FRINGE-COMA 2012 – Preamble

I’ve put this off for long enough.  And even though I’ve got way, way too much stuff to do right now…it turns out that when I announced that I would be assembling a team and reviewing every single Fringe show on this site, I may have bitten off more than I could chew.  But time will tell, I suppose, how much me and my Team (who will be revealed soon) can chew, when push comes to chew.  There’s the matter at hand to attend to…and the matter at hand is motherfuckin’ FRINGE!!!

Sigh. No, not THEM. Is that show even still on??

Of course, I speak of the 2012 OTTAWA FRINGE FESTIVAL, aka the Best Thing Ever!  Please forgive me my excitedness, but Fringe holds a special place in my heart and always will.  This will be my 5th Fringe (local, that is, and not counting my Victoria Road-Trip last year), and to say that discovering Fringe has changed my life would be, well…quite accurate, actually.  I hardly remember my pre-theatre days or what I did with my life then, and when I start to remember, I start drinking until I stop.  After 41 years of scrabbling on this hard Earth, I’ve found my passion, folks, and I make no apologies for it, I only wish I’d wised up and found it a helluva lot sooner. But as it is, I’ve got lots to look forward to at this year’s festival, and so the Hell do you!  Let’s get giddy, shall we?  And why not, because:

I’M IN A SHOW THIS YEAR:  Okay, only sort of, but it still counts!!  I got invited to be part of the audio soundscape of the amazing Ken Godmere’s new one-man show VERNUS SAYS SURPRISE, directed by superstar Tania Levy.  It’s already getting MAD good buzz at the London Fringe, and is sure to pack houses when it hits home.  And almost none of the reason for that is that you can hear my voice for a few brief seconds in that show.


MUSIC AND DANCE, ANYBODY? If a little song and dance gets your motor running, then it’s looking like this is the Fringe for you!  Pollux Dance company with HETEROLLECTUAL, and Caithream Celtic Dance Fusion and A MACSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM are there for your dance needs.  And as for musicals, well, take your pick!  CRUX, ALIEN PREDATOR, HARD TIMES, NE ME QUITTE PAS, MORE POWER TO YOUR KNITTING, NELL…. You’ll come away humming SOME happy tune, I can just about guarantee ya.

RETURN OF THE KILLER COMPANIES:  Some of my fav’rit theatre companies are back this year, with cool-sounding new offerings to please your soul.  Local heroes Cory and Tony, aka MAY CAN THEATRE are back with WOLVES > BOYS, a show they’re also touring to PEI later this summer.  And puppet zombie kingpins DEAD UNICORN INK are back as well, with SPACE MYSTERY…FROM OUTER SPACE!  And even though I auditioned for that show and they TOTALLY Heismanned me, I’m still gonna go, as it does sound pretty goddamn fun.

Multi-Fringers GARKIN PRODUCTIONS are back as well (after last year’s hilarious PICK YOUR PATH) with a new one, LONELY BEAR, which promises to be a departure from their usual fare.  And Fringe regulars TROUPE DE LA LUNE return as well, with a new mounting of Lawrence Aronovitch’s EX CATHEDRA, previously mounted as the second part of Evolution Theatre’s THE LAVENDER RAILROAD.  I seriously cannot WAIT to see how it stands on its own.  Black Sheep Theatre is back as always, presenting a LATE NIGHT CABARET every night of the Fringe featuring an ever-changing lineup…as well as co-presenting the LITTLE GREEN HAT one-woman show DONKEY DERBY, starring the ever-wonderful Tess McManus.

STUDENTS GALORE:  And I’m not kidding, there’re a lot of them studently buggers (as well as the recently-studently) in this years Fringe, and more power to them!  I’ve already chatted with the Ottawa Theatre School lot about their remount of THE SUICIDE, as well as member Jonah Allingham’s one-manner IN WAVES.  Plus there’s the mad bunch at GLASSIANO with their remount/reimagining of last year’s Youth Infringement show FALLEN: THE BOOK OF SAMAEL.  Add to that the WARRIOR FOOD show THIS IS TODAY, and the Orleans Young Players with IT IS WHAT IT IS, and there should be talented young’uns enough for anybody!

PEOPLE I’VE NEVER HEARD OF:  Ah, my fav’rit kind of people at Fringe!  Because nothing is ever as good as being totally blindsided by an amazing show you never saw coming.  And okay, nowadays I do tend to hear a little more buzz than I used to.  But I’ve still never seen folks like Martin Dockery of WANDERLUST, Chris Bange of THE FAT GUY SHOW, Sandrine Lafond of LITTLE LADY, Jeff Leard of GAMETES AND GONADS, Mark Shyzer of FISHBOWL…the list goes on, and I love it.

PEOPLE I’VE SEEN:  I caught a few of this year’s Ottawa performers in Victoria last summer, and am pleased as could be that they’re coming to my home town.  I caught Katherine Glover’s show BURNING BROTHELS and loved it, and I suspect her latest, DEAD WRONG, might just be even better.  And I caught Howard Petrick’s amazing true story RAMBO: THE MISSING YEARS as well in Victoria, which I think is the same show now renamed BREAKING RANK, and which you should all go and see as soon as you can.  It’s just tremendous. And also, there’s this:

In case I’ve been too subtle in the past, like when I saw it twice at Victoria Fringe, let me state it plainly….missing LITTLE ORANGE MAN would be the stupidest mistake of your stupid life.  DON’T DO IT.  Trust me for once, allright?   I’d see it every goddamn day if I didn’t have all these commitments!

…Speaking of which, I gotta go.  Still have miles to go before I sleep, and then before I announce the official lineup for TEAM VISITORIUM 2012 (hopefully tomorrow)!  I ‘d better see all of you at the Fringe this year…the Courtyard wouldn’t be the same without ya!  Peace, love and soul, Fringers,

The Visitor (and Winston)

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