Sunday, September 8, 2013

Review: (Vancouver) Changing Minds (Fringe)

Freaky Fringe Friday
by David C. Jones

I saw this show in concert preview; there are some things that I can highly recommend based on what I saw.

Awkward Stage Productions' mandate is to provide platforms for young talent to grow and shine. This silly high school musical is about a popular slacker played by Dylan Cowan who butts heads with a driven and studious girl played by Hana Decolongon. A school trip to a Mission (Really? 1. That seems to be awfully religious for a school trip, and 2. Do schools still do field trips?) 

While at the Mission their brains get swapped and faster than you can say 'Freaky Friday’ he is struggling to walk in high heel shoes and she is trying to negotiate a picnic date with the most popular girl in the school. The plot is predictable and the songs are fun but mostly unmemorable. It zips along at a pleasant pace and many of the cast are delightfully engaging.

The gender bending is not as pronounced or subversive as it was with last year's production of Zanna Don’t but director Cara Tench has uncovered some shining diamonds in the rough and it is exhilarating to hear them sing and fun to imagine where this talented cast will appear next. Youthful energy and talent abounds.

Changing Minds is at the Vancouver Fringe

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