I know it may look like I went to the Winnipeg Fringe and never returned, but that was not quite the case. I did see an awful lot of shows (but thankfully, not a lot of awful shows). I shattered my previous Fringing record. Here are my brief reviews of those experiences:
Burning Hearts: a skillfully told and atmospheric one-man show. 4 inspirational ghosts out of 5.
The Telephone: a bit hammy for my taste, but the singalong was cute. At the very least, you should leave with a smile. I give it 2 rotary phones out of 5.
White Pants from Hip.Bang: 4 spilled glasses of wine out of 5. Everything you need from a sketch show. Highlights? Cooool Tips and the “clothes fastener” improv.
Three Men in a Boat: 3 Britishisms out of 5. The actors were incredible, but I’d rather see them in a different play.
Channeling Kevin Spacey: Solid, well-acted and funny (esp. if you’re a Spacey or Pacino fan). 3.8 gold chains out of 5 from JT. Round down for me.
For Body and Light presents Coming and Going: Moody and damp contemporary dance and spoken word poetry. 2.5 rubber boots out of 5 for neato concept and lighting but strange execution. (5 yeses out of 5 for local poet Chimwemwe Undi’s opener.)
Hey ’90’s Kids, You’re Old: 5 Baby Bottle Pops out of 5. Delivers the perfect balance of nostalgic warmth and legit teasing. Highlight is Where’s Waldo and Carmen San Diego online dating, but every sketch is strong. Best for those born in the 80s (obvs).
Die Roten Puntkte: Best Band in the World: With lyrics like “You’re like a verb, always doing things to me” Die Roten Puntkte really is the best. 5 bananas out of 5.
The Orchid and the Crow at Fringe was excellent. Funny, sad, and smart. I give it 4.5 yellow jerseys out of 5.
Saw Snafu Dance’s Snack Music and loved the skittles and the puppetry. It’s too bad the audience didn’t provide much improv help. 3.5 out-of-tune zithers out of 5.
ViVA Dance Company’s Dreamscape kept getting stronger with each piece. I give it 4 barefoot pirouettes out of 5.
Major Matt Mason Collective’s Air was incredible. I left with numb fingers from the anxious fists I made. I give it 5 doubling cubes out of 5 (and a bag of chips). ***My favourite of the whole Fringe, ever***
Spotlight: Short performance which the moody, anxiety-ridden creative types will find familiar. Patchy casting (ironic) with a couple bright spots. 3 last chances out of 5.
How to Talk to Human Beings: witty, dialogue-heavy script with solid acting (Gilmore-esque with more neuroses). 4 polite Canadians at the end of their ropes out of 5.