Total Pageviews

Thursday, August 16, 2012

And Fringe Begins!

I shed most of the germs just in time for Fringe to start tonight.  The Village was hopping and I had a fun time 'directing traffic' for the Performers Parade.  I tried to have fun with it with some fancy arm circling and pointing the way.  Directing actors in a parade is kind of like herding cats, but probably more fun!

I then did a bit of a recon of the site and then proceeded to the line up for my first Fringe show, Fiorello!, at the Varscona.  I had a lovely chat with another solo theatre goer in the line and sat with her for the show. Line chats are an important part of Fringing particularly if you go on your own.  I am always fascinated by the openness of people in Fringe line-ups to talk to complete strangers.  It's kind of cool.

The show was fun.  Clearly a scaled down version since they had to squeeze a full-length musical into a more reasonable fringe running time, but the cast of 6 did a good job populating early 20th Century New York.  I was not familiar with the show prior to, but found the music fun and clever and everyone onstage was up to the challenge.  I enjoyed the tightness of the harmony when there were multiple singers and thought they all did a good job playing multiple parts.  Kendra O'Connor, Sheldon Elter and Kirstin Piehl stood out for me vocally and Kristi Hansen's comedic timing was spot-on, but it was a pretty even show all around. Lots of fun and a great way to kick off the festival for me.

The only sand in my shorts with the evening was discovering the dramatic price increase on parking.  I usually park in the lot that the Farmer's Market manages next to Catalyst Theatre.  It has been $5 for the last few years (at least the last 5) and I was floored to discover an increase to $8 as I pulled in.  It was clear from the guy taking money that I was not the first unhappy customer with regards to this news.  It means a dramatic increase in costs for me as I often have to park twice per day at the Fringe because I leave to get the kids and then return for more shows.  That will mean an extra $6 per day for parking.  That will also cut into my 'show-going' budget. It might be justified if the Market actually did something with the lot to justify the cost increase, but they don't.  It's unpaved, unguarded - basically the Fringe is a Cash Cow for them and now they are really making it look like an even bigger money grab. I am totally not impressed with this development.  It sucks and I am terribly, terribly disappointed, AND it will likely mean a few less shows for me this week. It really makes me regret the purchases I have made at the Farmer's Market this year.  Please don't write in with suggestions to bus - I can't - I have to have the vehicle to pick the kids up from camp.  Until the public transportation infrastructure in the city improves dramatically or my kids are older, I am stuck driving. I wouldn't have minded a 1$ increase - but $3 is a 60% jump with no discernible reason for the increase other than a money grab. The Fringe brings in a tremendous amount of foot traffic to the Strathcona area and it's spirit is about getting $ to the artists performing.  I might otherwise spend those dollars on a show or busker or on those new snazzy 50/50 tickets... now I don't have that money to do so.   My plan is to always pay with a $20 (never the correct change) and be surly - I might even snarl if they have the nerve to ask for exact change... that's about the only recourse I have right now...

No comments: