Chess – Venue #1
I’ve always been a fan of that incredibly 80s hit spawned out of the musical “One Night in Bangkok” for the super fun cheese and I’ve always wanted to see the musical as a whole. Unfortunately I’m left feeling like I still haven’t really. Doing a musical in venue 1 means you’re on a REAL stage, even if the audience is a third of a packed RMTC house. Sitting on one of the sides sound was atrocious. With one exception I could rarely hear the leads unless it was a solo and ensemble pieces were either muddled or had one member’s voice dominating. The aforementioned “One Night in Bangkok” was particularly bad with the band so scaled back for what’s supposed to be a fairly funky song (even with the scaled back music) and the ensemble’s lines were still muddled and the lead inaudible when he wasn’t facing in your particular direction.
Staging didn’t help this either… I get the idea but having two characters turn their backs on the audience for a conversation just does not work without wireless mics in that large a house. With a few rare exception characters were either standing at the front of the stage, or on a podium at the back. It was just a fairly dull presentation.
I really hope they worked some of these issues out but the first performance wasn’t great for anyone that wasn’t in the middle. There are some great performances here and an audience that really really wanted to love it.
Drinking and Dragons – Monkey Centurion – Venue #1
What if the cast of archer played d&d while drinking? That’s basically the premise of this (somewhat short) romp through a night of the role playing game. We see twin scenes of the players and their characters being (sometimes) directed by the ‘voices in their heads.’ There are some really cute bits in this but some suspect acting and an overreliance on a reference being the entirety of the joke keeps it from being really good.
Grandma’s Dead – Sam Mullins – Venue #7
I once referred to Sam as TJ Dawe’s non-union Mexican equivalent. While that’s really not fair to Sam there’s definitely some similarities about them. They are both curly haired Vancouver based guys telling stories based in their real lives after all. I don’t think it’s unfair to see him as following in TJ’s footsteps. Mullins had the audience in the palm of his hand for the full hour as he told story of two brothers on a cross country trip.
It’s hard to describe exactly why these tales are so compelling but I have to recommend you go experience it yourself and go find out.
Subway Stations of the Cross – Ins Choi – Venue #10
Kim’s convenience was a great experience at RMTC last year and when I learned the playwright was bringing a one man show to Winnipeg Fringe this year I was excited. It’s a VERY different kind of show but no less interesting. What starts out as a personal journey turns into more of a storytelling meets slam poetry thing that really finished off the night well.
Warning, this venue gets damned cold late night!
Overheard in line:
If this venue has Air Conditioning then I must be going through menopause.
Sam Mullins, I’m a sucker for a good storyteller.
Flyers Received: Way more! Forgot to take a total.
A minimum ten show weekend including Searching For Dick, Trampoline, Marathon and my first D&D improv of the fest.