Runs Oct 24th-27th at the Intrepid Theatre
Address: 1609 Blanshard St, Victoria, BC V8W 2J5
Victoria, British Columbia’s Paper Street Theatre knows their pop culture. As an improv group, they enjoy getting audiences to laugh. Some might arrive already in giggles because they enjoy their shows far too much. Their performances take place throughout the year and are themed. That is, they are spiced with a little bit of every literary or oral tradition out there. This themed night had fog machines and ambient lighting room straight out of The Exorcist to get everyone into the mood for supernatural delights!
During this weekend leading up to Halloween, the team has supernatural campfire stories to tell. Some have the taste of urban legend spread all over it and others are truly creepy, Twilight Zone style. Ideas for story titles are taken from a community bucket, and the more bizarre they sound, the more challenging it is to put into a coherent narrative. With improv, the performers do not have time to consult with one another to decide on how the story can go, and everyone has to think quickly as they are under many peering eyes. Under the dimming light, not every glance will glow red.
Sometimes, a venue can make or break a show. When the performance is all about beer, the Victoria Event Center is perfect. They are a licensed alcohol facility and cheering more than a mug is encouraged. I had root beer instead of the other kind. When it played at the 2018 Victoria Fringe Festival last month, the buzz certainly had me deciding to go check it out.
I had to stay sober tho’, as I know my limits (namely I was driving). This show next moved to the Vancouver Fringe Festival, and now the company, Wish Experience, is taking a break. I’m sure this team will be back for the next round of Fringe shows. Even though this show began in 2016, I see it could use further polishing.
Amazing things are happening at the 2018 Victoria Fringe Festival. More touring acts are starting (Tues night offered a quick preview at The Metro Studio), and if Death from Ingmar Bergman’s Seventh Seal is waiting on the wings, I doubt he’d want to hang out with comedian Rob Gee. This figure would fall apart in laughter. I digress. The rhythms from this slam poet and the fact he can keep it up for close to an hour is simply amazing in itself.
VCM Wood Hall
900 Johnson Street
Aug 30 8pm
Aug 31 7:30pm
Sept 1 10:45pm
Sept 2 8:15pm
Death, a Romantic Comedy certainly positions Rob Gee as a tour de force! His past work, Kevin, King of Egypt and Pandemonium, are gonzo. This year’s Death, A Romantic Comedy is intriguing enough and I wonder if my appreciation of gallows humour is why I’m drawn to such a morbid subject.
Runs Aug 27 to Sept 22, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada at various venues
Victoria, BC’s Annual Fringe Theatre Festival is not only a terrific way to cap off the summer but also it’s a place to watch performers simply experiment with new ideas. In those that are runaway successes, they will return to stage as regular shows.
I have been attending the events for close to a decade now, and have seen a huge gambit. I naturally gravitate towards comedy, musicals and anything nerdy. However, I do not limit myself to them either. In those that I have seen outside my favourites, they are surprising. Of course, I never tire of the endless bounty of delights. The limitation is only with the imagination, and the journey to the Twilight Zone.
The following are my picks of this season. Please visit http://intrepidtheatre.com/festivals/fringe-festival for showtimes and to buy tickets.
I spent Friday night at the Conservatory of Music‘s Wood Hall for the Victoria Fringe Theatre Festival‘s kickoff into the long weekend. This time will be the busiest for the show, as it is the final weekend. The weather forecast predicts temperatures on the high side and it will be bright; please be sure to put on sun protection. If I can survive the Summer’s last hurrah, then there’s a few more shows I’m interested in seeing. The buzz from the street is to not miss Interstellar Elder, and fortunately that’s taking place at night, when it’s cooler.
To get back into downtown Victoria, however, that’s if I …
AWAKEN (Actually, the show’s name is AWOKEN)
Sep 2 – 4:30pm
Proper grammar usage aside, if there’s any way to interpret what Ottawa based actor Nick Amottt’s work AWOKEN is about, I’m sure Hideaki Anno, director of the Japanese Animation Neon Genesis Evangelion can make better sense out of it. The characters Amott play are projections from different parts of Todd Silvano’s psyche. Each of them seem to have some kind of complex just like the anime. This nerdy recluse suffers from a condition known as ‘fatal familial insomnia.’ There is no known cure for this brain disease. It eventually leads to hallucinations, delirium and eventually death.
St Michael’s University School
3400 Richmond Rd
Sept 1 – 7:00pm
Sept 2 – 2:00pm and 7:00pm
This year’s offering from the St. Michael’s University School Musical Theatre program, The Drowsy Chaperone, owes its debt to appearing in at the Toronto Fringe Festival before getting adapted for a larger audience. To see this comedy return to its roots after a rousing tour and subsequent productions throughout the past decade and a half is always one of the many highlights at the Victoria Fringe Theatre Festival. It is always worth the trip to the municipality of Gordon Head to this school’s auditorium to go see. The production is always tops because the educators at this particular institution ensure the students get the training they deserve and have a fun time while at it. This program cultivates talent and welcomes all youth interested in the performing arts.
This particular show has three performances left, and I feel this show is a must-not-miss for enthusiasts of this genre. This musical comedy was created by Don McKellar, Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison. They performed it at a stag party for Bob Martin and Janet van de Graaf. Their namesakes even appear in this show-within-a-show. This performance looks at the life of a lonely individual (played by William Gao and Eva Kamimura) who looks at his life through the lens of a fictional recording circa 1920’s. This era was when Broadway became very popular and one of the genres that dominated included Ragtime (some swing was also heard too), The Drowsy Chaperone is an album that he so loves, and this narrator sums up the story and injects thoughts (from his life) about this show. This character is gender switched from time to time, as though one incarnation is how this individual is perceived within the musical.