The Hideout, by Calgary playwright Andrew Torry, turned out to be an unexpected highlight of my Fringe experience this year. I say "unexpected," because the word "zombies" appeared in the play's description, and if there is one thing I am not into, it is the whole zombie thing. As it turns out, however, I loved this show, because the zombies are more metaphorical devices than anything else, representing the torture a teenage Lee (Brett Dahl) has to undergo courtesy of his abusive mother and callous friend.
Dahl gives a very committed and believable performance that kept me engaged for the entire 60 minutes of the show. I cared about Lee — thanks to the acting and the well-written script — and I felt his pain. The … Read More
DOES THIS TURN YOU ON?
Though this show about “sexual fetish in the modern imagination” sounds racy, it is anything but. Rather, it’s a vaudevillian-style look at weird fetishes.
Actually, the show is rather informative — that is, if you manage to remember the names attached to some of these fetishes. I wrote some of them down, just in case I’m ever called upon to produce the words on Jeopardy. (Hey, you never know.:) For example, I learned that “forniphilia” means a furniture fetish. Sitophilia is a food fetish. Nasophilia refers to a nose fetish. Etc... Etc...
For each one, introduced by a placard, the two actors — Val Duncan and Celene Harder — do a little skit illustrating it in action. Both Duncan and Harder emit such wholesome vibes that … Read More
Lantern Church Sanctuary
Wonderheads’ Loon is a simple and quirky story about a lonely, middle-aged man who falls in love with the moon. And what works so well is that it doesn’t take long for the audience to fall in love with the protagonist.
Actually, perhaps “fall in love” isn’t quite the turn of phrase. The man himself is played by Kate Braidwood, appearing in an oversized mask adorned with red hair surrounding a generous bald spot and featuring an expression of permanent bewilderment. His middle-aged, loveless life unfolds without any words spoken, relying instead on the backdrop of a finely constructed soundscape.
We were already sympathizing with him as we watch him unsuccessfully try to find love through a … Read More
THE LAST MAN ON EARTH
Lantern Church Sanctuary
Keystone Theatre’s The Last Man on Earth is essentially a silent film put on stage. It does take a minute or two to acclimatize to actors making so sound whatsoever (though they are accompanied by an inexhaustible soundtrack from piano-man David Atkinson), but pretty soon you’re hooked.
The story is delicious, and suitably silly: the Devil (Stephen LaFrenie) and his eager, bat-like Minion (Sarah Joy Bennett,) plot to corrupt a regular, none-too-bright mortal named Gormless Joe (Phil Rickaby). The plot sweetens when Joe encounters pretty pie-maker Penelope (Dana Fradkin) over her wares, giving rise to the ‘flirty pie-eating’ warned about in the audience rating. At this point the Devil … Read More
Lantern Church Gym
Based on the title alone, Aerial Allusions sounds promising. According to the promotional literature, the show is “a journey looking into the perspective of humanity through feminine / masculine viewpoints.”
I hate to say it, but if that’s what Aerial Allusions is supposed to be about, it sure doesn’t deliver.
The show opens with an attempt at a deep, philosophical monologue that asks the question, “What is humanity?” but, frankly, it comes across as amateurish. The young face of the male actor delivering it further makes it hard to buy into the jaded viewpoint he offers.
To begin with, the “humanity” the show explores is merely a romantic relationship. The so-called “masculine viewpoint” is one of … Read More