It’s been a couple more laid back days on the Winnipeg Fringe warpath but I capped it off by catching the “secret” Cabaret for the first time in a few years (so secret it’s in the program grid now.)
Graham Clark Reads the Phone Book – RRC
It might sound odd, but this was both exactly what it sounded like AND extremely entertaining. Clark has an affable demeanour and quick wit that fuels the show well. Like many standups that play the Canadian fringe circuit he has gone for a show with an express theme, something that many of them stick to far too rigidly when there’s no need. In Clark’s case it makes for some very weird laughs as he uses the obsolescence of the phone book in this day and age as the starting point for his set. The latter half of the show mostly uses random browsing as a starting point for quick asides or runners with the audience that made the hour fly by. Lots of fun.
Ain’t True and Uncle False – Venue #7 Cinematheque
Something about a noon show in a (let’s be honest here) shitty venue (at least in summer where it’s always hot when full) that makes you just want to doze off. I was fighting it the entire time and that’s nothing against Paul Strickland. His tales of a weird and wonderful Kentucky trailer park where everyone works at the pea punching plant and the gardens are made of crockery were engrossing and his energy was hopping. Eventually my brain listened to me and I was able to give him the attention he deserved as he had a near sell-out crowd hanging on every word.
The Exclusion Zone – Martin Dockery –Venue #4
I don’t understand how Martin Dockery functions as a human being. He is such a frenetic and energetic story teller. When doing his one man shows he very rarely stops talking and even then usually only to take a sip of water. The words are rapid fire, the hand gestures constant, the story… is magic. Weaving together tales of a trip to Pripyat, meeting a hero at burning man and a dissection of the creative process definitely isn’t easy, yet he does and takes us all on a hell of a ride.
Dr. Caligari’s Cabaret of the World – Special Event at MTC Warehouse
This year’s cabaret was a hoot with at times seemingly as many people on stage as in the audience despite a nearly full house. What is there really to say other than give some highlights:
Most of the cast going all high school musical to make Jem Rolls smile, T.J. Dawe giving us chocolate, Fraz’s cosby, Otto from DRP and Chase Padgett duelling guitars, an energetic sweaterbirth and well… pretty much everything else. Only downside being the lady two rows behind me who consumed roughly 5 beers by my count and who felt the need to scream her favourite performers names multiple times while they were on stage… seriously lady, nobody came here to listen to you.
Sorry, there was a second downside too, it went til 2 and I had to be at my desk this morning… yikes.
Overheard in line:
Oh look, it’s (Insert Performer name here) as seemingly half the performers in town were either participating in (or watching) the cabaret.