Nancy's MUST SEE List at the 2013 Ottawa Fringe

The Peptides were amazing! I'm slightly hungover. Can it be? Fringe already? I guess that means it's time once again for Nancy's MUST SEE List at the Ottawa Fringe. Going through the Fringe program, this year was harder than most to narrow it down to 10 shows. This is a very good thing indeed! Little disclaimer: unlike in past years, I actually haven't seen any of the shows in the list below so none of these are reviews, just shows I'm looking forward to for various reasons. What I'm saying is that these shows could suck. They probably won't, but that's the beauty of Fringe and boxes of chocolate: you just never know what you're gonna get.

But first, if you happen to have a basic understanding of French, I hope you will check out my show, Dolores. As my wonderful director, Tania Levy, puts it: 'I think the show's accessible to people who understand but don't speak French. Otherwise, it's a visual event.' Good stuff!

Now with that shameless plug aside, here's what you really came here to find out:

Assassinating Thomson Monster Theatre is back, this time with a solo show from Bruce Horak. Now if the company pedigree wasn't enough to bring you out, how about the fact that the performer is legally blind and paints the audience during the production? Very few shows make me break my cardinal fringe viewing rule (never go see a show that runs over 60 minutes because it wrecks havoc on your marathon viewing schedule), but for this one, I'll have to make an exception.

We Glow Ok, fine, two, two shows make me break my cardinal fringe viewing rule this year and here's the other one. My uber Fringe crush Emily Pearlman is back, this time with uber talented Brad Long. I really need to learn how Emily gets all the best boy partners... Anyway, it's site-specific, which really tickles me these days and it's directed by Kevin Orr, who gave us the wonderful Bifurcate Me not to long ago. I just hope I will get to see it as much of the schedule conflicts with mine.

The Bike Trip & The Pit Fer cryin' outloud... another over 60min show? And yet, another one well worth it. Martin is an incredible storyteller and last year's Wanderlust sold out before he even got to town so you might want to buy your tickets now. And his other show with partner Vanessa Quesnelle is sure to be a treat as well. I saw Vanessa in a solo show at the London Fringe last year. She is a delight to watch.

HappinessTM & The Tragicall Histories of Nick Wade (And Other Fuck Ups) You guys... it's a May Can Double-Bill! After the sweetness of Subdivision, I... just can't, you guys. I can't even explain it. They make my heartbone hurt. Oh and if that wasn't enough, the second show is also from Jonah Allingham's Backpack Theatre and includes the stage debut of the biggest fringe fan on earth. I'm just going to go see the shows and then be all awkward around them at the beer tent.

Superhero Showdown I saw Rock the Arts at the annual Ottawa Theatre Challenge a few years ago and they had one of the funniest pieces I had ever seen in a long time. I really can't wait to see what the puppets have in store for us now. Oh and bring the kids because this one is family friendly.

Sappho... in 9 Fragments This picture:

Credit: Robert Piwko

slut (r)evolution A late addition to the festival (so late she's not even in the program), Cameryn Moore returns to Ottawa with a show I can't wait to see. Oh and if you missed Phone Whore, you're in luck! She'll be presenting it at the Gladstone for One Night Only on June 22nd. She's an absolute inspiration for me as the hardest working lady on the Fringe today.

Die, Zombie. Die! Richard Hemphill is hilarious and the set is made of people. I'm pretty sure real-live zombies were harmed in the making of this production.

Chesterfield Guys, after Die, Zombie. Die! my bloodlust will not be quelled. I want to see a couch eat people... preferably people I don't like, but I'm not picky.

Under the Mango Tree I love me a solid one-woman show and from what I've been told this one is pretty fantastic. I honestly don't know anymore than that, but I'm looking forward to it.

Be A Man This show just won funniest show at the London Fringe Festival, is directed by the wonderful Jon P, and it has a lot of funny guys in it... I'm in trouble.

******************************* Oh gosh, this list is already getting too long and I have things to do before I open my own show tonight. I'll just leave you with a couple more mentions ok?

******************************* Red Bastard - I'm not a fan of bouffon, but I'm told this guy is one of the best. And dammit if he didn't sell me on his show last night.

Cathedral City - someone told me this is the best damn thing Kurt Fitzpatrick has ever done.

In the First Place - props for using such a unique venue as the Bytown Museum


Ok, that's all I can do for now. Happy fringing everyone! And let me know what you're seeing in the comment section below!