Thursday, August 20, 2009

Edmonton Fringe Festival 2009

There are still a few days left of this year's Fringe. If you are in the area I highly recommend checking it out. It's one of the best Fringe Festivals in North America! I have been working a lot lately so I haven't gotten to go to as many shows as I want. I did squeeze some in on the weekend though and Matt has seen a few on his own. I figured I would give some mini reviews of what we've seen. We know a few people participating in the Fringe since Matt has a lot of old drama ties from university/post-university improv days.

Here's what we've seen so far:

Noncommittal- Matt saw this one on his own in order to support a former colleague. It's about relationships and the trouble with men avoiding commitment. Matt thought that it had a lot of potential and was pretty good but maybe could have used some more rehearsal or a stronger director. A bit like watching a long couple's spat. 2.5/5 stars

The Secret Love Life of Ophelia- Matt and Stephie went to this one. It's about Hamlet and Ophelia's secret love letters to each other. The script is a bit raunchy and written in elevated Shakespearean language. They thought it was interesting but a bit on the pompous artsy fartsy side. 1.5/5 stars

Skirmishes- We saw this one together. It's the story of a pair of sisters, their strained relationship and their dying mother who is present in the room the entire play. Everyone involved with this production has an impressive resume and is really experienced and talented. It was an emotional story surrounding sisterhood, family, death and dying. The acting was solid although I think they were having a bit of an off day when we went since they flubbed up their lines a few times. Generally I wouldn't be so critical but you should read the credentials of those involved. Overall, excellent show. 4/ 5 stars

Victor and Victoria's Terrifying Tale of Terrible Things- This has been our favorite show so far. I had high hopes since we know and love the director (Kevin Sutley) and basically every Kill Your Television production is an amazing one (and I've seen quite a few). This show was creepy, hilarious, spooky and just a delight. I love how KYT often uses a simple prop (in this case a bed sheet) and manages to transform it into a plethora of things. Must see! 4.5/ 5 stars

Die Nasty- This long running improv soap opera never disappoints. It plays every night at the Varscona theatre at 11:30pm. Matt used to work with one of the standard players (Tom Edwards) and really this is just one of those things that you need to go to. Between Rapid-fire Theatre and Die Nasty we have a healthy improv community here. My highlight of this "episode" was the tribute song to Heinz ketchup. Pure comic gold! 4.5/ 5 stars

Old Wicked Songs- We're seeing this one tomorrow and anticipating it to be awesome. Timothy Anderson stars and he's one of Edmonton's best kept secrets, in my opinion. Every met a person and just known they were ridiculously talented and special? That's Tim. He's also a brilliant musician, writer and all around kind, humble person. Go see his show!!!

A point of interest, there is a Korean children's group doing a production this year! It's an English theatre club from Seoul and they are performing Choon-Hyang: True Love. It's been a blast picking out the Koreans from the crowd and occassionally surprising them with a few phrases of my terrible Korean. I really miss Korea these days! Anyway, go to the Fringe people!!!


Carter said...

How much are tickets to shows at the Fringe?

ambearo said...

Well the artists get to set the price but generally they are $12 for adults and $10 for students and seniors.

tuxandtales said...

Thanks for the plug, Amber! It was terrific to see you at the show - and to get caught up a bit on the blog reading - esp the books you have read this year. Really curious to know what you thought of Dawkins.

(And I love your book list - it includes two authors I have had the privilege to meet and share meals with: Ursula LeGuin - who has a terrific house - and Daniel Keyes.)

Stephie said...

Do you remember that old couple sitting beside us in that play.. haha they loved every second of it!

ambearo said...

I loved your show Tim and I am super flattered you read through my silly blog. I took a look at your blog and it's so well written and interesting!

I can't believe you've had dinner with Ursula Le Guin and Daniel Keyes! I'm trying hard to read 50 books this year but my pace has slowed down quite a bit so we'll see.

Have you read the God Delusion? I thought it was incredibly interesting. I wish that everyone would read it and discuss it. Some shaky bits but it makes a valid point that we give a lot of leeway to religious opinions even if they are oppressing people or causing harm.