Lots of lists are popping up all over the place on what you absolutely should see at the Ottawa Fringe Festival. Having been around the Fringe for a while now, I also know what I absolutely cannot miss. Since I expect to see approximately 40 shows this year (a new personal best, beating my lousy 21, albeit while performing in 12 shows, from last year), please don't be offended if you are not on my "Must See" list. Chances are I will probably be seeing your show, but I just don't have enough time to talk about them all. Well, first up, the cheap plug. You should definitely see No Exit Upstage. In fact, I suggest you see it twice. It's very layered so you're sure to discover something new each time ;)
Ok, on to the list. First up, the LOCALS. I always make it a habit each year to see as many local productions as I can. These are, after all, the people I will most likely be working with in the future (if I haven't already) and so it's good to know what they are doing.
OREO Nadine Thornhill is one of the smartest and funniest writers I know. Some kind of Norm Foster meets Gilmore Girls. She also won last year's Best in Venue award for her play The Wedding Night, so you know she can bring the goods.
...Comes Around An all-star team of Ottawa's best and brightest artists with more award wins and nominations among them than there are people in the cast. Plus, explicit sexuality! They have two 11 p.m. time slots for all us skeevy pervs in the audience. Guess when I'll be in attendance?
Une nuit arabe The only French play at the festival and one that Evolution Theatre will be mounting in October (in English). I am very curious to see how they will be doing it in the tiny and workout inducing Studio 311.
Inclement Weather and Country Shaped Like Stars At the very least see one of them, but preferably see both. Emily Pearlman and Nick Di Gaetano are hands-down the most interesting and creative artists working in Ottawa today. I am in absolute awe when in their presence and still find it incredible they let me hang around. Both these shows fall under their new !MI CASA! banner. I expect lots of amazing things in the future from them both so I figure it best to get in on the ground floor now. Oh and in my book, Miss Pearlman gets 5 stars for every show.
The Squatter Heart By Annie Lefebvre / Directed by Andy Massingham Her preview performance at the Festival Tent last night sold this one for me. A beautiful poetic movement piece. Annie was simply stunning. I can't wait to see more!
The Beer Tent It doesn't take place at the tent, but in the Royal Oak basement on Laurier. I think I get a shout-out in the show. I want to go check. I'm vain like that. We Never Clothed Boobies. Kate Smith. I think there's a musical number too. But mostly I'm going for the boobies.
Now, for the OUT OF TOWNERS!
On Second Thought Another performer I saw a few months ago and you can read my thoughts on him here. His festival preview last night included a strip tease to MmmmBop, just to give you an idea what you're in for.
Is Shakespeare's Dead? I am not proud to say that in the seven years I've been at the Ottawa Fringe Festival, and in the seven years he's been there, I have never seen a Keir Cutler show. I plan on fixing that this year. Grandpa Sol and Grandma Rosie Watch this video and tell me it does not make you want to see this show?
Ok, so I was trying to keep this list at 10, but Annie Lefebvre made it impossible to do so.
Nancy Kenny's No Exit Upstage, opens with a 2-for-1 admission price Thursday, June 18 at 9:30 pm and plays in Venue #3 - Studio Leonard-Beaulne.