Hey, back for a second day and I’m not slipping into an ACTUAL coma yet! This is going better so far than I remember from last year…tho my recollections from that time are pretty hazy, I should warn. But still, I managed a full day of work today before heading off to Fringe with a spring in me step.
First show of the evening was OLD LEGENDS in the Arts Court library (seriously, do they actually keep books there regularly?). Brought on by Bio-Punk Productions and penned by James Brooks, LEGENDS is the story of wordsmith Tara Thomas, returning to her family home in Nova Scotia to tie up loose ends, and maybe revisit a family ghost or two. Emma Godmere plays Tara with a very simple and radiant performance…as a dear friend told me, she’s just someone you enjoy listening to, and it’s true. I liked a lot about the show…the direction kept Emma moving about the simple library stage so things never got too staid, and the script had a few nice touches, especially an early bit concerning urban legends and ghost stories that gets a very welcome revisit later on. There were a few bobbles in the performance here and there, and the script leaned towards clunkiness on occasion, but for the whole I had a good old time at OLD LEGENDS. I’m glad I finally got to see the l’il Godmere perform, she’s definitely got game.
From there it was off to St.Pauls, and since it’s a well known fact I’m allergic to churches, you know there must be a good reason for this visit. As it happens, the best reason EVER….a new Mi Casa Show! I’d seen one of the ‘secret workshop’ whos for this one a few months earlier, and even then it was better than most shows you’ll catch…but what would ya expect from Nick and Emily? It was LIVE FROM THE BELLY OF A WHALE time, and I was raring to go.
It’s actually pretty hard to critique the MiCasa gang, because they’re so foolishly charming and talented they almost defy description. They didn’t even wait for showtime to start getting the crowd firmly on their side with a creative writing excercize. And when the show DID start…well, shit. What can I say? Watching these two work is like watching theatre being invented before your eyes. The songs are every bit as wondrous and catchy as those in that OTHER show these two are known for (and yes, I’ve already started bugging them for CD’s). I loved the emotion and the sheer immersive FEELING of the piece, not to mention their TARDIS-like uber-setpiece that plays such a central role in this fantastickal tale of siblings, growing apart, and taxonomy. Utter joy.
I all but floated out of that venue and on to my next show, Monster Theatre’s EVERY STORY EVER TOLD by one-man dynamo Ryan Gladstone. I’m new to mr.G and Monster Theatre, but it looks like I might be the only one, as he managed to pack the expansive Arts Court theatre on his very first show! That boded well, I figgered. When Ryan finally took the stage, he almost immediately had the audience right where he wanted them, literally clapping on demand. The show itself turned out a little uneven….it starts out as the show I was expecting, with Ryan speeding though as many stories from culture and history as he could manage. But after a awhile he abruptly switches tactics and the show takes on more of an improv-feel. For me, the first part worked better, but then, what do I know?
It’s a pretty ambitious show, especially as a one-manner. In a few spots, it was only Ryan’s charm that kept the show moving along…there were more than a few rough patches. But thankfully, Ryan Gladstone is one charming motherfucker, and in the end it all worked out. An improvised story about an alien princess questing for chocolate, indexed by prepped bits about the ROCKY film series and a classic Chaplin flick. And I even got to contribute the name of the villain! Not what I was expecting, exactly, but then again, fuck expectations, hey? Keep on keeping on, Ryan Gladstone.
After that, I ended up not seeing another show this eve…the Adorkable ™ Nadine Thornhill shanghaied me into an impromptu dance party in the courtyard, which I was only too easily talked into. And amidst the dancing, I overheard great buzz on some of the shows on my must-see list for the next few days, which made me smile. I’m getting right into the Fringe mood now…even if I still haven’t spoken about that one thing. That thing that I NEED to talk about, but haven’t yet, but maybe should, but maybe shouldn’t? You know, THAT thing..?
Nah. Maybe I shouldn’t. At least not now. Let’s keep the positivity going, yeah? I’m off to bed, as I’m hoping to get at least 5 shows in tomorrow after work. Need my beauty sleep, yo. Peace, love and soul, Fringers,
The Visitor (and Winston)