Reviews

  • Surprise – it's all sketches! They sketched before, they sketch now, and if you are smart, you will get a ticket and they will Sketch Ya Later!

    It all starts with a video of Elvis and Jesus – are they playing themselves? This improbable pairing, even “In the Guetto” is unexpected.

    I couldn't tell you who the leader or star of Huskey Guy Productions is, the performers work together to share the spotlight and laughter. And there is laughter.  Let me cut to the chase: it's all about reversals, perspectives and rewarding surprises. The troupe members work together and bounce off...

  • This show takes place on a superbly chosen Bring Your Own Venue, outdoors in Granville Island’s Sculpture Grove, which lends it a sense of enchantment.  

    The first thing I noticed when I arrived, taking my seat at the edge of the wooden walkway, overlooking the grove and, beyond it, Alder Bay, was three beautiful and intricate horse masks tied to the tree right in front of me. I was reminded of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream which also takes place in an enchanted forest. But far from Shakespeare’s wordy script, crude animal inclusion, and chaotic fairy enchantments,...

  • So much has been written about romance - happy & sad, exciting & boring. What else could be written and performed? Remember that there are many kinds of love (from 4 to 7 by some count) and so many creatures, creeps and        . There are so many philosophical positions, not to mention physical positions. So take a creative duo like Tom Hill and Devin MacKenzie, and see what nonsense and mayhem they can come up with. Plenty I would say. I can tell you that most of their ideas were ones that I had never thought of. The audience seemed to...

  • This show is only half an hour long. It makes for a quick, light, and fun revitalization between your various Fringe activities.

    Harken back on what you’ve been told about going on dates or interviews – when meeting someone for the first time, what do you say about yourself? And what do the things you don’t say, say about you? I’m talking about body language. Body language is just as important as (if not more important than) what you wear or what you say. This show takes body language as its medium and its message in the context of...

  • I mistakenly thought that The Lion, The Bitch and The Wardrobe would be some kind of C.S. Lewis parody, but things are not what they seem at The Vancouver Fringe Festival. The lion in this story is not some omnipotent God-like figure, but Sharon Mahoney’s crippling anxiety. Mahoney shares her own battles with anxiety and panic attacks in her hilarious and deeply personal show The Lion, The Bitch and The Wardrobe. She honestly discusses the stigma around mental health and that no matter how creatively talented, no one is immune to mental illness.

    I do not usually enjoy street...

  • As I was waiting for Badmatch to start, I chatted with my seatmate about our own experiences with online dating in Vancouver. Clearly it is a subject many are familiar with since Studio 16 was sold out for the show. In Badmatch, Leanne Kuzminski shares the love lessons she learns on her dates from hell as she tries to find love in Vancouver’s notoriously aloof dating scene.

    I was a bit impatient with the opening sequence when they asked the audience to recount our first loves and what we would do on our perfect date. All I really wanted was for them to...

  • Charlatan: a person falsely claiming to have a special knowledge or skill; a fraud.

    From the start, Travis Bernhardt claims this may or may not work: an admitted charlatan. But it does work, and well.

    He invites us into his cult, asks us to lift our veil and be open to possibilities which is the very premise on which magic is based. If you are willing to play along, you will laugh and gasp and…take deep breaths? Travis Bernhardt, known for his sleight of hand, brings sleight of mind to this year’s Fringe show, where he reaches...

  • This one woman performance  features Diane Barnes, an African-American from California who was practising as a doctor when, at 38, she suffered a stroke while riding her precious horse.

    Barnes is a single mother with two adopted boys. This story takes us through her stroke in 2005 and her journey of recovery and discovery since – as a professional and as mother. She recounts in a personal, emotional and sensitive way how she gets to know and accept her changes. This story is from Barnes' point of view -  taking the audience member through a painful and confusing trip on the...

  • What I expected was stand-up, with a definite nod to the 12 steps of recovery, as so many comics before have been through. What I didn’t expect was original songs, wrenched from the gut slam poetry forged in bodily fluids and the feverish imaginings of a person scraping through the mud, and tales of comrades on the same campaign, struggling with the same demons, searching for those angels of their better nature. Richard Lett has been a moderately successful stand-up comic for several decades, but like so many performers, courage, creativity and reactions came supercharged from external chemical changes. Not...

  • This production begins with a rousing welcome from a large ensemble of singers. Two-thirds of the-way through, marking a passenger revolt, the talented ensemble is turned loose again and the production bristles with energy. Much of this energy is sustained to the happy, and open, ending.

    The first two-thirds of the production are necessarily quieter as we are introduced to a series of characters, mostly in pairs so that the relationships between them and the dysfunctions within them can be unfurled. I found all of these paired performances to be engaging, though quiet and sometimes a bit sketchy,...

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