Archive for ‘Performance’

September 13, 2017

Fringe So Far

Wednesday morning update: 22 Shows and counting…

Tuesday Shows: Go/No Go – Great. Can’t wait to see it on a main stage with circus performers, especially the clown doctors.

A David Lynch Wet Dream – I liked it. It’s weird. But I like weird.

Slumber Here – Yes, and I’ll go back for another dose. Midsummers Night Dream in site-specific format. Delightful

5-Step Guide to Being German – Thumbs down from me. Too many jokes that are of the variety: A Bavarian, a Muslim and an Australian go into the bar. A friend used to stop her kids and say: OK, say that joke as a Canadian, a Canadian and a Canadian… and her kid would say: But then it’s not funny. Her point: it probably wasn’t then! Besides anything else an average Fringe show is 60 minutes not 90. So since I felt this was below-average, 45 minutes would be enough. I hadn’t realized it was so long (although it felt that long), so missed seeing the next show I’d hoped to get in.

Monday Shows:

Ain’t True and Uncle False – I agree with the positive buzz. A feel good piece.

Everybody Dies in December – I’m now an official Nancy Kelly fan.

Hyena Subpoena – again the Buzz is right. Except this is the kind of text I wish I could read afterwards. Catherine Kitt is great. Here’s a youtube video with an excerpt.


More Fringe shows

Top pick for yesterday was Katharine Ferns is in Stitches. But be aware if you are or ever have been a feminist let alone abused, battered, depressed … you may well find it very distressing as well as very funny. Important, I’d say.  I’d planned to do another

If you ponder the nature of the Life, the Universe and Everything, you’d enjoy the Immaculate Big Bang. Probably some interest and knowledge of world religions makes it funnier.

I loved Your Princess is in Another Castle with the Roller Derby Saved My Life performer, Nancy Kelly. My friend said she liked the other show: Everyone Dies in December so much, she was disappointed in this one. New word: fe-man-ist – because feminist is so not gender-neutral. I thought the guy playing slam poet/prince charming was excellent.

The buzz (yes, the buzz is well under way now) told me to go see Field Zoology 101. Loved it too.

I like to check out the site-specific shows mentored by the Only Animal, so did 2/3 of Waterborne BLUE program – and then headed to Katharine Ferns at Performance Works.

All in all, a great non-volunteer day at the Fringe.

I’m actually loving standing in the rush lineups chatting with other volunteers and performers.

So… that’s 15 Fringe shows and counting.

I was going to try to find links to reviews for all of these, but you can google yourself, right?

If you have comments – add on facebook…



September 10th post

  1. 50 Shades of Dave
  2. Indefinable Soul
  3. The Euphio Question (Kurt Vonnegut)
  4. A Night at the Rose Coloured Discotheque
  5. Beaver Dreams
  6. The Inventor of All Things
  7. Shadowlands
  8. Periscope

All good. If you can only catch two of these, go for 50 Shades of Dave and Shadowlands (closes Monday)!

First vollie year without a super pass or kick-ass pass. It’s OK.  Just requires different strategies. You need a Plan B and sometimes Plan C. For RUSH pass volunteers – just go for the large venues. Lots of fun conversations in line-ups.

Yesterday: Sold out Bombay Black and OBIT. Probably at least Bombay Black will continue after the Fringe somewhere. And probably no chance of rush tickets at Arts Umbrella, esp An Arrangement of Shoes and Andrew Bailey’s show.



September 9, 2016

Peripeteia by the Elegant Ladies Collective

Google tells me: “Perepeteia” is a sudden reversal with negative effects or when a Greek hero realizes everything he believed in is wrong.

There’s a site for explaining literary terms. Who knew?

I’m looking forward to the site-specific play by the Elegant Ladies Collective at the Fringe tonight at 6:30 pm at Ron Basford Park on Granville Island.

Tickets available here:



September 8, 2016

Vancouver Fringe opens tonight – See you around the Island?

