Wednesday, May 8, 2013

News: Montreal Fringe Press Conference

Welcome back, Fringe!
Changes this year include a revolving cast of 13th Hour hosts, Kids Fringe
by Sarah Deshaies

Montreal is thawing out for a warm spring. People are wearing shorts, buying sunglasses, flocking to terrasses, and all are caught up with playoff fever. Oh, and the Fringe Festival held its press conference Monday evening. Bring on summer!

Also present at Monday’s press conference: the lovely Johanna Nutter, Fringe darling, is spokesperson this year.

Aside from hobnobbing and taking in a drink on the Katacombes terrasse, the purpose of this press and business shindig is to confirm what is returning to Fringe, and which edits we can anticipate for the next edition of the festival.

The 13th Hour returns to Cabaret du Mile End with  a revolving cast of hosts. I expect the antics will still be off the wall, but the energy will likely evolve and change from night to night. (DJ Pon Solo returns to spin the after-show tunes.)

Also new: Kids Fringe. As festival director Amy Blackmore put it, many participants and volunteers who have started their own broods were looking to inject the Fringe spirit into their little ones. The result is two days of fun for the kids at Fringe Park, with activities like art and theatre exercises on Sundaysl. It’s enough to make you want to start making your own mini-me’s.

And dust off your prom outfit or simply buy something outlandish, because there’s Fringe Fake Prom on June 7th before the official run of Fringe shows begin. The Quebec Drama Federation will host “Theatricus Olympicus” on June 17: a smackdown that will test dignity, acting skills and thespian knowledge.

So what returns? The Fringe shows themselves, of course - including Jem Rolls’ 11th appearance - as well as the 13th Drag Race, Dramaturkey, Confabulation, Fringe Pop, Eco Carnivale, Piknic Electronik, the Mac’and Cheese cookoff, Galerie Fringe, The Frankies and sidewalk smut and more. Expect the return of Fringe Pop and tunes at the Fringe park, as well. 

Also present at Monday’s press conference: the lovely Johanna Nutter, Fringe darling, is spokesperson this year. A fitting choice, since she describes the fest “as coming home”; indeed, she’s part of the firmament. Nutter’s first play, the acclaimed one-woman show, My Pregnant Brother, was created for Fringe 2009, when it picked up the Centaur Theatre Award for Best English production.

It’s the first time the position of spokesperson has been filled by someone also performing in the fest. Nutter will stage My Pregnant Brother twice on June 10. It’s a fundraiser to help get her to Edinburgh for the mother-of-all Fringes later this summer. 

The 23rd annual St. Ambroise Fringe Festival returns, June 4-24. Fringe shows are from June 14-23. Wondering about those shows? Go to the Fringe-for-All on June 3, at Café Campus. 

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