FRINGE 2015 – Bitte Schon Die Roten Punkte

By Jay Menard

Musical parody can be a sketchy proposition. It can grow tired quickly, it can descend into absolute silliness, and the music itself can leave much to be desired. But when it works, it’s magic — and the “German” power-punk duo Die Roten Punkte weave a show that’s so magical it must leave Siegfried and Roy* weeping in envy. Continue reading

FRINGE 2015 — A Divine Comedy

By Jay Menard

John Lennon once sang, “God is a concept by which we measure our pain.” Thank goodness Mike Delamont’s God is a Scottish Drag Queen — currently in its second iteration — wasn’t around in 1970, because there’s no way the Bard of Mersey could have sang those words with a straight face.

Continue reading

FRINGE 2015 – A Show Mature Beyond its Years

By Jay Menard

A Life Within is a presentation of youth dancing. But by no means is it superficial or immature. It is a performance that features performers who embrace a maturity of performance and attitude that is well beyond their years. Continue reading

FRINGE 2015 – A Show for the Birds that Lets Your Imagination Soar

By Jay Menard

Art can move. It’s a simple statement with so many connotations, and Mind of a Snail’s Caws & Effect Is a production that reinforces the idea of art that is moving. And moving.

It’s described as large-scale shadow theatre, but that description is nowhere near encompassing enough. Most people think of shadow theatre in black and white – or, at best, shades of grey. Caws and Effect is a production that is richly and heart-warmingly hued with a moving rainbow of colours, effects, and emotions. Continue reading

Ready? Yes. It’s Another Incredible James & Jamesy Show

By Jay Menard

James & Jamesy are Fringe veterans who have built up a sizeable – and passionate – following thanks to their two “Tea” productions. This year, they’ve stripped their production down to the absolute basics: black, white, and light. And the result is something magical in James & Jamesy In the Dark.

It is a comedy, yes. But it can be better described as performance art. Continue reading

FRINGE 2015 – One Last Blast; a Too-Long Fuse

By Jay Menard

There’s a moment of wonderful, though likely completely unintentional, self-awareness in Last Blast: Chet Baker Checks Out. It’s when Chet himself states, “Why don’t you just let me kill myself instead of dragging this thing on.”

Last Blast has its moments. And it has some wondering performances – notably Chris McAuley in the title role. But it’s a production that could do with some editing and a bit less beating of an obviously dead horse. Continue reading

FRINGE 2015 – A Perfect O

First, let me dispense with the pleasantries. There are two things you need to take out of The Story of O’s.

One: I have, in the past favourably likened Tonya Jone Miller to Spalding Grey in terms of format and delivery. The truth is, I believe she is one of the most unique, challenging, and talented monologists since Mr. Grey battled his Monster in a Box.

Two: You must see this show. Period. You will be doing yourself a disservice if you don’t. Continue reading