Colette Kendall

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.


The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

The Ugly Tuesday was an off day for both of us.  The festival hadn't started yet, our posters were up, and it was raining which meant we decided to stay in and relax... with our thoughts.  Let me tell you something, it's never really a good idea to leave me alone with my thoughts.  I am a doer.  I like impulses and following them.  I love being around people.  I don't need to be thinking too much.  When I think too much, I dwell; I worry; I get filled with doubt; I create highly preposterous scenarios in my head and somehow manage to make myself believe them as truth.

It wasn't pretty and the less said about that the better.

The Good

Wednesday was much better!  We missed our bus in the morning (I know, this should fall under The Bad, but keep reading).  Lugged down with our set, props and costumes, we started walking when suddenly a horn blares behind us. There he was, our knight in Chevy armour!  Our billet pulls up to the curb and yells: "I'm going downtown, hop in!"

Best. Billet. Ever.

Somehow, we also managed to finish our tech rehearsal in less than three hours as crews were setting up the space around us.  Our technician and stage manager rocks!

Our SM, the lovely Ms Wyman demonstrating the very complicated "house lights" system.  Apparently you must flick this switch "on" or "off" - I don't get it.

We then found out that Industry Images - our printing experts - were located practically next door to the venue.  This is also where we met handsome firemen IN UNIFORM in the elevator.  Sorry ladies, I was too bashful to take pictures.

We went on a trek to the main fringe office, checking out how our posters fared in yesterday's rain.  Of course, all was well.

The secret's in the magic tape.

I also checked in at the Advance Ticket Box Office and found out that we have bums in seats for almost every show during the run!  I was shocked.  As an out-of-town performer who's never been to the Peg before, I never imagined that people would just, you know, show up... in advance.

After setting up a volunteer appreciation show (Go Go Friendly Volunteers!), we ran into some Ottawa locals and headed out to the Towne Cinema 8 to watch the new Harry Potter movie FOR FOUR DOLLARS!  (my review - it's pretty good though they cut a lot out of the book and the ending feels a bit rushed)

I also bought a belt because my pants were falling off (What? That's good right?)

We then had dinner and headed out to watch our first fringe show, Amy Lester's Little White Lies.  It's a very cute show.  Then, on the other end of the spectrum, we saw Colette Kendall's The Cockwhisperer, a damn funny show.  Colette is incredibly sexy and self-confident.  At one point when she lost her place in what she calls a workshop piece, she told any reviewers who might find this unprofessional to fuck off.  I think I'm kind of in love with her.  Oh! Did I just find my first Fringe Crush in Winnipeg?  Cool!

The Bad

I realized late last night that I lost my bus pass.

Have you seen me?

Ah well, today is another day. No Exit Upstage opens tonight at 7 pm in Venue #13 - Ragpickers Theatre. Buy your tickets now!

Thursday, July 16 – 7:00 PM Friday, July 17 – 9:15 PM Saturday, July 18 – 6:00 PM Sunday, July 19 – 8:30 PM Monday, July 20 – 6:00 PM Tuesday, July 21 – 8:45 PM Wednesday, July 22 – 5:30 PM Thursday, July 23 – 7:00 PM Friday, July 24 – 9:15 PM Saturday, July 25 – 7:30 PM Sunday, July 26 – 6:00 PM