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Wildside Festival 2019 wrap-up

Reviews of two more amazing shows and closing comments

By Byron Toben

Sapientia

I was impressed by this truly unique show from Scapegoat Carnivale at its brief run in the tiny Mainline studio last summer. Enjoyed seeing it once more. My earlier review still applies – see Sapientia revived after 900 years.

Sapientia closed on January 19 after its three scheduled performances.

Sapientia - WestmountMag.ca

Sapientia – Image: Patrick Andrew Boivin

Crime After Crime (After Crime)

Perennial Fringe favourite Safe T-Rex was a hit with this show at the 2018 Fringe, so good fun to witness its rapid-fire improv style a second time around. This quartet of Conor Bradbury, Julian Frid, Kaitlin Morrow and Sean Murray combines lots of physical theatre with witty twists and turns in this crime story spoof of the styles of several decades.

This genre parody starts with a film noir style from 1952, morphs into a heist film circa 1972 and then a buddy cop story from 1992 before concluding with shorter bits from the 21st century. Jewellery thefts and corrupt administrations are visited with loads of quick costume changes.

This quartet of Conor Bradbury, Julian Frid, Kaitlin Morrow and Sean Murray combines lots of physical theatre with witty twists and turns in this crime story spoof of the styles of several decades.

One riotous match-up was the slim beauteous Ms. Morrow being poised with the burly bearded Mr. Murray as identical twins! Shades of Danny de Vito and Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 1988 film, Twins.

Crime After Crime (After Crime) ended its scheduled five shows on January 16.

A “wrap” on Wildside 2019

Body Fluorescent Wild side 2019 - WestmountMag.ca

Body So Fluorescent – Image: Cassandra Gertsberg

Other shows

I did not get to attend Body So Fluorescent and The Gentle Art of Punishment but was informed by others of their high quality.

Likewise with Matt Goldberg’s one-night special on story telling Confabulation – Rites of Passage.

Same with Johanna Nutter’s late night Offside musical nightcaps, highlighted by Tributes to Kate Bush and Patti Smith.

Other changes

In past Wildside Festivals, much selection was made from the Montreal Fringe. Former Centaur artistic director Roy Surette sent a slew of scouts to spot potential candidates.

This year, the Centaur invited groups to apply themselves by video, reviews, etc. Both methods seem to work well.

“The play’s the thing”, after all.

Feature image: Crime After Crime (After Crime) by Connor Low


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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.

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