Oooo! Can’t wait for the opening night to catch a couple of minutes of a bunch of different Fringe shows.

Not to mention the first glass of beer at the Fringe Bar.

Then Friday I do two shows and 3 on Sunday. I’ll be posting my reviews here.

My first one is a site-specific one for the always creative Elegant Ladies Collective.

Hope to see you around Granville Island.

August 30, 2016

Fringe is coming

OK so it’s time for my annual stay-cation absorbing as much Fringe as I possibly can. I’ll be reviewing for Plank Magazine and while I await my assignments, I thought I’d browse through the program guide and make a list of 10 shows I definitely want to see.

I have my favorite genres. They may not be yours. But if a show shows up in two or more of my favorite genres, it usually makes it to my top 10 wanna-see-list. These are numbered for my convenience (and perhaps yours). It doesn’t mean anything else.

Poetic genre

  1. Another tip: When TimeOut London says it’s good, it’s probably very good indeed.
Lock and Key Theatre
Surrey, Canada
Playwright: Deborah Brevoort

2. Electric Company’s 20th anniversary.

Electric Company Theatre
Vancouver, Canada
Playwright: Jonathon Young


3. On site Elegant Ladies Collective

I saw their Shakespeare piece – brilliant. And they donate ticket sales to charity. How sweet is that?

The Elegant Ladies Collective
Vancouver, Canada

Genre: Intellectual

4. Local Fringe Hero Ryan Gladstone’s latest

Monster Theatre
Vancouver, Canada
Playwright: Ryan Gladstone




Here’s how to select the “weird” ones:  one of my favorite Fringe genres.

5. Space Hippo

If you’re new to Fringe and want a relatively safe bet (there are no 100% safe bets) go for the ones who paid a lot of money to get here. Typically (but not guaranteed) they have reason to believe they’ll sell enough tickets to at least break even. Also I love that the playwright’s last name is “Wishes.” A Fringe tip: “puppet” does not necessarily mean, bring the grandkids…

The Wishes Mystical Puppet Company
Winnipeg, Canada
Playwright: Daniel Wishes

6. I saw Birdman last year and so I’m on for this one.

Gold Coast, Australia
Playwright: Trent Baumann


All Ages suggestions

Fringe is pretty dominated by well fringey topics not so appropriate for the grandkids. But here are a few I can recommend.

7. Travis Bernhardt’s !Unpossible magic show got 4 thumbs up from Em and Luke!!/events


Mary’s top picks

8. Tara Travis Fan Club Top Pick. This was one of my favorites a few years ago–turned me into a Tara Travis fan! If you haven’t seen it (and you like the “weird” category) go see it!

Monster Theatre
Vancouver, Canada
Playwright: Ryan Gladstone

9. It’s so hard to leave the Island where everything is happening – and the Fringe Bar  – but I’ll try to get over too see more Suburban Motel!

Punchback Projects
Vancouver, Canada
Playwright: George F. Walker

10. Not in the weird category?

Not sure why this didn’t make the weird genre list. It sounds weird to me and in fact was the first one that caught my attention on the first online perusal of all the listings. Hope it’s weird enough for me.

A dark and twisted folktale about a mildly farfetched, highly illegal immigration across metaphysical borders
Once Once Producciones
Mexico City, Mexico
Playwright: Paula Zelaya Cervantes


The Fringe program guide is so well big! that I decided my pre-Fringe goal was to select 10, but I  hope to see more. And I don’t know why I didn’t manage to include Mind of a Snail in this initial top 10. Because they’re very, very good.

Here’s a more considered list of top ten.

Our picks this week: ten (plus ten) shows not to miss at this year’s Vancouver Fringe Festival

I agree with seeing Martin Dockery – reliably excellent.


I’d love to hear your comments!

September 20, 2015

The answer is 26 (You thought it was 42, didn’t you?) – Q: How many Fringe shows?

