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.

But first, a summary of the various Frankie Award winners at the end of the festival on June 16. Here’s a link to the full list including all nominees and honorary mentions.

Montreal Fringe Festival 2019 –

Multiple Organism

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

Unattributed grantors:

Best Visual Identity – Opera, reviens-moi

Best English Text – Magnificence

Montreal Fringe Festival 2019 –

The Man Behind the Curtain

Best French Text – Touche pas à mes cheveux

Patrons’ pick:

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.


Eye Candy
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!

Moaning Yoni
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.

Montreal Fringe Festival 2019 –

Fool Muun Komming!

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.

Montreal Fringe Festival 2019 –

Fairy Fails


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.

The Peers
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

Bouton S'inscrire à l'infolettre –

Read more articles from Byron Toben

Byron Toben, a past president of The Montreal Press Club, has been’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.

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