Anne Wyman

Nancy's MUST SEE List at the Edmonton Fringe

I will not be at the Edmonton Fringe Festival this year. My journey with No Exit Upstage ended in Winnipeg. That said, since my most popular blog posts of late have been for my MUST SEE LISTS in both Ottawa and Winnipeg and since I have many friends who will be performing at the festival, I thought it would be a good idea for me to throw a plug their way. Since this is suppose to be the largest festival in Canada (we'll know by the end of the run if Winnipeg beat them or not) and I've seen way more shows on tour than I thought I would, my list shall be a tad bigger than the one for Winnipeg. My requirements for this list? That I saw the show and I liked it. Trust me, you can't go wrong if you see anything on this list.

So without further ado, in alphabetical order, Nancy's MUST SEE list at the Edmonton Fringe:

Boat Load I've plugged Jayson McDonald's shows before and I will do it again. Boat Load was my favorite show at the Ottawa Fringe last year. The guy is an amazing writer and performer and this show is the best showcase for all his talent. Do yourself a favour and see it in Edmonton.

CHAOTICA A cool show which turns one woman's life into a board game. Worth it for the tap dance number alone!

Fruitcake Rob Gee has an amazing show that's part spoken word performance and part therapy. The whole thing is hilarious and culminates with a little song and dance that you just won't be able to get out of your head for at least three days. I wonder if the voice of God will still be there? Someone let me know!

Grandpa Sol and Grandma Rosie Saw this touching piece in Ottawa and I hear it's gone through some positive modifications throughout the run. The puppetry work is excellent and Lana gives an incredibly charming performance.

GRIMMER THAN GRIMM To be fair, I saw this show on a special fundraiser night and they allowed, nay encouraged us, to drink throughout anytime someone got maimed or murdered. Drinking games exponentially increase my enjoyment of a show. Who knows, maybe they will serve drinks here too?

Inviting Desire DO NOT MISS THIS SHOW. It's incredibly hot and sexy, but also very beautiful and touching. Hands down my favorite show at the Winnipeg Fringe Festival this year.

Little White Lies My girl, Amy Lester, representing for Ottawa. She had some trouble in Winnipeg which is a shame since she has a decent show that's worth seeing. Most of all, I want her to do well because I absolutely admire her strength and bravery. How many 19 year olds do you know who have the guts to tour a one person show across the country on their own? Oops, sorry Amy! I meant to say almost 21 ;)

More Bange For Your Buck Magic, mystery, and a little Back to the Future thrown in for good measure. Tell Rocky the Raccoon I said hi!

murder, hope A stunning and captivating show by the multi-talented Becky Poole. I love non-linear theatre when it's done well and this show is done VERY well. This is exactly the kind of risky show Fringe Festivals should be all about.

Reflections On Giving Birth To A Squid I saw this show in Winnipeg on a whim without knowing anything about it or anyone in the cast and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. This was a very original show with an interesting concept that never got too hockey or sentimental. I believe this was due to some very strong acting from the lead actress whose name I have unfortunately forgotten. In the spirit of Fringe, take a chance on this show.

Spiral Dive: Episodes One AND Two I was lucky. I got to see both these shows mere weeks apart and therefore got to properly indulge in this slice of epic theatre. The people in Edmonton are even luckier. You are actually able to sit and watch both shows in a row! My only disappointment? Episode Three won't be out for another year.

The Seven Lives of Louis Riel Natasha's absolutely favorite show at the Winnipeg Fringe. More fun than educational!

Unfortunately, this is a list of shows I've seen. However, that doesn't mean that there isn't some other good stuff out there too!

Honorable Mentions: Circumference Though I haven't seen Circumference, I have seen Amy perform before and she is incredibly funny and engaging. I've also heard really great things about this piece, so I did not want to leave it out in the cold.

G-MEN DEFECTIVES Placed in this category since I never got a chance to see it when it was originally performed in Ottawa with a different actor. But how could I not plug the hometown team? Ray and Sterling are two very fun guys and I heard they did incredibly well on the first leg of their tour in Saskatoon. pornStar I didn't get to see this show because it sold out in Ottawa. However, Anne Wyman (Why, man?) was my stage manager in Winnipeg and I had the pleasure of watching her shine in Jayson McDonald's The Last Goddamned Performance Piece in Winnipeg. She is absolutely beautiful. Also, the show is called pornStar. What more do you want?

