After a romantic, food and wine-filled weekend trip to Niagara Falls, I’m back in Ottawa and ready to get my Fringe on! After unpacking (read: throwing my travel bag in a corner) and getting the house in order (read: throwing a stack of mail in a corner), I kissed my family good-bye and set off for The Courtyard a.k.a Fringe central!
While I’m behind the pack in terms of the number of shows I’ve seen, diving into the Fringe fray on day 5 has it’s advantages. There are 52 shows playing at this year’s festival. That’s far more theatre I can handle (though thanks to The Man of Man’s and his mad skillz of Fringe programming, it *is* possible for the hard core amongst you to pull it off!) I need to pare down my options to a more manageable selection and happily my pals who have been fringing since day one, were eager to tip me off to what’s hot and sexy at this year’s festival!
Gametes and Gonads
My friends Gord and Tracy were emphatic about the high quality laughs in this one-man show about the epic life and death struggle of sperm and ova. My pals talked this one up to the hills, but I was like, “Guys, you had me at ‘it’s takes place inside the uterus’.
Disclosure: I’ve worked with 2020‘s author, J.P. Chartier on two of my own plays. Further disclosure: J.P. is one of my favourite people. Yet more disclosure: He touched my boobs. Additional disclosure: I liked it. So, yes, I may have a bias, but friends and critics who’ve praised J.P’s futuristic drama about assisted suicide are not. Is a play about suicide sexy? When it features Mr. Chartier in all his full-frontal naked glory – you bet your sweet bippy it is!
It is virtually guaranteed that if there is dancing, I will like it. Kevin “Visitorium” Reid tried raving to me about the extraordinary talents of Pollux dance and the beauty of their show about love, lust and other heartfelt things, but I was like, “You had me at sexy dancers doing sexy dances about sex.”
Dead Wrong doesn’t have a trigger warning. I’ve been told that it should. Word around Fringe is that Dead Wrong is an affecting, disturbing and extremely well-told story about a woman who survives a sexual assault and testifies against her rapist, only to discovered she may have accused the wrong person. Katherine Glover has been given high praise for both her performance and her script. I’m inclined to give this one a try – though I may have to bring a friend for emotional support.
Bonus Straight From The Horse’s Mouth Personal Recommendation
I did get to see one show last night. Vernus Says Surprise! is a sweet, simple story about a sweet, simple old man. And, peeps, I absolutely fell in love with it. I’ve had the privilege of working with writer/performer Ken Godmere in the past, so I knew this would be good. I expect to laugh. I did not expect I would gasp, groan, squeal with delight, fist pump, cheer or dissolve into wordless tears at the end. But I did. I highly, HIGHLY recommend that my local peeps go see Vernus Says Surprise! Meanwhile those of you in Regina, Winnipeg, Saskatoon and Edmonton get ready…’cause Vernus is coming to town!