[Victoria Fringe Festival 2016] Dirk Darrow Returns for 6 Quick Dick Tricks

The Roxy Theatre
2657 Quadra Street
Victoria, BC

Sun Aug 28 – 10:00pm
Wed Aug 31 – 8:00pm
Fri Sep 2 – 9:45pm
Sat Sep 3 – 2:00pm

The mystery of how paranormal investigator Dirk Darrow landed into our century to solve crimes for us is explained 6 Quick Dick Tricks. After past shows like Not Completely Serious Supernatural Investigator and 2 Ruby Knockers, 1 Jaded Dick, he apparently is here to stay! Tim Motley is a master of his craft, and he’s created a very memorable character which has certainly made me want to come back for more! He’s a comedian, magician and actor who knows how to work a crowd and his abilities to probe into the mind of audiences, myself included, makes me wonder just how does he pull off his parlour tricks? By random choice — technically he asks if the subject knows him or not — people attending his shows might get selected to choose a card, any card, and he will tell you exactly what you got.

I’m sure there’s a way to mark a selected card after it’s being handed back, but he’s amped up how this trick works. The pack is contained by an elastic band and instead of one, five people were selected! He nailed every card selected, and while I kind of pulled a fast one on him — when he asked to toss the pack back at him — it was before he could count to three. He managed to roll with it, and Dick has his wry wit to snap back at me and I laughed.

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[Victoria Fringe Festival 2016] Little Orange Man is Not Only Dreamy but also Delightful

Downtown Activity Center
755 Pandora
Victoria, BC

Sun Aug 28, 4:30pm
Tue Aug 30, 9:45pm
Wed Aug 31, 6:00pm
Fri Sep 2, 8:15pm
Sat Sep 3, 10:30pm

Little Orange Man is one of those shows running the theatre and Fringe circuit for six years now. It’s produced by SNAFU, and has toured far and wide. There’s an undeniable charm where Kitt the Kinder-Whisperer (Ingrid Hansen) is looking for help and gets it from strangers (the audience). She dearly loves her grandfather and that’s all audiences need to know.

Underneath the fast-paced comedy antics that we see, the story that unfolds is lovely and bittersweet. She’s hyperactive and imaginative, just like the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes, and she loves the Danish folktales that her Bedstefar (the Danish word for grandfather) tells her. I’m amused by how she manages to turn her lunch into puppets to re-enact those stories, and when she pulls out puppets to play with, that’s when the true narrative takes shape.

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[Victoria Fringe Festival 2016] You Have to Giddy Up Over to An Improvised Quentin Tarantino 2

Victoria Event Centre
1415 Broad Street
Victoria, BC

Sat Aug 27 – 2:30pm
Wed Aug 31 – 10:15pm
Thu Sept 1 – 8:15pm
Sat Sept 3 – 8:45pm

When Paper Street Theatre announced they are doing a sequel to their wildly successful improvised show An Improvised Quentin Tarantino from a few years ago, I knew I had to see their show with a Hi-Yo, Silver! Away! The classic material that made up the lore of The Lone Ranger is a Western, and I’m not talking about the Disney travesty. The only hurdle was to escape out of the East — the doldrums of the suburbs known as Gordon Head — and “Go West” to the heart of downtown, where the beat (excitement) happens at the Victoria Event Center — one of several fixtures representing the arts and culture to discover in this city.

Dave Morris leads a diverse talent of well-established names in this city arts scene — Chris Gabel, Andrew Brimmell, Christina Patterson, Missie Peters, Brooke Cameron, Byron Kjeldsen, Scott Thomson and Monica Ogden — to give Victoria Fringe Festival attendees a taste of the Old West, Quentin Tarantino style. That means plenty of swearing, and since I can get away with it, they are fucking hilarious! Borrowing bits and pieces from films like Django Unchained and onwards, including modelling the narrative around The Hateful Eight, the show is infused great moments to even make Tarantino giddy. As with any improv shows, they get concepts from the audience. They built a working story involving a Red Dirt Samurai, English Buffet and a Wounded Barmaid as three principal ideas.

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[Victoria Fringe Festival 2016] SMUS Shake It Up with Disney’s Camp Rock!

St. Michaels
University School
3400 Richmond Road
Saanich, BC

Fri Aug. 26 – 7pm
Sat Aug. 27 – 2pm
Sat Aug. 27 – 7pm

Sometimes it is tough to decide on what to take on as the first Victoria Fringe Festival presentation for the 2016 season. This year, the decision was a no-brainer and I had to see the results of what St. Michaels University School (SMUS) Summer Musical Theatre program produced. The folks involved always deliver a quality educational curriculum to teach the next rising stars the basics while having fun at the same time. On opening night, they put on the musical version of Disney’s Camp Rock.

This show highlights the musical stylings of bands like The Jonas Brothers and the modern sounds of the past decade. Like ’em or not (every generation has their favourite musicians), those who grew up with them had a rollicking time with this production. Opening night was not without a few chuckle-worthy moments, gaffes included; the group was able to roll with it and continue on. They also helped each other out on stage when lines were forgotten and I believe that’s the heart of what this program extols than to provide a higher calibre show other local professional theatre schools like Canadian College of Performing Arts works on. I’ve seen their production of Little Shop of Horrors years ago, and that was a memorable show to which I grinned like a Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland when rubber bands were shot towards audiences!

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Rating Cowichan Bay Seafood’s Fish n’ Chips at The Market

cowichan bayCowichan Bay Seafood
Victoria Public Market
#12 – 1701 Douglas St.
Victoria, BC
(778) 433-4385

E: Like the tides that swish through a bay, I’m always finding myself returning to the Cowichan Bay Seafood outlet in the Victoria Public Market. After some time in operation, they have put together a fine smörgåsbord of products for folks to buy to take home to cook or dine in. Although a touch pricey, when compared to oysters bars offering a happy hour of a buck a shuck, there’s more variety here when they are offered at $1.50 per! I had some wonderful raw and fruity oysters from Paradise Oysters (located on Baynes Sound). The name is apt because, with the celery vinaigrette, they were the perfect appetizer to begin with until my Lingcod Fish n’ Chips arrived.

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It’s Blazing at Sizzling Tandoor

static1.squarespace637 Johnson St.
Victoria, BC
(250) 388-5450

E: The fire is spreading over at Sizzling Tandoor but the question of which operation James and I should hit, the original Johnson location or Uptown Shopping Centre (to which my buddy hates visiting) meant only the first operation should count. At least we’re finally managing to hit most of the restaurants that line along Johnson Street. Now the trick here is if I can convince my buddy to swallow another pepper whole?

J: I’ve been to the Sizzling Tandoor before after they opened. I knew the owners and they invited me to come in and try their wares. Unfortunately I was a wimp when it came to Indian cuisine. The result was barely touched food and a terrible shame I could not get rid of. But since that incident I have vowed to learn to eat and appreciate as much Indian cuisine as possible. There are foods I still can not touch but my progress is good. I have even built a tolerance to spicy food. It may surpass the great Edmundo.

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