The Fringe is over. Turns out in spite of being pretty busy with some other things, I actually managed to attend 26 shows. Not my personal best, but pretty good nonetheless.  Here’s what I saw:

  1. Chris and Travis
  2. DAREU
  3. Edgar Allan
  4. Eurydice
  5. Falstaff
  6. Faroe Islands and Ostrich
  7. For Body & Light: Bear Dreams
  8. Going On
  9. Grandma’s Dead
  10. James & Jamesy in the Dark
  11. Just Watch Me
  12. Kiss Around Pass Around
  14. Middle of Everything
  15. My First Sony
  16. Nashville Hurricane
  17. Oh! the Humanity
  18. Olya the Child
  19. Porn and Pinochet
  20. Saturn Returns
  21. The Birdmann
  22. The Exclusion Zone
  23. The Fighting Season
  24. The Inventor of Everything
  25. The Seven Lives of Louis Riel
  26. The Vaudevillian
September 14, 2015

Sold Out Shows – but still lots of options

I’m predicting Nashville Hurricane will be sold out. Already Wonderheads’ Middle of Everything and Chris & Travis’ Improv Show have had some sold out shows.  Brain, I’m told, is sold out for the entire run. (Darn! I was hoping to see that – but the good news is that the Fringe now gives us Fringe shows throughout.

Tonight I hope to see Faroe Islands and Ostrich at 9:45pm. It was “comped” out, and I’m taking a chance I’ll manage to get a ticket at the venue.

I also hope to see 1, 2, 3 or many of:

5pm Spookeasy; 6pm The 7 lives of Louis Riel; 6:55pm Birdmann and 8:30pm LOCO+HERO+JOE.

OK, I know it’s actually not possible to do all of those. So maybe 2 of them…

If my Fringe pals say they’re going to some of this I might make going with a friend the priority, so shoot me a note.

Others on my must-see list for the rest of the week include:

The Fighting Season and The Wild Dog Waits on the Concrete.

Taking the grandkids to the Vaudevillian on Sunday afternoon. There were more family-friendly shows this year than usual.  Edgar Allan while very good and is “all ages” in that there’s no sexual content, it wouldn’t have worked for a 9 and 12 year old. My friend felt it wouldn’t have worked for her two high school-aged girls either.  I’m told Keith Brown Exchange would be great for kids.

I’m glad to have more choices but I’ve learned to ask the performers when they’re promoting their show, “OK It says “all ages”. Would my grandkids aged 9 and 12 love it?”  You can count on Fringe performers to be honest.

My reviews will be posted at  Stay tuned.


September 11, 2015

Humanity at Half Price – Can’t Beat That – Fringe Day 2

I saw Oh, the Humanity! and other good intentions tonight.

The main thing I want to say is you should see it if you ever, ever wonder about life and death and christenings and funerals and what can you say to a roomful of people whose relatives were killed in a plane crash?

And, oh my! if you dash down to the Firehall for the noon show on Saturday, you get it at half off – $7, although it’s very worth the regular price of only $14.

By Will Eno, the show is a series of 5 short, short plays with between one and three persons.

Some lines are laugh out loud funny but then you wonder: should I be laughing at that?

Need to read more before you commit? Here you go:


September 8, 2015

Thursday – Fringe Opens

Mary’s First Thursday Fringe Schedule

I am so looking forward to opening of the Fringe Festival. Tied with DOXA – Documentary Film Festival, this is my favorite arts festival of the year. I volunteer for both and pretend I’m out of town on vacation and try to do nothing but attend shows. I probably won’t break my personal best record of 32 shows which I did last year as I have a few times I have to return to normal life, but I’ll do my best.

If you haven’t attended the Fringe, you might be overwhelmed if you pick up the program guide and don’t know where to start.  So I’m posting the shows I’m attending so if friends attend, at the very least we can go to the Fringe Bar afterwards and talk about what we liked–or didn’t.

FRINGE TIP: Safe bets are to go for ones that have won “best of Fringe” at other festivals.

