I am a lion!
Well, sadly fringe is done for another year. I didn’t get to a record personal attendance (my best is still 24 or 25, I can’t remember) but I did get close with 23 different plays. As usual I went into the festival wondering if there was enough I truly wanted to see, and as usual I enjoyed everything I’d targeted before going out and catching some of the shows with buzz and loving those too.
Best Show I saw?
Serious: Spiral Dive
Comedy: Tie between Sherlock Holmes (S&F) and The Shakespeare Show (Monster) with an Honorable mention to Chris Gibbs for Antoine Feval.
Sketch/Improv: Tie: Outside Joke/Improvision with an honorable mention to Phil van Hest
Genre Straddling Honorable Mention to the hilarious yet tear jerking Testicular Cancer show: Balls.
More wrapup after the jump!
Unfortunately I didn’t get to the Super Secret cabaret again this year though I hear it was a blast. Next year for sure.
Spiral Dive ended up being my favorite overall show of the Fringe. Based on it’s pedigree (Theatrepublic has produced or co-produced some of the best things in recent years and the people involved were veterans of shows like Beowulf, Boygroove, Letters in Wartime etc) I was expecting something amazing and I wasn’t disappointed. The three actors did an amazing job and I can’t wait to see the further 2 parts of the Spitfire Trilogy.
Improvision was awesome as always. We were lucky enough to catch the reunion show with former cast member Ed and as usual they brought down the house. I really wish on the occasions when they close out a venue (I usually try to catch an 11pm showing) they’d go on past their hour.
Bat Boy: The Musical was certainly much better than its reviews indicated, though it unfortunately suffered from the common fringe musical problem of a lack of quality microphones that let the music drown out the chorus all too often. Good cheesy fun…
As was Lester gets Kissed which we saw immediately after at the same venue. My only complaint was with the youngest actor of the show who unfortunately has a fairly central role. His delivery was incredibly flat and he seemed really awkward. I would have put it down to a first fringe experience but the kid had a reasonably padded resume according to the program. I also thought the female lead seemed way too old for him and that romance came off as a little creepy as a result.
I missed the Die Roten Punkte phenomena last year so I was very glad to hear they were back, I caught the Best of Fest showing sunday and had a blast with the sold-out audience. If they come back with a new show next year, don’t miss them, whether you’re a punk fan or not.
I won’t go on about other great shows since the festival is now over. I managed to avoid staying downtown for the very end of the festival this year. Sitting in old market square in the last hours of the last night is incredibly depressing as all the vendors leave and the stage darkens for the last time. The beer tent empties as a few stragglers do their best to finish off the Keith’s before closing time. The worst part is seeing the vibrant life of the crowds slowly trickle to nothing as each venue closes after its last show and we’re left hoping next year gets here soon.
Since this is the wrapup edition of this year’s (admittedly feeble) fringe blog, here are the lists:
- Shows Seen: 23
- Bowls of Chicken Curry from the Cart: 5
- Scotch Eggs and Curry Chips at the King’s Head: 4.5
- Ex-Girlfriend Sitings: 8! (scarily)
- Beers Consumed: classified but numerous
- Can Lady Sitings: 34
- Number of Fringe Related Paper Products in my Cargo Shorts Sunday Night: 89
- Scowls from Grumpy Gelati Man: 4
- Smiles??? from Grumpy Gelati Man: 1!
- Beautiful Winnipeg Women admired: 8,010,278
- Money Spent on Parking: $30+ (grumble)
- Books purchased at Red River Bookstore while waiting for a show: Amazingly only 1
In alphabetical order I saw:
- Bat Boy: The Musical
- The Big Stupid Improv Show
- Die Roten Punkte:Supermusicant
- The Further Adventures of Antoine Feval
- How to Fake Clinical Depression
- Improvision: Fast Loose and Lovely (The Ed Cuddy guest experience no less)
- Jem Rolls: How I stopped worrying and learnt to love the mall.
- Lester gets Kissed
- Letters at Large
- Manners for Men
- The Movies (Abridged)
- Mr. Fox
- Outside Joke plays their hits
- Phil the Void
- The Shakespeare Show
- Sherlock Holmes and the Saline Solution
- Spiral Dive
- The Sputniks
- The Spy
- Totem Figures