From getting my spooky fervour on as a Paranormal Investigator to enthusiast this Autumn, this downgrade is not because of the group, Paranormal Victoria (PARAVI), I was with decided to take an extended break since we all have busy normal lives. We sometimes make it a tradition to investigate a venue at this time (and sometimes it’s with media, like the Oak Bay and Victoria News back in 2012). One day, I hope the great folks who make up this PARAVI team will be back.
In the meantime, I will continue my interest on the cinematic, theatrical and storytelling front. My love for the supernatural started from discovering this genre in those mediums and here are my picks to get my muse singing the praises:
I have often wondered what a perfect cinematic night during this season would be like? To boil down the perfect pair depends on the mood and which sub-genre best represents Halloween. Some may say zombies and others will say ghosts. For the former, comedy is needed. While not everyone will appreciate the golden age classics, my choice would be Shaun of the Dead and Fido. With kids in the audience, it would be hard to keep them down for two films, but for one, the former will do and the Victoria Film Festival committee has this choice easily nailed down. That’s tough to do for keeping a zombie still.
This show is on my list of must see again because of all the fun I see put into this production. It can easily be brought back as a Halloween treat for theatregoers wanting more variety in the arts offered in this city during this season. Between the big three – Kaleidoscope, Launch Pad and RKO Productions – to have an addition to will most likely be appreciated.
When I first saw [Title of Show] years ago during the Victoria Fringe Festival, I was hooked on a feeling. Urban Arts Productions is a wonderful collective of talents, and while they seemingly have disappeared from previous year’s schedules, that’s only because this celebration selects its shows through lottery. Not every company is lucky to be able to perform every year and apparently, they took a break because those days jobs were really paying the bills. True to this story, to be a full time actor-director-playwright is tough. To see this group regroup and to perform again (with recognizable talents on board) only reveals how they have has grown and to stay a fixture in this city’s arts scene.
I like to see them perform independently from the Fringe, and they can certainly bring the house down. This musical was one great show to end the 2016 Victoria Fringe Festival with, and according to Pat Rundell, the founder of this collective, they are back and are developing new shows.
Fringe Festivals offers many an entertainer to experiment. Some shows have an afterlife where it becomes a sensation, and other shows might pitter out, to be forgotten. Everlast by Kevin Koch is a work in progress, where this creator eventually wants to take it on tour. Even he admits that it needs refining.
In what I’ve seen in the final weekend of the 2016 Victoria Fringe Festival, there’s a great seed of an idea; to challenge world views from not only within organized religion but also in how people see life. After having two random encounters with “missionaries” in my neighbourhood looking to spread the word and me expressing to them that I have my own world views to follow and I do not need theirs, going to this show could not be timelier.
The show is rough at the edges, like it’s mirroring the soul of Marty (or Pope Martin VI) on purpose. He’s come from a tough life. He grew up in the tough streets and has Rocky Balboa and his mother as inspiration. This character might have said he’s from Philadelphia, but as with any sermon I tend to hear, in one ear and out the other (unfortunately).
Just how Marty managed to achieve residency and move up the papacy is almost a head-scratcher. He boxed his way to the top. God, on the other hand, is a timeless character and I liked the fact that Koch’s interpretation is very Old Testament. I was more engaged with his fight with Lucifer. How can anyone not want to miss this match?
Movie-buffs will love the send-up, mash-up, mix-up and show down of Ribbit RePublic’s take of the Academy AwardsBest Picture(s) from the past century. All the winners, including Birdman gets acknowledged. Many films are lampooned into a tightly packed fun-filled hour which includes nerdy moments which had me broadly grinning. I’m glad that the list of films also included those that did not quite made the cut (had this been an awards show), and yes, the Star Wars enthusiast in me was loving it!
Sadly, Star Trek did not get a nod (this coming week marks their 30th anniversary) but was that ever considered Oscar-winning material? According to Tara Travis, Jon Paterson and Kurt Fitzpatrick, apparently not. That’s okay. They at least acknowledged Lord of the Rings — Jon and Kurt worked together to play the polar composite sides of Gollum aka Sméagol from Peter Jackson’s cinematic version, and Great Scott! they even acknowledged Back to the Future too! That was not on the list. I did not expect them to follow the script exactly, and as for whether there was even one, I could not tell!
Bushel and Peck is definitely a Fringe Theatre original; there’s no easy way to classify what this show is largely about and it is a very experimental product. There’s absurdist comedy, dance choreography, experiments with light and pantomime. Neither dominates and there’s a great set piece involving a balloon. Other props used include blow dryers and a sheet of plywood. Just how it works shows how well two diverse talents — Alastair Knowles (James & Jamesy) and Stéphanie Morin-Robert (Blindside, For Body and Light) — are comfortable together on stage. Both are highly regarded Canadian performers. When considering they are in a relationship, just what this show reveals is how close they have become to observers — the audience. Each of them come from a specific type of arts, Stephanie in dance and Alastair from clown school.
Together, especially on stage, they have an undeniable chemistry that’s to be adored.