I’ll be writing reviews for Plank Magazine again this year–posting 6 reviews by the end of the first weekend, so you can see what I say by following there or here.

Thursday, 10 Sep, 8:15 pm, Revue Stage, 1601 Johnston St, GI,

Kiss Around Pass Around

Facebook Event:

From the event page:

Kiss Around Pass Around Vancouver Fringe Festival 2015
Fantastical physical comedy by award-winning Japanese artist SHOSHINZ

About the Show
Kiss Around Pass Around is a fantastical solo physical comedy with a stunning sound design by Yanomi.
A mysterious creature is wandering the world looking for its daddy. North, south, east, and west… leaves, wind, water, thunder – for a peculiar traveler, anything can serve as a compass. This unruly innocent creature will sneak in and steal your heart.

Patron’s Pick & Best International Show -Orlando Fringe 2015
Artists’ Pick -Cincinnati Fringe 2015

“Her animation is intoxicating… Kiss Around Pass Around is truly precious.” – Orlando Sentinel
“CRITIC’S PICK … I need to go see this terrific show again.” -City Beat
“The fringe-iest entry of the year. It’s definitely a Fringe experience I’ll remember for years” -Behind the Curtain Cincinnati

Created & Performed by: Yanomi


Fringe Tip: I try to see as much as possible, so I typically pick one show I really want to see and then see how many others I can see on the same day.  So after committing to Kiss Around Pass Around I’m also now going to book for:

Play Venue Area Day Time Length Page
Edgar Allan Revue Stage 05:00 PM 47
Brain Arts Umbrella 06:15 PM 56
Kiss Around Pass Around Revue Stage Granville Island 08:15 PM 46
September 4, 2015

6 Guitars becomes 4 Characters – Chase Padgett back at Fringe

When Chase Padgett kept getting up on stage again and again at the Fringe awards last year, he humbly commented that not everyone loved his show and quoted a review he’d had elsewhere. But Vancouver, and it seems Canada, loved 6 Guitars where he inhabits 6 characters playing guitar in 6 different styles.

So I’m definitely looking forward to Nashville Hurricane at the Revue Theatre. I’ll be attending the first show on Sunday, September 13 @ 6:45pm.  You are advised to book your tickets in advance. Even for the first show I think there’s a good chance it’ll sell out. Maybe see you there or at the Fringe bar afterwards?

Here’s a review from Calgary:

September 3, 2015

Fringe at Firehall on Friday

Love the #vanfringe. Love #alliteration. Love #frequentfringer passes.

So you’ll be seeing regular blog posts from me over the next 17 days as I use my Super Pass (Thank you Fringe! thank you #plankmagazine!) to see if I can top my personal best of number of Fringe shows in an 11-day period.

If you are not quite as fanatical as I am, here’s a Fringe-Lite suggestion. Buy a 4 pass Frequent Fringer for $40. Add a $5 membership and you can join me for Four (count ’em) shows at the Firehall on Friday, September 11th.

Can’t handle that? Bring a friend and you can each attend two of the shows.

At least as fanatical as me? Then go for the 30-show pass for $270 (an average of $9 rather than $14 in case you don’t do math). Most shows are 60 minutes give or take a bit – so it’s not impossible to do 5 in a day.  Although, admittedly it can be a bit mind-bending. Be sure to fuel yourself between shows with good food, drink and conversation.

Here’s what I’ll be seeing at the Firehall on Friday, September 11 – There’s a break between each show. Maybe you’ll join me to chat and have a beverage between shows?

James and Jamesy in the Dark 05:00 PM
The New Conformity 06:45 PM
Oh The Humanity And Other Good Intentions 08:30 PM
The O.C.: The Musical 10:15 PM

Speaking of F-words, I always bring the grandkids to at least one show, so I’ll be searching the Family Friendly shows and posting the list in case, like me, you want to encourage small children to love the Fringe in particular and live theatre in general.  I *do* wish they wouldn’t schedule the Few Family Friendly shows after 9pm!




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