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Sunday, August 25, 2013

From Fringe With Love Draws to a Close... A very good year...

So today was the final day of the Fringe.  I saw 16 shows which is a little low for me, but luckily I seem to have chosen well and I feel sated with my theatre choices. I also saved the best (meaning, My Favorite) for the last day.  There is satisfaction in that... and I am not sure why...

Anyhow, I started the day today with Princess Confidential.  It was delightful.  A Detective/Fairy Tale which was funny for kids and for adults.  I found it very smart and it had the right amount of action and explanation.  The script, by Ellen Chorley, is well paced and clever and the two actors, Merran Carr-Wiggin and Neil Kuefler, shift humorously from character to character re-enacting re-interpreted fairy tales to solve the mystery.  The updates of the classic fairy tales are familiar enough for us to know the story, but freshened up with modern interpretations that fit the detective theme.  A lot of fun.

I had a wee break - and a horrible dining experience at O2's - and then headed to my second show for the day.

Although I tend to stick to plays at Fringe, I had heard a lot about the 11 O'clock Number, the improvised musical group that started up this year at the Varscona.  And since I am rarely up for a late evening finding the 4:15 p.m. show at Fringe was perfect.  It was a hoot.  Like all improv shows, some things/songs/scenes worked better than others, but the group is charismatic and it was fun watching them walk that tight rope of 'what now?'  Adrienne Salmon and Jason Hardwick were stand-outs to me, with Salmon delivering a beautiful solo ballad lamenting her parents never buying her a dog as a child. If I can stay up late enough, I may go back during the regular season to see what else they can do!

And then I saw A Picasso.  What a show.  That's the one - my favorite this year.  Julian Arnold, completely transformed into Pablo Picasso (he's almost unrecognizable) against the stunning and sharply intelligent Shannon Blanchet as Miss Fischer, the German art critic.  It's a brilliantly written play set in Paris during the occupation and John Hudson has done a wonderful job with it.  Everything was perfect.  It's in hold-overs at the Varscona If you didn't see it - you absolutely should.  I was drawn into it in less than 5 minutes and they held me tight until the end.  It didn't hurt that I know a bit about Picasso and Guernica, but I think the more important thing is understanding the artist's attitude towards art and it's impact on culture, as well as the seductive power of art.

Finally, I ended the evening with Promise and Promiscuity: A Jane Austen Musical.  It was a lot of fun. I'm a fan of Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility so I enjoyed a lot of the references and there was a wonderful incorporation of pop culture music and other references.  It's a one woman show and was a fun way to end the festival.

Ah well, until next year...

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