Last night I went to the Fringe Preview Gala. Not only did I see excerpts from a bunch of shows, but I also grilled artists and staff alike for their favourites. Here’s a quick run-down of what looks promising:
TJ Dawe Box Set – A Fringe veteran, and one of the most entertaining and
talented performers I see every year (disclaimer: he’s an old classmate of
mine). He’s doing a ‘best of’ his shows from the past decade. I wouldn’t hesitate
in recommending his shows to anybody, from theatre noob on up.
Chicks in a Tub – This is a Bring Your Own Venue (BYOV) show that’s not
on Granville Island. It’s in a bathroom in the West End, and features 30 minutes
of comedy with 3 women in a tub. What’s not to like?
Pajama Men in "Stop Not Going" – I don’t know much about this
show, but the early buzz has been very positive.
Banditos – I haven’t seen this show, but the creators are good friends
of mine. They’re both smart, talented and experienced performers, and the
show’s got a cool premise. They should have written a better blurb, though.
Next year, guys, get me to write your blurb.
Group Sex Therapy II – I saw an excerpt from this show, and it was something
funny, raunchy stand-up comedy. If you actually attended "Just Jack",
Jack’s theatre show on Will & Grace, it might be a little like
Fear of Going Down – I helped out with this show, so I’m unable to give
an unbiased account. Disappointingly, not about oral sex.
Groove – Again, haven’t seen it, but hear very good things about it.
Anger in Ernest and Ernestine – If you’re looking for a well-performed,
straight-up play that won’t scare you (much), this is for you. It’s a well-written
surreal comedy, and the performances looked strong in the snippet I saw.
Garcia’s "Flamenco Flow" – I was blown away by the excerpt I
saw of this show. I just felt privleged to be in the room with such a great
guitar player. This isn’t theatre per se–it’s music and dance. It’s got a
very globalized groove. Part of the excerpt I saw combined flamenco music
with hip hop dancing. It sounds dodgy, but I thought it worked.
Bonus top tip for the locals: The Fringe Silent Auction is going on throughout the festival at Performance Works. Currently, there are some amazing deals to be had for weekends away, jewelry, yoga stuff, rowing lessons and all manner of other fineries. Seriously, this stuff is super-cheap at the moment. I don’t know how 10 days of the Fringe will affect prices, but if you’re on Granville Island, I’d recommend wandering over. Thanks again to everybody who contributed.