visitorium

FRINGE COMA ’10 – Day FOUR

In Fringe Fest, Theatre on June 21, 2010 at 8:03 am

It’s starting to get weird.

Oh, it’s not your fault, it’s mine (isn’t it always my fault..?)  I just never meant for things to go this FAST, is all.  I wanted to take my time, get to know you, maybe see if you liked British teevee as much as I do…but I just lost control at some point.  Things started spinning out of control.  And now…

…NOW, this goofy ‘blog’ of mine, that I originally intended as a series of Facebook notes on the Fringe until I saw Nancy Kenny’s WordPress blog and thought, ‘that’s a good idea!’ (So it’s all HER fault), and started this ‘visitorium’ thing up, is actually catching on.  It all started innocently enough…Ranting about theatre, reviewing shit here and there, even doing my years-late writeups of Fringes past.  And finally, we came to the reason for starting it, my daily reviews of Fringe 2010.  And I figgered, whatever, hopefully SOMEone will read it.

And now, I’m standing outside venues tonite and the likes of Sterling Lynch  and Nadine Thornhill are wandering up to me and saying, ‘hey, aren’t you that ‘visitorium’ guy’??

…Seriously, what the FUCK is going on??  They’re READING this shit?  They know what I look like, even?  There’s like, ONE terrible picture of me on this thing and I don’t even know how to find it!  Yet you all are finding me…Oh God…I’m gettin’ the sweats…

…ahh, that’s probably just the whiskey kicking in.  Where was I..?  Right, day four.  How time flies (see how I shifted gears there?)…except of course when you’re at work in a hot kitchen on brunch duty with a hangover all day, then time prefers slow, languorous walks on the fucking beach.  So believe me, I was counting the minutes til I could return to the Fest today.  I finally got the all clear and booted out by about 4:30, and made it just in time to catch the 5o’clock show of WHO YOU CALLIN’ SWEETHEART? , a Lead Pencil Productions put-on starring Celine Filion and Guy Buller.  And it was pretty god-damned charming!  Started out looking like a classic style spoof on film noir, but quickly spun in its own direction or two, and they even had a smoke machine!  They should lend that shit to PURELY CABARET, I think their act would be killer with a…but no, focus.  SWEETHEART… is a really fun show, with great actors hitting their lines like fuckin’ snipers.  I think I preferred Fillion a little, but that may just be her red dress talking.  I never said I was sophisticated.

Booted it from Academic Hall to a new venue for me, the Cajun Attic.  Cool looking place!  I ordered a 50, sat down, and awaited DIVINITY, a show playing only 4 times over 2 nights at Fringe.  I’d assumed that meant it was a must -see, somehow.  And…you know what? These kids meant well, and I think they had fun, and let’s just leave it at that, okay?  High five, DIVINITY, you put it out there.  I can respect that.

Getting my exercise tonight, I ran from the Attic to OLT for DELIVER’D FROM NOWHERE, a play by Tim Ginley.  I’ll tell you straight up, it was dynamite, and should-nay-MUST be seen.  I won’t tell you what it’s about, because I didn’t know what it was about when I went in, and I loved it, so really I’m doing you a favour.  Sterling Lynch stars, along with JP Chartier and Matt Smith.

No, the OTHER Matt Smith.

This show is a jackhammer to the coolness centers of your reptilian backbrain, and yes, that’s a compliment.  Lynch really shines in this’un, owning his sorta-modern-day-Peter-Pan character as he drags anyone he feels the need to down his own path of, basically, avoiding growing up.

Or that’s how I saw it…I could be wrong.  It’s still a great bloody show.  And nice acoustics in that studio..!

…which is good, because I was staying there for the Ottawa premiere of ARCHY AND MEHITABEL, a show starring gentleman Juff Culbert, and based on the works of Don Marquis, a NY newspaperman and fellow curmudgeon from way back when (think ‘roaring twenties’).  Worked around the notion of the friendship between Cockroach Archy and alley-cat Mehitabel (both reincarnated from humans), Culbert takes us on a pretty remarkable story/journey through insect, animal and human life, and with no more prop than a chair.  THAT is my kinda theater, and Messr.Culbert pulls it off without a hitch.  A great play by a great actor, don’t miss it.  I said it..!

I was gonna make it a 5-show night, no matter the cost, so I ran from OLT to the Lenny-Bo-studio for one of my most anticipated shows of fringe…Jayson MacDonald’s THE LAST GODDAMNED PERFORMANCE PIECE.  And especially tonite, because tonite was the extra-special NANCY KENNY version!  Nothing against regular LG-DPP actress Celine Fillion (from WHO YOU CALLIN’ SWEETHEART, remember??), but since, as previously mentioned, Kenny was the one responsible for me even starting a blog, I wanted to catch her in Fringe performance this year if possible.

And really, it’s physically impossible for me to say something bad about a show that has me crying with laughter before the show even starts. Kenny and her stagemate Ben Meuser (reveal!) take Jayson Mac’s play and make fucking magic, oscillating at will between pants-wettingly hysterical and pin-droppingly heartfelt.  It was a fantastic hour, and the only way any of us will get to see the Kenny in action unless you go to Morrisburg and catch her in THE AMOROUS AMBASSADOR, the new farce she’s starring in out there.  I’d like to see it myself, actually!  All I have to do is get my pedestrian ass to Morrisburg..!

In related news, you know what doesn’t go to Morrisburg..?  Fucking BUSSES, that’s what.

What is this place, the town that time forg….oh, right.

Well, whatever, the night’s shows were over, and time for the beer tent.  Finally, it was my time to blend into the shadows, stand and stare awkwardly, wish I were part of…
…oh, there’s Wayne!  I’ll say hi to him….and, hey, that’s Jeff Culbert from ARCHY AND MEHITABEL, and sure, I’ll talk to him for a spell…And hey, there’s Famous Actress Nancy Kenny!  Let’s walk over and..

…no, seriously, what the FUCK is going on here??

TO BE CONTINUED…

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