I'm currently in between shows in Morrisburg. With two performances left, I'm fighting the blues by focusing on the trip I'm going on tomorrow to the Toronto Fringe Festival. I'm itching to get my hands on a program, but until I do, here's a list of shows I would like to catch while I'm down there. In the spirit of my past Must-See lists, I probably have not seen these shows already and can't comment on them directly, but each one comes with it's own pedigree as to why I want to catch them. I've seen enough Fringe now in the past 8 years that you can probably count on what I'm putting down here, but if that's not enough, fellow performer Alex Eddington's list has a lot of overlap with mine.
I won't be linking to each individual show description, but the whole list can be found here.
First up: The Ones I Missed in Ottawa!
Although I was able to see 15 shows at the Ottawa Fringe Festival, there wasn't enough time to see everything I wanted. Here are some of the shows with great buzz that I'm planning to catch in Toronto. We had two Best of Venue winners in the Duck Wife and Dale Beaner and the Turtle Boy. There was also the absolutely stunning Lindsay Sutherland Boal's Purely Cabaret and Jonno Katz's Cactus: The Seduction. I also heard really great things about Phone Whore, but I plan to catch her in Calgary. If you're not going to be in any other Fringe cities, then I highly suggest you see her now. I really want to see MAL. Rachelle Elie's concept really interests me. Oh and although it's not the same show, I really think it's about time I saw something by Barry Smith. This time he's got Me, My Stuff, and I: a Multimedia Comedy.
The Ones I've Already Seen
Having been a fringe patron for so long, there's bound to be stuff that I've already seen at various other festivals. Here's what I know is bound to be good. Rob Gee's Fruitcake is a hit wherever he goes and I remember enjoying Raven for a Lark (though be warned it's not exactly a comedy) when I saw it in Ottawa last year.
The Ones from my Favourite Non-Fringe Festival
I met them at the Big Comedy Go-To in London (ON) last year and so I'm looking forward to Jimmy Hogg and Christel Bartelse's Wisdom: Part One & ONEymoon. Same goes for Rob Salerno with Big in Germany (who's got the very awesome Mikeala Dyke working behind the scenes). Morro was flying solo at the time in what I had dubbed "the bravest and funniest piece of theatre I'd seen in a long time" so I'm excited to see her again with her partner in Morro and Jasp GONE WILD. Oh and the Go-To also first introduced me to the amazing work of the Cody Rivers duo (gosh, the Go-To is quite the festival now, isn't it?) and one of it's members wrote Poison the Well, which stars the fantastic Elison Zasko (who was one of my Fringe Crushes in Ottawa this year. That talent! That style! That accent!)
Everything Else that Is Probably Going to Rock my World
Speaking of rocking my world, Die Roten Punke is back with Die Roten Punkte: KUNST ROCK (ART ROCK). I don't know what it's about, but I want more of this:
Monster Theatre has a soft spot in my heart for the Canada Show from many moons ago and I think they win the prize for longest Fringe play title ever with The Shakespeare Show: Or, how an illiterate son of a Glover became the Greatest Playwright in the World.
Can you believe with all my years doing Fringe, I have yet to see something by the "undisputed" Gods of Fringe like TJ Dawe and Keir Cutler? It might be time for me to correct that with Lucky 9 and Teaching Shakespeare respectively.
Some of the guys from Uncalled For are involved with Dance Animal & You & Me and Me & You (this last one includes Kirsten Rasmussen who is one of the funniest improvisers I have ever seen).
Oh and remember BASH'd? Well the guy who created that, Chris Craddock, has got a new show called PUBLIC SPEAKING. It's been getting A LOT of advance buzz in every article about the Fringe I read and I just hope it isn't sold out before I get a chance to see it.
So that's abou 20 shows in one week and doesn't include everything else I will hear about once I'm on location. I can't guarantee I'll get to see it all - Toronto Fringe has yet to consider me a VIP like it's Ottawa counterpart has and money is tight now that my contracts are ending - but I will try my best.
What are you going to see?