Sunday, August 21, 2011

Fringing Again - Lucky Stiff, Jem Rolls, Hedwig & International Fringe Festival Fun!

Although I have attended Edmonton's International Fringe festival every August for years, this year's Fringe was definitely a hit. Plays are generally "hit and miss", though reviews from the Edmonton Journal sometimes help guide my choices. This year I saw three plays, two hit and one miss! Check out the reviews below for ideas for holdover week.

Tuesday night, Sean and I went to see Hedwig and the Angry Inch, which the papers raved about, but I'll have to say I was a bit confused. The main character had quite some talent, with a singing voice ranging in pitch from high girly voice to a deep man's voice, consistent with his character, who was a man-turned-woman immigrating from Germany to America through a botched sex changed operation. While the premise seemed comical, and the play is based on a famous movie (apparently), I must say I wasn't that impressed with the plot. Perhaps I'm just missing the point...

Jem Rolls has become a Fringe favourite for me, ever since Stephanie W introduced it to me three years ago. Stand up comedy in a rhyming poetry form is just an amazing feat in itself. From England, he has an accent and quite a diverse vocabulary that adds to his show. I'd check this one out....Jem Rolls is Pissed Off is the name of this year's show. To be fair, last year's show was better though...

I really missed having you at Fringe this year, Steph! Hopefully you were watching somehow, from wherever you are now.

Lucky Stiff was the best Fringe play I've ever seen - so for those of you in a city where this year's Fringe hasn't yet hit, or those of you in Edmonton hoping to go to the holdover plays, this is one not to miss. Why? Well, it's a simple plot (a poor man who inherits $6 million on one condition - he must transport his uncle's corpse, which has been stuffed by a taxidermist, and pass it off as a live uncle, taking him on his dream, pre-paid trip to Monte Carlo), so don't expect a deep play. It's really just good fun. Simple, cute, funny, and complete with an excellent cast of musical theatre performers.
The St. Albert Gazette gave it an awesome review, as did Vue Weekly and every show has been sold out. Definitely a hit!

Other than that, I did use my cheat meal this week to check out the Crepes stand, with a perfect nutella strawberry crepe (not as perfect as Montreal, but really, what can you expect from a carnival kiosk in e-town?!). Perfect weather, though, has made this last week an amazing time to enjoy summer.

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