The countdown is on to Ottawa Fringe, and I’m getting as excited as can be, you bet. But there’s kind of a bittersweet edge to my Fringe-citement this year. It turns out that the Montreal Fringe Fest is happening at, well the exact same time as ours this year, and dagnabbit, I was really hoping to be able to stop by for a day or two. And trust me, Montreal has NOT made themselves easy to resist…to this day, I keep on getting e-mails with invitations and sweet, sweet press kits from eager MTL Fringers. It’s all very flattering, I can assure you, and it breaks my heart a wee bit that I can’t sneak on over, but my Ottawa commitments are pretty etched in stone at this point. But that doesn’t mean I can’t tell all of YOU what to look forward to in Montreal this Fringe, if you’re able to stop on by!
* SHOWS I’VE SEEN! *
There aren’t too many shows I’ve already caught at Montreal this year, but some of the ones that ARE there are definite can’t misses. Even casual Fringe fans probably know about PETER ‘N CHRIS by now, and their latest show THE MYSTERY OF THE HUNGRY HEART MOTEL may be their best yet. Yana Kesala’s happy, heartwarming THE UKRAINIAN DENTIST’S DAUGHTER is just pure joy to watch. Rob Salerno packed’em in in Ottawa with FUCKING STEPHEN HARPER, and Improv troupe extraordinaire SEX T-REX are pretty much a sure thing with their amazing show CALLAGHAN! And Ottawa’s own Luna Allison is gonna take Montreal by storm with her amazing and powerful one-woman show, FALLING OPEN. Seriously, don’t miss this one, folks. ‘Something special’ hardly begins to cover it.
* PEOPLE I KNOW! *
Then there are the shows I may not have seen, but I sure as shit can vouch for the incredible people putting them on! People like JEM ROLLS with his latest epic-poetic slamsterpiece TEN STARTS AND AN END, or the lady miss CAMERYN MOORE and her awesome-sounding (and almost certainly sexy) new show POWER/PLAY: CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE. Shane Adamczak, aka ZACK ADAMS is bringing his A COMPLETE HISTORY OF ZACK ADAMS to town, and I’m kicking myself for missing it. My Victoria-Fringe mate Ben Wert is coming as well, with THEATRE OF THE BEAT and GADFLY: SAM STEINER DODGES THE DRAFT. And Elizabeth Blue, who had everyone in Ottawa falling in crush with her last year with AM I BLUE? is back with ONE WEEK WITH THE SHAMAN. I wish all of you the brokenest of legs, and once again, wish I could be there in person!!
* STUFF I WANNA SEE! *
This could be a big list, but I’ll try to stick to a select few (there’s SO MUCH cool-looking shows! Argh!)…a couple I actually DO get to see are Sam Mullins’ highly praised TINFOIL DINOSAUR (it’s stopping by Ottawa post-Fringe, along with Peter ‘N Chris) and the human-traffic story SHE HAS A NAME (which I’ll be seeing tonight, if all goes to plan…it’s in Ottawa for a short stop before Montreal, don’t miss out!). I’ve heard nothing but good words about Kristen Rasmussen, and her new show TOUGH sounds pretty sweet indeed. And I kept on missing the sold-out GOD IS A SCOTTISH DRAG QUEEN in Victoria, looks like I’ll be missing this chance too. 😦
Some very cool-sounding dance shows in MTL too: Johanne Gour Danse and ENSEMBLE OU SEPARES, JE ME SOUVIENDRAI DE TOI!, Deha Vesana Dance Theatre and the daring RE-HUMANIZE ME, Correspondance and the storytelling-dance-hybrid EENY MEENY MINY…it all sounds fantastic. Thank goodness we have a few dance shows of our own in Ottawa, or I’d be really grumpy over here.
I caught a small performance by Keystone Theatre a few years ago in Toronto, and as a big fan of silent movies I HATE that I’m missing THE LAST MAN ON EARTH, so you all have to see it for me, dig? And while you’re at it, you can TRY A VARIETY SHOW, from the good lads at Leopard Ball Productions, because it sounds like a damn good time. And we all just wanna have a good time, now don’t we? On that note, Yanik Ethier’s one-manner SERVING SOMETHING sounds delightful too…and he’s a former Ottawa lad to boot! Represent!
I could go on and on listing shows I’d love to see…but that would just get me all sad. So, I’m gonna go back now to concentrating on Ottawa Fringe…though, like all smart and forward-thinking citizens of the world, I’ll be checking in with Al, Victoria, Rose and the gang at BLOODY UNDERRATED for all my Montreal Fringe review needs, and unless you’re some kinda rat-fink, you will too. Best wishes once again to all of my Montreal peeps…and feel free to stop on by O-town next year, y’hear? You’re always welcome. 🙂 Peace, love and soul, Montreal,
The Visitor (and Winston)