The Ottawa Fringe Festival is less than a week away and the excitement on the interwebs is absolutely palpable! But with 60 shows in 16 different venues, what in the world should you see? Well, my typical response would be "everything" but I know that's just not possible for everyone. So, as a courtesy to anyone looking for insight on what they should check out, I bring you, once again (my most popular blog post of the past year), Nancy's MUST SEE List at the Ottawa Fringe.
I won't be able to see as much as I'd like to this year, but here's some stuff I definitely don't want to miss:
First up, of course, my ONE NIGHT ONLY appearance in The Last Goddamned Performance Piece. Tickets are on sale NOW The show takes place in what is probably the smallest venues at the Fringe. I really don't know what my draw factor is, but you may want to buy your ticket in advance by clicking the big bold NOW in order to avoid disappointment. That said, if you miss my performance, you can still catch the show, with a great script by Jayson McDonald, with a different actress, the lovely Celine Fillion.
Also, the same company that is producing TLGDPP is also remounting Daniel MacIvor's Wild Abandon with Zach Counsil giving an awesome solo performance. If you missed it last year, be sure to check it out this time around.
Throughout the festival, I will be hosting Fringe performer Sharon Nowlan of Burlesque Unzipped. I met Sharon this year when I was in London for The Big Comedy Go-To. She is an incredibly talented lady and the show was directed by Paul Hutcheson, so you know this is going to be good!
Now, in no particular order, on with the rest of my list:
Shadows Written by the award-winning Margo MacDonald and featuring MacDonald and the always delightful Sarah Finn, this is one of those who's who pieces of Ottawa theatre that has the potential to be another Blood on the Moon. Plus the publicity photos from Andrew Alexander are just so smoking hot that I can't help but put one up here. A really great example on how an image can sell a show.
The Sterling Lynch Triple Bill And I thought I was busy... Sterling Lynch will be a hard guy to miss at the Ottawa Fringe. He's performing in G-Men Defective & Deliver'd from Nowhere and wrote Prisoner's Dilemna. I think you kind of HAVE to see at least one of them, if not all three (which also include the talents of some awesome people like Ray Besherah, Tim Ginley, Wayne Current, and my not-so-secret Fringe crush Nadine Thornhill.)
The Beer Tent: Reflux Obviously, the title of this piece is a play on my own blog title. Therefore, I'm just going to go ahead and think this show is about me, which makes it a good enough reason for anyone to see it. Oh! And because they are tricky (or possibly drunk), though called "The Beer Tent" the show is actually taking place in the basement of the Royal Oak on Laurier and not the actual Fringe Beer Tent.
Here's a promo for the show that talks about me some more:
Six: at Home I absolutely love site-specific theatre and this one takes place in Laurier House. It was also created by many of the fine folks in the Ottawa Stilt Union. There will be no stilts in this piece, though I'm still very much looking forward to it.
Mixing Boal: Kitchen of the Oppressed The theatre nerd in me actually quite enjoyed Pirate Jenny's Interactive Circus from last year and so I'm willing to give this one a shot as well. I'm curious to know if food will be served during the performance...
Though I don't know as much about the touring performances coming to town, here's a few pieces that I would like to put in the "pretty much a sure thing" category:
Archy and Mehitabel Saw this one in Winnipeg last year. Jeff Culbert is an amazing performer. I'd also like to point out that the show was directed by Jayson McDonald who wrote the TLGDPP that I am appearing in. Fair warning though: this is a very intelligent show. I don't recommend seeing it if you've already had a few beers because you will need to focus. Cactus: The Seduction... Jonno Katz is back again and never disappoints. The Sputniks I've never seen this show but I've heard absolutely amazing things about it and Elison Zasko from people on the Fringe Festival Circuit. I really really really want to see it.
Well, there you have it. Without counting my own show (and by combining Sterling into one entity), you've got 10 shows that you should check out at the Ottawa Fringe Festival this year. Now go get your Frequent Fringer Card, make your schedule and get ready to go!
Countdown to Fringe: 6 days