The Domino Heart I saw a solid non-fringe production of this show in Ottawa a few years ago. I don't know anything about this current incarnation, but I did like the script.

Totem Figures Though I've never seen the show, TJ Dawe's podcast of the play helped me get through some tough times in Winnipeg.

Who's Afraid of Tippi Seagram? Though she never knew it, Colette Kendall was definitely my Fringe Crush in Winnipeg. I really enjoyed The Cockwhisperer (and the fact that my iphone recognized the word as I was trying to tweet it). I love it when she drops F Bombs.


On Your Mark, Get Set, TAPE!

Yesterday morning things were off to a bit of a rougher start.  Both Natasha and I slept poorly in our new surroundings.  I woke up feeling disoriented and lost.  Where am I again? Oh yeah, Winnipeg.  Natasha shook the sluggishness off faster than I did and even had breakfast with our billet while I debated such intellectually stimulating life choices as:  Should I take a shower in the morning? Is today a shorts kind of day? Maybe I should just go back to bed? Do I really want yogurt for breakfast? You are all fascinated with the complexities of my life, I'm sure.  I also realized that my face wash had somewhat exploded in my toiletries kit.  This didn't bother me yesterday as it was easy enough to clean up... or so I thought.  Apparently, some of that soapy goodness seeped into my contact lenses' case and I ended up spending half the day looking like I had been crying because Natasha says mean things to me in the middle of the night... which she totally doesn't! Nope, not like her at all... ;) Having put the pull-out couch away, going back to bed was not an option.  So after a blog post, a shower, a skort, some coffee, and some breakfast, we were basking in the Manitoba sun on our way to the bus stop, ready for a busy day of postering.  We were delighted to know that Winnipeg Transit offers weekly passes which now make it a breeze for us to get around.

When we were nearing the festival area, Natasha turned to me and said something that sent chills down my spine: "Did you bring the posters?"


We checked our bus schedule and realized we had about 40 minutes before we could go back, so we went to sign in to the performer services area instead.  Posters were already covering the vast majority of surfaces as we approached the Manitoba Theatre Centre and I ran into one of the first people I recognized: Jonny P from GRIMMER THAN GRIMM.  He also introduced us to the people we would be having beers with later that night: Rob Gee (Fruitcake - Natasha, the Graphic Designer, adores his poster so it's definitely one not to miss!) and Chris Bange (More Bange For Your Buck!)

Being in a rush, we excused ourselves and hurried in to sign in with a very friendly volunteer. We got our beautiful program, our performer and company cards and then ran to catch the bus, waving madly at Dave Dawson (Jayson McDonald's Trashcan Duet which I didn't see in Ottawa last year, but will probably see now) on the way.

Friendly Volunteer!

Finally, we had our posters and were on our way back downtown to check out our venue: Ragpickers Theatre.  This is also where we were to meet our new stage manager, the lovely Anne Wyman (Jayson McDonald's The Last Goddamned Performance Piece).

Our Venue - 216 McDermot Avenue

It was here that I ran into an old acquaintance from London, ON, Jeff Culbert.  He's involved with two shows:  archy and mehitabel, directed by Jayson McDonald and Fall Fair in which he directed Jayson McDonald. For a guy who isn't even in town yet, Mr McDonald is proving to be very pervasive...

After a great lunchbreak/tech meeting at The Fyxx with Ms. Wyman, where we had the pleasure of meeting Jeremy Baumaung (Homeless - which Anne tells me is the greatest piece of theatre she's ever seen, ever!) and Ryan Paulson (Ryan Paulson: I'm Uncomfotable), we headed off, finally, to poster.

Posters! Tape! Posters and Tape!

This is also where we ran into another Ottawa local: Ms. Amy Lester (Little White Lies).

Hey, it's Amy!

Since we were tired from such a busy day of posters and password collecting (check out Emily Pearlman's Ottawa Fringe Festival blog post for the meaning of the password system), we headed over to the King's Head Pub where we ran into, well, pretty much everyone else we saw today, including some newcomers - the ladies from Inviting Desire, the gentlemen from Advanced DnD, and the producer of The Seven Lives of Louis Riel.  This is also where we met Francis, the most awesome barkeep evah!

Wow, what a day, and the festival hasn't even started yet!

Wish you were here!