Art by Dave Pruden

It is the home stretch of the Winnipeg Fringe. We have over 90 reviews for 87 shows, which is not too bad for a rag-tag outfit. Thanks again to all those who sent us in reviews and to our own staff reviewers, Lisa Campbell, Josh Fidelak and Ray Yuen, who put in some very long hours filling these pages. Thanks also to Michelle Cook for her talents and hard work in creating this year’s Jenny Awards (more on that below). Last, but not least, thanks to Dave Pruden for his amazing cartoons which always make us look good. We have printed one last print edition which should hit the Jenny Boxes in Hospo and the Beer Tent early Friday afternoon.

The Fabulous Jenny Awards—Just a reminder to join us at at our new licensed and accessible venue Across the Board Game Cafe on Sunday July 24th (the last night of Fringe) for our wrap party and awards show. The evening will be emceed by our wonderful host Shawn Kowalke of the Horrible Friends Improv Group. Doors will open at 9:30 pm with the Awards show starting at 10 pm(ish).

Any company who has been mentioned in the Jenny, either in a Review or Shameless Self-Promotion, may end up nominated for one of our 13 fun categories. We then leave it up to the crowd to determine the winners. The only caveat is you have to be in attendance in order to claim your award. If the winner is not in attendence then who ever had the next highest score takes home the prize.

The prize is a highly coveted fabulous hand stitched Jenny Award created by our very own Michelle Cook. With a lot of hard work she creates a stunning herd of Donkeys with a different theme every year. Stay tuned to our Twitter Feed @JennyRevue for the first pictures of the unboxing of this year’s prizes.

Murray Hunter

More Reflections From Our Review Coordinator Ray Yuen—A colleague of mine asked what I’m doing tonight. “Fringe!” was my answer, “just like every night!” I tell him that I review for the Jenny and he wondered if Jenny was my penname or alias. I sent him the link and he ploughed through a few of my reviews. He was particularly interested in Contractions, because it blasts HR. He said he wanted to see it and ask how,

“Is it online?”

“No, it’s in person,” I replied.

“For f__k’s sake,” he exclaimed, “what isn’t available online in this age?!”

“Uh, it’s Fringe.”

He looked lost. He didn’t have a clue what the concept of Fringe is about. He’s heard about it on the news but he had no clue what it is in actuality. I explained to him that it’s theatre, same as any other theatre, opera, ballet, symphony or concert—you attended and watch the show.

“F—k that,” was his answer.

Meanwhile, another colleague overheard and read a number of my reviews. He expressed great interest in seeing a show and promised to read thoroughly through The Jenny to find ones of interest. This weekend, he’s going to bust his Fringe virginity and see his first shows with his family.

After almost every Fringe show, the actors tell you that word-of-mouth is key to attracting people to The Fringe. They say it because it’s true. The people reading the reviews from The Free Press and especially The Jenny are probably Fringe fans already. They have preconceptions about what they want to see and that’s how they prepare their viewing schedules.

Main media’s star system drives a lot of interest but what about the mass majority that get three stars? Just because a sportswriter from The Free Press didn’t deem it worthy of more stars, doesn’t mean it’s not a good or excellent show. How do they attract viewers?

Word of mouth from people like you.

I may not have recruited colleague #1 but colleague #2 and his family will be part of the audience soon. Being his first experience, I want him to hit winners. First, read The Jenny. Second, I’ll tell you what some of my favourites are.

Word of mouth.

Ray Yuen