[Victoria Fringe Festival ’15] Tracking the Birdmann’s Flight to Vancouver Fringe, A Review


Performance Works
1218 Cartwright St.
Vancouver, BC

Sep 11 | 10:40 pm
Sep 12 | 4:30 pm
Sep 13 | 12:10 pm
Sep 14 | 6:55 pm
Sep 17 | 8:30 pm
Sep 19 | 7:25 pm

DURATION: 50 minutes

The nose knows that even on the last day of this act’s performance at the Victoria Fringe Festival, The Birdmann in Momentous Timing must not be missed. If he has flown the coup in one city, at least his show can be found in the next stop. In this festival circuit’s case, that’s Vancouver Fringe Festival, in British Columbia! This product is certainly offbeat, blending a variety of stage shows — balancing acts, transgender dance, magic tricks and standup — into one seamless unit. A few bits felt unneeded (like the lacklustre transmorgifying box of tricks) and others more compelling, like being able to juggle plastic bags. There’s a deftness with a knife that I won’t go into detail about and that’s a highlight of this show. Elsewhere, if there’s a metaphor behind an ironing board and a clothes iron, no one is telling about what it is.

The Birdmann is lonely and he easily solicits awws from the crowd. He talks about how difficult it is to find a companion, and just what the single silk silver sequin stiletto means becomes a trick of its own. There’s sublime humour going on here, and most of it works. The later half the show is stronger than the first, as the act turns into a character study of the Birdmann. There were times I was reminded of how much of this comedian’s wardrobe resembles that of Oswald Cobblepot’s (The Penguin) in FOX’s Gotham, sharp noise included! If certain parallelisms are to be made, yes both characters are outcasts of society. Both are trying to manufacture their own universe to which they can control, and that’s perhaps what this act is trying to say in a cosmic level.

Not all shows in the Fringe Festival world are meant to impart a message afterwards. The best just simply wants to entertain than leave a lasting message to leave with. In the Birdmann’s case, I think seeing him perform Cher’s “If I can Turn Back Time” is saying something that audiences will have to interpret for themselves.

3½ Blokes out of 5


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