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Theatre Reviews

It’s Fri­day after­noon. I’ve had a real­ly good Fringe. I’ve seen 47 shows so far, 16 of which were excel­lent. It was dif­fi­cult this year to choose my per­son­al top ten list, but here we go.
1. Kaf­ka and Son (Venue 12) — This is an amaz­ing show about a strained rela­tion­ship between a father and his son (Franz Kaf­ka). But the show also clev­er­ly incor­po­rates sev­er­al of Kafka’s themes into the show such as alien­ation, aban­don­ment and inadequcy.

2. Josephine, a bur­lesque cabaret dream play (Venue 16) — This show depicts the incred­i­ble life of African Amer­i­can cabaret singer and bur­lesque dancer Josephine Bak­er. It is play­ful, sexy and unex­pect­ed­ly thought­ful in how it dis­cuss­es racism.

3. AWK­WARD HUG (Venue 11) — Cory Thib­ert alter­nates between sev­er­al sto­ry lines includ­ing attend­ing uni­ver­si­ty, mov­ing, being involved in his first seri­ous rela­tion­ship and find­ing out about his par­ents’ past. The mate­r­i­al is eas­i­ly relat­able yet extreme­ly funny.

4. OK, Prob­a­bly (Venue 3) — a mature show about how men­tal ill­ness affects the friend­ship between two sis­ters. I loved how the sto­ry­line involv­ing the care­giv­er being over­burned just silent­ly crept into this show.

5. Cock Tales: Shame on Me! (Venue 12) — about the sex­u­al encoun­ters of a young girl from a con­ser­v­a­tive, reli­gious back­ground. This show strikes a love­ly bal­ance between fun­ny and dead­ly serious.

6. Car­men and Don Jose: A Tale of Love and Mur­der (Venue 29) — the sto­ry of Car­men told with Eng­lish dia­logue and the orig­i­nal French songs. There is a refined ele­gance to this show that you nor­mal­ly do not see at the Fringe.

7. Cran­bourne (Venue 5) — about the crazi­ness of life in small town Que­bec. This show has sev­er­al weird yet extreme­ly hilar­i­ous stories.

8. Terms & Con­di­tions (Venue 17) — a fun­ny phys­i­cal com­e­dy about two room­mates who fight over every­thing. This show had one of the best end­ings I’ve seen in a long time.

9. Old Dyke Tales (Venue 11) — a beau­ti­ful yet bit­ter­sweet sto­ry about a woman who was pun­ished by her fam­i­ly, friends and com­mu­ni­ty for com­ing out as a les­bian in the 1970s.

10. The Merkin Sis­ters (Venue 17) — while this show pre­tends to be high art, it’s real­ly a series of very fun­ny visu­al sex gags.


Quote of the Day

The only thing worse than being black in Amer­i­ca in the 1950s was being red.“
From Josephine, a bur­lesque cabaret dream play (Venue 16).

Good­bye

I hoped you have enjoyed UMFM’s cov­er­age of the Win­nipeg Fringe Fes­ti­val. Enjoy the final three days of the fes­ti­val and we’ll see you next year.