FRINGE 2015 – A Successful Launch to — and for — Mars

A critical mission for humanity; a critical exploration of humanity. An off-course mission to save humanity is right on target when it comes to entertainment, poignancy, and thought.

Now, let’s not go crazy here. Mars is not an hour-long delving into the depths of the soul. Instead, it is an entertaining presentation in the theatre of the mind. While the writing and direction are solid, it is the combined performance of leads Valerie Cotic and Mark Nocent that makes this play — pun fully and unabashedly intended — out of this world. Continue reading

FRINGE 2015 — Tacking a Tower of Song

By Jay Menard

If you like Leonard Cohen, then Lara Loves Leonard is clearly a show for you. And in addition to reminding you why you love Leonard in the first place, you may find yourself developing a little musical crush on Lara MacMillan herself.

The show is stark in its simplicity. Just MacMilllan, standing on a stage, with only a music stand in front of her. Next to her is a black-draped stool, with a single red flower in a vase.

That’s it. And it works. Continue reading

FRINGE 2015 — A Period Piece that Uses Too Many Exclamation Marks

By Jay Menard

There is a really solid play in the midst of The Second Self. Unfortunately this period piece is overwhelmed by hyperbolic performances and a heaping helping of melodrama.

The play, examining the lives of a combined family of friends, set in 1944 amidst the backdrop of World War II, is designed to explore how people embrace the next stage of their lives after their regular plans are wrested — often violently — away from them. Continue reading

FRINGE 2015 — A Worthy Examination of the True Casualties of War

By Jay Menard,

In life, we fight many battles. Some are physical, others are mental. In Lest We Regret we are presented with a story of casualties of war.

But these casualties extend well beyond the field of battle and into the two characters’ minds, bodies, and souls. Continue reading

FRINGE 2015 – A Dream Girl Worth Waking Up For

By Jay Menard

To me, Peachy Keen Productions represents what Fringe should be: quirky, creative, and filled with heart. The Manic Pixie Dream Girl is a shining example of the best that Fringe has to offer.

That’s not to say it’s perfect. The opening-night performance featured some significant challenges in the audio and lighting — to the point where the production became a little disjoined. But overall the heart and soul of show came shining through. Continue reading

FRINGE 2015: Junk Food Satan – In a Word: Memorable

By Jay Menard,

First off, most morbid Smarties reference ever.

In 45 minutes, Junk Food Satan answers the question about what happens if you eat the ‘red ones’ last.

But flippancy aside, Junk Food Satan is a powerful examination of the question: What makes us human? If we remove a part of ourselves — even something as intangible as a memory — do we retain who we are? If that memory serves as the foundation of what we have become, does the entire facade crumble? Continue reading

FRINGE 2015: Absolute Magic is Absolutely Magical

By Jay Menard,

Go ahead, pick any superlative out of a hat. Absolute Magic is an absolutely enjoyable hour’s worth of amazement, entertainment, and wonder performed by London’s own master of the mystic arts, Keith Brown. Continue reading