dimwitted Victorian ancestor Barnaby erroneously takes a notorious cat burglar to be a master detective, and becomes his assistant...of sorts.
Sarah and myself were treated to yet another laugh-filled hour from Gibbs, stacked with off-the-wall jokes, plus jabs at Canadian politeness, his fellow King's Head performer Jem Rolls, and at the fact that both him and Jem have found romance here in Canada...something about it being a way to get Canada back within England's clutches in a clandestine fashion. You NEED to see this show.
The Wizard of One
This show was a bit of a question mark initially. Sarah had marked this in our program as a "maybe", and I seconded it, mainly because she's a Wizard of Oz fan. Getting to the venue, we had forgotten why we were interested in the show in the first place, and we're slightly wary of the amount of kids in attendance. I braced myself for disappointment.
Instead, we left more than pleasantly surprised at what we had just witnessed. Neil James convincingly plays all of the characters in this healthcare industry-based take on the classic Frank L. Baum tale/MGM movie. I was not only impressed with his range, but his fluid transitions from character to character. Kudos, mister. And what's really cool, is that you can bring the kids to this one, and not be bored to teas by some dumbed-down pap. Definite recommendation.
A bonus funny moment: Neil gingerly explaining to the all-ages crowd that he's also the stage manager for the absolutely-not-for-kids Pussy Sushi.
Sound and Fury's Sherlock Holmes and the Saline Solution
Another must-see...if you can get a ticket. Five stars in the Free Press = sold out shows, usually. I gotta say that the Gas Station Theatre is the perfect venue for these guys (even though the seats are hella awkward for most of the patrons). Fairly large capacity and great acoustics. Those of you unfamiliar with a Sound and Fury show can expect a lot of audience interaction before, during AND after the show...they're just really chummy. You can also expect a ton of off-color songs, groan-inducing puns, pop culture references, double entendres...the makings of a gut-busting good time. And let me tell you, Winnipeg loves these guys...our audience was rabid for 'em! And it was full of Sound adn Fury first-timers! They went home knowing what all the fuss was about.
Take It Back
Sarah and I have been Fringing together for 10 years, and it took us this long to see a dance production! Well, I'm really fucking glad it was this one. Wow. It was a blast watching these three members of the Solid State troupe do their thing. B-boying (breakdancing to the unwashed masses...sorry, I couldn't resist. :D ) and swing dancing (or lindy hopping) and a lil' bit of capoeira thrown in made for a great start to our Monday. Reommended, without question.
The set of How Sweet It Is.
How Sweet It Is
Elizabeth MacEachern has to be commended for sharing her personal diabetes history. However, I can't say I found her portrayals of the folks involved all that compelling. There are a couple of exceptions, though: her cowboyish eye surgeon was a little amusing and she really came alive as the nurse handling "Insulin 101". By the end, it was apparent that this show was a rather emotional expereience for her (as well it should be), as she barely held herself together during the curtain call.
In addition to that, I think I would've found her short, raunchy-for-laughs dance with a Mr. Big probably would've gone over better with me if I had dug the rest of the show. Instead, it was somewhat disturbing.
Had to put that out there.