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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Program Unseen... Here's What's on My Radar for Fringe 2013

Despite going to Safeway twice in the last week, I have yet to pick up a Fringe Program.  It's been on my list and both times it just flew my mind while buying buns, veggies and milk.  Tonight.  Tonight I will be on the Fringe grounds and I will get one.

So, even though I don't have a program there are quite a few shows on my radar thanks to FB Events, lots of people talking about their shows and the very cool new iPhone App for the Fringe.  My favourite part of the App is the Favourites tab.  So, using those things, here is what is on my radar.  Be Aware, once I get my program, there will be many, many more shows on my 'want-to-see' list and this is merely scratching the surface.

The Lonely Hearts, by Jana O'Connor
This was the APC Discovery Prize winner in 2007 and I got to see a reading of it at Playworks Ink that year and just the reading was hysterical. I am really looking forward to seeing it with all the bells and whistles.   It's also got a stellar cast with Belinda Cornish, Michael Peng and Colin Matty and it's directed by Chris Bullough.  A recipe for hilarity!

Carrie: The Musical, 50% Fruit Theatre
If you follow my blog, you know I have an affection for this little theatre company.  I loved the Balzac piece two fringes ago and was mesmerized by Miss Julie last season.  I am so looking forward to see what they do with Carrie: The Musical.  It seems like the perfect choice for a company that embraces camp and is on the more twisted side of things. Its cast also has some outstanding references with Amanda Neufeld, Alyssa Billingsley and Zachary Parsons-Lozinski in the mix (just to name a few).

Happy Whackin' Jim McCrackin, Accidental Humour
Another little company that I love.  I saw this show three years ago when they first produced it.  They have brought the original cast back to remount the show (hints of a sequel down the line?), this time in their larger space of the Metro Cinema.  I've heard they have also taken a bit of time to tighten the piece up and make some changes so it's not exactly the same show if you've seen it before. I've said it before, but this company is the best for merging film with theatre. Lots of laughs guaranteed!

Little Fish, Plain Janes
The Janes always do a nice solid piece for Fringe and the description of this musical intrigued me.  They have a super solid cast (Jocelyn Ahlf, Elena Porter, Celina Dean, Melanie Piatocha, Mike Zimmerman, Paul Morgan Donald, Jason Hardwick and Steve Angove) and I am looking forward to seeing them do something outside the more traditional musicals I have seen from them in the past.

The Frozen Water Fortunes, by David Belke
You gotta see the new Belke... you just do... Consistent writing, always tons of fun!

Countries Shaped Like Stars, Mi Casa
This one keeps coming up on my radar.  It's been in a few fringes across Canada this summer and has received rave reviews.  It also sounds like it's going to be a show that's inventive and new, so I have it on my wish list.

Promise & Promiscuity: A New Musical by Jane Austen, Penash Productions
I'm an Austen fan and a Musical fan.  This one has me interested for those reasons!

The Rambler, by Mark Stubbings
Ever since I saw Stars and Sons a few years back, I have liked Mark Stubbings' writing.  He writes very real characters and dialogue and you can tell he's worked hard to craft a piece of art. He can find a way to make a string of curse words sound like poetry. Add in country music and the lovely Lindsey Walker and I say SOLD! They are back at Red Square Vodka House on Whyte and I recommend going inside early because the line up is inside and you will want to get good seats.

Never Let the Crew See You Cry, by Linda Wood Edwards
You may notice that there are a proliferation of new works from Edmonton playwrights on my list.  You might say I am bias towards new work, especially by Alberta playwrights!  I am interested in seeing this piece by Linda Wood Edwards as her writing is always so witty but this has a biographical aspect that I think will be engaging. Also, the fabulous Judy McFerran is in it!

Princess Confidential, by Ellen Chorley
I'm a sucker for a good children's theatre piece.  I don't even take my kids to all the kid's shows I see - I go for me.  This one, penned by powerhouse Ellen Chorley, also features the lovely Merran Carr-Wiggin.  From the description it's fairy tale princess meet hard-boiled detective.  I am intrigued.

Trout Stanley, theatre
Here's a funny story.  Earlier in the year I was in a play with a friend who kept raving about her favorite play ever, Trout Stanley.  I had never heard of it, but she would regale me with the plot description and even did a couple monologues from it.  Sounded fun.  Flash forward, a different friend tells me that she is producing the funniest play ever at the Fringe. What is it? Trout Stanley. The company in question is peppered with Sterling nominees and winners.  I'm in!

Coraline: The Musical, Based on the novel by Neil Gaiman!
Just that phrase alone should do it.  I had no idea that there was a musical based on Coraline, but there is.  It's also produced by Impossible Mongoose Productions so that's in it's favour, and then there's the cast: Kayla Gorman, Rebecca Merkley, Graham Mothersill and Oscar Derkx just to name a few.

Radio: 30, the Night Kitchen
I don't know much about this show, but several friends from Toronto have gone out of their way to recommend it to me.  People I trust.  I worry sometimes that I miss out on seeing some of the outstanding out-of-town shows because I know so many great in-town performers and writers.  Based on the recommendations for this one, I am going to do my best to check it out.

Port Authority, Forces of Nature
The pedigree on this production is solid.  I loved this company's production of This Lime Tree Bower from a few years ago.  It's cast includes Sterling nominated Cody Porter (The Weir, Days of Wine and Roses, This Lime Tree Bower, Mockingbird Close) and Keiran O'Callaghan (The Weir, Lion in Winter) and it's directed by Sterling nominated Amy Defelice (Mojo Mickybo, Days of Wine and Roses, This Lime Tree Bower).  It's on my must-see list.

Cayce Grey in Family SQUABBLES, by Gerald Osborn
Saddened that the show I was directing for the Fringe was a no-go, I am happy that I will get to see my leading lady (Catherine Wenschlag) onstage in this show.  Plus, it's written by Gerald Osborn, whose shows are always funny and witty. Add in Ruby Swekla and I am delighted.

This list is by no means exhaustive, but if you're looking for suggestions, you can start here!

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