Personally, I like The Fringe much better than regular theatre -- not only is it more experimental, interesting, and affordable, but the smaller venue sizes (and thus smaller audiences) makes the performances both intimate and unique. The audience, in a sense, is a whole other character within the play. Performers often interact with their audiences in some direct fashion, such as to stop to say "God bless you!" to someone sneezing, or to flirt, or to encourage a singalong. Dave was included in two shows, once as a dancing man-ho, and another time as the object of affection of a lovelorn German rock queen. (So you know, this can be avoided if you sit farther back than the first few rows... but that takes the fun out of it!) ;-)
As I mentioned before, the Fringe Festival will be hitting other cities. Saskatoon is next, I think, followed by Edmonton and Vancouver. If you live in a city expecting a Fringe this year, do consider going to see a play. I cannot emphasize strongly enough what a great time Fringing is. However, it can be a bit intimidating, to decide from all the available plays... so, to help you out, I will list a few shows that Dave and I enjoyed.
- "Teaching the Fringe" by Keir Cutler: Based on a letter of scathing criticism Keir received for a former play. He breaks it down in a hysterically funny manner.
- "Die Roten Punkte: Supermusicante": Musical comedy duo parody German rock stars. Fantastic show, catchy tunes, and I laughed until I hurt!
- "Totem Figures" by TJ Dawe: Vancouver playwright and established Fringe deity, TJ does a 1.5-hour autobiography about his personal mythology, and its role in his life.
- "The B-List": Trio of drag starlets performing a hysterically funny post-rehab musical.
- "Singing at the Edge of the World": Gifted storyteller Randy Rutherford tells his autobiographical story of coping with congenital hearing loss while living the bohemian dream in Alaska. Touching, funny, and utterly spellbinding.
- "The Further Adventures of Antoine Feval": Chris Gibbs spins an amusing yarn from the perspective of a clueless assistant to a detective.
Other neat shows include Hot Pink's Busty Rhymes, Jem Rolls: How I learned to stop worrying and love the mall, and Killing Kevin Spacey.
Anyhow, for those of you in or near Saskatoon, Edmonton, Vancouver, or Victoria, go and see some of these shows! Enjoy!