More 2019 Fringe reviews
and Frankie winners
Part Two of Byron’s Fringe reviews and the Frankie winners unveiled
By Byron Toben
Part One posted my reviews of five of the 13 plays I had earlier listed in my annual Fringe Picks – Sight Unseen. Those five proved wonderful. This Part Two continues with another five of those I later saw, plus another five that I wandered into, all pleasant surprises.
Centaur Theatre Award for Best English Production – Multiple Organism
Segal Centre Award for Most Promising Local English Company – The One
Just For Laughs Award for Best English Comedy – Fool Muun Komming!
Bouge d’ici Award for Most Outstanding Choreography – From The Top
Free Standing Room Award for Big Things Happen in Small Spaces – Dear Jax
Montreal Clown Festival Award – Fairy Fails
Mainline Theatre awards:
Creativity Award – The Man Behind the Curtain
Best French Production – La dyslexie c’est dure à écrire pour une dyslexique
Most Promising Local French Company – La Venin de Jocasta
Best Visual Identity – Opera, reviens-moi
Best English Text – Magnificence
Best French Text – Touche pas à mes cheveux
English – Multiple Organism
French – Touche-pas à mes cheveux
St-Ambrose Montreal Fringe Festival:
Spirit of the Fringe – Kathleen Aubert
L’après Fringe (13th Hour) – Make It A Musical
Some of these awards include: a guaranteed spot at another event; some a modest monetary amount; all, a credit for their publicity.
Eleven more shows I actually saw
This being the Fringe, six were solo shows, two were duos and three ensembles.
Stephanie Morin-Robert (also here with another solo show, Blind Side), describes her pregnancy. Her one glass eye is also highlighted with lots of humorous photos. The show ends with the appearance on stage of the now 16 month-old-daughter, Olive, who was first carried on at the finale when only six months-old!
Joylin Secunda raises clitoral consciousness as she enacts a young student attending yoga classes. Extremely flexible with quick body movement, the show includes her wrestling with a giant tampon. The talking vagina interrupts at times with a Jewish grandmother accent.
The DK Effect: Over Confident and Under Qualified
DK Reinemer uses lots of physical comedy as he wanders through science experiments and rock music to illustrate that “Confidence Equals Ignorance” in many scenarios.
Edging with Mike
Mike O’Brien shows great promise with future shows as he creates his first, an illustrated lecture on how he became immersed in a hobby of sharpening knives. Lots more complicated than one would imagine
Happy-ish: Russian Immigrant’s Guide to Smiling
Vadim Gran raised a lot of chuckles as he described the culture shock he and his mother experienced upon immigrating to Canada, where people were more smiling. What are they up to?
The Adventures of Humphrey Beauregard: The Case O’Bianca
Puppeteer Philippe Gobeille has been doing this Muppet-like show for years en français. Now he has translated it himself into English. It loosely follows the plot of the film Casablanca. One of my own favourites
Young playwright Julia Weisser has written this #Me Too-influenced play to describe how two co-workers gradually realise how differently they perceive what constitutes sexual harassment. Nice performances by Vanessa Lazare and Shaun Orbin.
This play, performed in French, portrays a man and a woman who can’t live with or without each other. The set consists of two mattresses, some sheets and a cell phone. Dynamic performances by Zack Paquet Miscioscia and Camille Blouin-Picard. As he is prone to violence, she is going to leave him, to which he pleads “Ne me quittez pas”, although not as gently as Jacques Brel.
Young Playwright Victoria Dudley has written and directed this play, based on an incident in Hungary around the 17th century, wherein a woman considered too strong willed and uppity was suspected of being a witch or crazy. Overtones of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. Nine actors, a large cast for the Fringe. Well executed.
A group of actors, many grads of Sir John Abbott theatre program, perform a madcap parody of Shakespeare’s plays.
Make It a Musical
A group of improv actors team up with musical guru John Gilbert to add extemporaneous songs to films suggested by the audience. The one I saw was about a high school football star, a nerdy girl, and, of course, a prom.
The St-Ambrose Montréal Fringe Festival ran from May 29 to June 16.
Images: courtesy of the St-Ambroise Montreal Fringe Festival
Byron Toben, a past president of The Montreal Press Club, has been WestmountMag.ca’s theatre reviewer since July 2015. Previously, he wrote for since terminated web sites Rover Arts and Charlebois Post, print weekly The Downtowner and print monthly The Senior Times. He also is an expert consultant on U.S. work permits for Canadians.