Monday, June 17, 2013

Review: (Montreal) Alex Cross and His Rise to Fame

Dick Dick's Bargain

by Sarah Deshaies

The unfortunately-named Richard "Dick" Dick is a loser: he has no skills, no charisma, no job and no girlfriend. Plus, he has no style: Dick (Kenny Streule) gets about in ill-fitting, loose jeans stolen from the '90s.

What he doesn't lack is ambition and a desire to be a famous rock star. Coupled together, what Dick has and doesn't have makes him perfect prey for Baal, a music manager on the prowl for fresh talent.

The smooth-talking Baal (Donald Shepherd) descends on poor Dick in a bar with a bevy of beauties. They fawn over Dick, while Baal tells him that he can make him famous. Before he leaves, the Svengali leaves his business card and proposes a new pseudonym for Dick's would-be rock persona: Alexander Cross. 

You know that a Faustian-style bargain will come out of this late-night meeting, so the plot is not the draw for seeing Alex Cross rising to fame. Rather, you should see it because it's a good Fringe play: a large, boisterous cast taking part in a playful theatrical romp. Clunky set changes were one setback keeping this show from reaching its heavenly bliss point.

Director, playwright and producer Franco Decrescentis picks up one more hat by playing the hapless Gavin, a disgruntled, porky fan who is on to the diabolical scheme driving Alex's talent and success. Streule is strong as the hapless and hopeless Dick/Alex. Narrator Jason Yearow is keen as the tuxedo’ed narrator, though his role is unevenly sprinkled throughout the show. Shepherd plays a coiffed, smart devil-worshipper incarnate. Yan Thivierge... well, he has the greatest cameos. I won’t spoil them for you. 

The show was sadly lacking in substantial female roles, with five out of 11 cast members wearing skimpy costumes, mainly to fill out the groupie wallpaper roles in this rock ‘n roll tale. Jennifer May Walker is a little more well-rounded as Leonda, Baal’s coolly-detached helper. 

But still, Alex Cross is a must-see for the conspiracy theorists and corporate music-haters at the Fringe - or if you're just looking for a devilishly corny good time.

Alex Cross and his Rise to Fame is at the Montreal Fringe

1 comment:

  1. Hello Ms. Sarah Deshaies,

    Thank you very much for the review of Alex Cross and His Rise to Fame. In case you have not already heard we are remounting this controversial show and would like to take this opportunity to invite you to cover our show again. We emailed you our official press release.


    Alex Cross and His Rise to Fame Production Team
    Indiegogo campaign:


Comments are moderated. Please read our guidelines for posting comments.