Thursday, August 11, 2011

Edmonton Fringe: CPC suggests...

Jem Rolls (Edmonton Fringe); Pissed usual

Shows seen, shows proposed
The Edmonton Fringe is coming!
By Gaëtan L. Charlebois

Many of the shows about to be performed in the upcoming edition of the Edmonton Fringe have been performed at Fringes around the world, notably in Montreal, where I and many of the writers of The Charlebois Post (Montreal) saw them and reviewed them. Four shows I unreservedly urge you to see, all of which I have reviewed myself for CharPo or other publications.

Curriculum vitae is a magnificent tour-de-force by performer Jimmy Hogg. It is no laff-riot, as some people expected, but a free-wheeling, high-flying rush of words that is absolutely hypnotizing. (Review)

Keir Cutler's Teaching Shakespeare 2 is another of Cutler's brilliant solos about academics-gone-wild. In this one the central figure is particularly ichifying - insisting his students study is own (bloody awful) book.

The Slipknot...? Well, what can I say about TJ Dawe except he is one of the most affable and accomplished story-tellers in the land and other Fringe artists will tell you he is their god. This time out it has three intertwining stories about work, love and shelter.

The Sods
Here is my review, from another publication, of Jesus of Montana: "Nothing prepared me for the sheer joy and awe I felt all the way through Barry Smith’s monologue (with film and slides) about his journey to find the Savior in Montana. Smith insists it’s a true story but even if it’s not it’s a phenomenally urgent one. Smith, a humour columnist in Aspen, Colorado, starts his tale of faith gone weird from his fire-and-brimstone childhood. He illustrated the effect it had on him with his reaction to the Biblical story of Abraham—the man who was asked to sacrifice his son Isaac until, at the last moment, God stopped Abraham’s hand. Smith rejoins wryly: 'Abe! You got punk’d!' And that, my friends, isn’t even the punchline of the tale. Indeed, there isn’t a moment during the hour when Smith looks at his spiritual journey with anything but a scintillating sense of humour, a magnificent turn of phrase and a way with a punchline that is jaw-dropping. How he gets to Montana is half the blissful fun (there are stop-offs at the Paul-McCartney-is-dead-conspiracy and in hitchhiker hell). However, when Smith arrives at the self-professed Jesus’ house I had a real revelation: for the first time, I truly understood how smart people end up in cults. And then my eyes were opened wider: this is a devastatingly significant work and I must spread the word. That I laughed—and laughed hard—all the way to that epiphany makes this Fringe a total success for me. You must see Jesus in Montana."

Other shows reviewed at CharPo:
Hedwig and The Angry Inch Jem rolls is pissed off
The Sods
Zack Adams

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