|Exit Stage Right|
|Filling the Holes|
|Hanging In There!|
|Things Are Falling Into Place|
|XXX's and OOO's|
|Jenny Awards 2022|
|30th Year Special Features|
|Jenny Awards Gallery|
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The Buzz – Reviews
An Seanchaí—Théâtre Cercle Molière
I worry about myself sometimes. I worried about myself yesterday when I saw “Pramkicker” at Venue #3 and was laughing uncontrollably at the first 15 minutes or so, during Jude’s (Siobhán Keely) expletive-laced yet hysterical rant about her experiences with a legion of self-righteous mothers at a coffee shop. Is there something seriously wrong with me? No, I don’t think so. This was hilarious, as is a great deal of this show, including the reactions of Jude’s sister Susie (Calum Peppard). No, it’s not for everybody, but it was definitely for me, speaking as part of an intentionally childless couple. I understand completely where the playwright Sadie Hasler was coming from when crafting this delightfully snarky work of art. I recommend this show to pretty much anybody who gets annoyed at others who inhabit their own little judgemental world, and lord it over others. The writing is crisp, insightful, and amazingly funny at points, poignant at others. The performances are top-notch and totally believable; I felt like I was watching an actual interplay between two sisters, not just two actresses playing sisters. If you’re easily offended by harsh language and delicate subject matter, stay home. If you have an open mind and want to laugh until your sides hurt, don’t miss it!
Matt & Ben
Hill Party Productions—PTE – Colin Jackson Studio
This show is a hilarious portrayal of the origin story of the script for Good Will Hunting, as young pals Matt Damon and Ben Affleck embark on this journey together. Played by two very talented actresses, I found myself laughing nearly to tears as they told their story. The dialogue is fast paced, clever and engaging. Cameos from other notable celebrities really had me wondering wait, did all this really happen? The chaotic energy of the show was brilliant. A thoroughly entertaining and heartening show about two friends sitting on the precipice of seeing their dreams come true. I loved it.
God Is A Scottish Drag Queen
Mike Delamont—MTYP – Mainstage
I am shocked and surprised that it took me 9 visits to finally see God perform here in Winnipeg. For that I may have to repent.
Donned in floral and barefoot with the truth, God descends from the back of the MTYP mainstage to address some concerns and to provide a higher power of observations for the dedicated audience. Though Mike Delamont kept the filled theatre engaged and roaring with laughter, I felt that the production was rather tame. I understand my threshold for drag comedy is extremely high after over a decade of being involved with Winnipeg Pride. However, I did find Delamont kept all demographics singing, laughing and wiping away tears as they headed out of the theatre following a standing ovation.
Drawing Board Productions—MTC Up the Alley
This is the slowest 10 seconds I’ve ever experienced, seeing as the entire show covers the real-time span of 10 seconds. It’s also the fastest 10 seconds I’ve seen, packed with energy, execution and enlightenment. Bryson is a fireball as she evaluates the pros and cons of a marriage proposal. In marketing, we call it as SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats), as she bends the question through every conceivable angle. It’s a roller coaster rides that’s full of thrills at every curve, turn, rise and dip. After all that, what’s the answer? That’s the one aspect that was not covered in the analysis.
All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten
Shoestring Players—Tom Hendry Warehouse
If you haven’t had a chance to see All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, do not miss your chance before it ends. One of the more popular shows at the Fringe, Winnipeg’s Shoestring does it again. This group never fails to bring quality to whatever they do. My friend summed it up after yesterday’s Warehouse show: “There is nothing else like this at the Fringe. It is unique.” So, if you want a cracker go see “Kindergarten,” you’ll laugh, you’ll cry. YOU WILL ALSO LEARN!
Wind Flower Dance Company—Tom Hendry Warehouse
I loved this show!! The dancers were incredibly talented and I found myself captivated by their movement. The choreography is inspired and the use of the lighting made for a visually stunning show. Contemporary pieces always have some ambiguity to their storytelling and I find it to be a wonderful journey in discovering what sorts of reactions and thoughts are brought up by what I’m watching. Dance is a language in and of itself after all, and I was spellbound. The way they all MOVE! *chefs kiss* Incredible.
Lia & Dor
I loved this production for the music, the theatricality of the actors, and the interesting interplay of folk mythology and Romanian village life. I very much enjoyed the evocative Romanian folk songs sung beautifully in Romanian sometimes by Cristina Tudor, sometimes by Alexander Forsyth, sometimes as duets. The two actors each play many characters, changing roles frequently and marking the changing roles with small costume changes, such as adding a headscarf to indicate that the actor is now female, or deepening the voice to indicate a male voice. They also take on the roles of mythical creatures with the aid of masks and puppetry. It is a story of love between the title characters that is blocked by village and family prejudices. The question of whether they can overcome those prejudices is played out in the supernatural realm. At one point the two of them are discussing a magical charm: he says something like, “a charm can’t harm us,” and she responds, “but people can,” expressing the power of belief in such things. This seems to be the essence of the play.
Although the overall intent was apparent, I had trouble following the story and the frequent changes in characters, who was talking to who at times. There was a brief explanation near the start of the play about their changing roles, which was helpful, but I was often confused about who was talking to who. Still I was very glad to have seen the play.
Seismic Shift Productions—Tom Hendry Warehouse
I was ne’r a Shakespeare (or any corky literature) fan and English was one of mine worst subjects ‘i high place of learning. I was almost certain I wasn’t going to thus discover yet I came aroint thinking ’twere one of mine favourites this year! I certain the “improv” part wasn’t as random as a true improv play, yet it doesn’t take aroint from the fun or spontaneity. The play ends ‘i true Shakespearean tragic form, leaving me laughing from the depths of mine bowels.
Let’s Talk About Your Death
Allspice Theatre—Pyramid Cabaret
This show is a fun, goofy talk show setting hosted by Dr. Elliot Morris where we discuss our deaths. We are each handed an envelope when we arrive that holds the prediction of how each member of the audience will die. Guests are invited onto the talk show and questioned about this information. I enjoy being able to be silly sometimes about serious topics. I think this particular venue made it hard for our relatively small audience the night I saw it to really get into the show, since we were all spread out. So sit near the front! I was surprisingly brought to tears during an imagination exercise. Death is a part of our lives that is rarely talked about. So let’s get into it!
Pitchin’in Productions—The Cinematheque
Let’s be honest, here (see what I did there?) I went to see LESBIHONEST (Venue 7, Cinematheque) as a time-killer between other shows. It was a whim, really. I wasn’t too sure what to expect. What I got was a delightful and incredibly funny hour-long stand-up comedy routine from the charismatic and charming Laura Piccinin. I’m a straight male in my 50’s, and I at first wondered if this show would be for me, or geared towards a more specific audience. This show is actually for anybody (and everybody) who’s ever struggled to fit in anywhere, who ever questioned their identity, or fought to find their place in the world. Laura’s personal stories are laugh-out-loud funny and delivered with fantastic comedic timing. I found myself swept along with her monologue from beginning to end, and loved every minute of it. It’s not often that a performer can make me laugh almost non-stop for a full hour, but Laura succeeded. Do yourselves a favour and catch this show before the Fringe ends; you’ll be glad that you did.