Best English Production – by Centaur Theatre: My Pregnant Brother
Best English Comedy (best of Fringe) – by Just for Laughs – Antoine Feval
Best English Comedy (best of Montreal) – by Just for Laughs – Dance Animal
Best English Text – by Chapters – Tuning Venus
Most Innovative Local Choreography – by Studio 303 – Piss in the Pool
The Next Stage Award for Local English Production – by MainLine Theatre –Teen Sleuth & The Freed Cyborg Choir
Meilleure création francophone – by Cirque du Soleil – Humanfleish
Meilleur texte en francophone – by Chapters – Vérité et conséquences
Création francophone de l’année – by USINE C – Le P.I.Q.U.A.N.T.
Spirit of the Fringe – by St-Ambroise Montreal FRINGE Festival – Prize: Just Us
Best Performance at the 13th Hour – by The 13th Hour – Figure Skating Is For Little Girls
I was bummed I missed My Pregnant Brother. Now I will get a second chance!
The Best Comedy must have been hard to call. I guess I would say Antoine Feval was funnier, and Dance Animal was funner. I’m glad they both got rewarded. Rather a bummer that Uncalled For didn’t make it in, but on the other hand, they are already participating in JFL’s ZooFest, so maybe that had something to do with it?
Congrats to Tuning Venus–Off-Venue A represent! But man, there is a big difference in prize money between this award ($50) and others (up to $1000). It’s like, great show, here’s some money for you to go print your manuscript (in black & white).
Figure Skating is For Little Girls KILLED the 13th Hour on Saturday. No doubt that deserved to win the 13th Hour Award.
While the show featured a lot of physical comedy and political satire, above all Red Bastard intimidates the audience, invades their personal space, subjects them to gross and unpleasant challenges, and puts everyone on notice that they might be next. Some will find this absolutely thrilling, and others squirm-inducing. Your call!
Antoine Feval is a one-man play. Chris Gibbs, the actor, is charming and very funny. The show is worth seeing just for the constant tangents on which he goes off: reacting to peculiar audience laughter, audience toilet trips, late arrivals, early departures. I have been lucky to see many good shows at the Fringe, and this is one of my favourites.
I very much enjoyed Uncalled For’s latest show, Today is all Your Birthdays, an outing that has the look and feel of a longform improv show rather than a sketch show. They deftly wrap their absurdism in themes that run throughout the show, thus indulging their love for the absurd without letting the performance become so. It’s well written, well performed, and a real hoot.
Do you like to sing? Do you like to watch people sing? Do you like to sip beer and sing or sip beer and watch people sing? Do you like to dance and sip beer and have fun and laugh and meet all your old friends and catch up and have one of those amazing, dazzling, feel-good nights and sing? Do you like to dance and sip beer and have fun and laugh and meet all your old friends and catch up and have one of those amazing, dazzling, feel-good nights and watch people sing?
Well this Friday night is for you.
A KARAOKE PARTY at Club Lambi.
Stay as long as you like, sing as much as you like, have fun have fun have fun. Bring your friends.
The one-man powerpoint presentation has become a fixture on the Fringe circuit. This show features Derick Lengwenus, a very committed performer in a role and script that has good moments, but overall just doesn’t have that much meat to it. Unlike his last show, Press Conference with George Bush, where he was able to improvise marvelous answers to audience questions by drawing from a wealth of knowledge on his subject, the give-and-take on the topic of zombies in this show was less meaningful. Still, a nice way to spend 45 minutes.
Jonno Katz returns to the Montreal Fringe with The Accident, a one-man show which is at times funny, charming and intense. Katz slips in and out of dance and dialogue, weaving the very interesting tale of two brothers with very different personalities. The story is engrossing and Katz’ movements hypnotic. The comedy comes at all the right times.
At one point, there is an intense scene with 3 people in the room. Katz switches between 2 of the characters, back and forth, back and forth, with all the tension being generated by the third person’s unrevealed reaction. It was quite cool.
Spoiler alert: Had Katz heard about this, I wonder? Life imitates art, or vice versa?
Your 2 minutes at the Fringe-for-all is the worst 2 minutes of the Fringe–it’s the biggest chattiest audience, the worst cavernous venue, and the most critic-filled. (The worst critic is me, hee hee) So it’s great to see when some people knock their chance out of the park.
2 standouts for me were As Duas: two women in their underwear (natch) tossing each other around rather artfully, athletically, and uh, let’s face it, erotically; and Terminal: a guy in a suit dancing to a pleasant Lou Reed song while slitting his wrists.
There were also many many terrible terrible acts which I will not name. My 2-minute bit was probably first or second quintile just by virtue of the fact that I used a microphone. (High praise, I know.) Seriously, people, you can’t out-yell the chatty McChattersons at the Cafe Campus. Anything talky does not work.
Thanks to the Fringe staff for seeking out people in the audience to call me because the show was running 30 minutes fast due to last-second drop-outs. I had to hightail my heinie over there and was almost immediately thrown onstage.
So here was my bit for Awkward Centaur. Since it’s hard to convey the essence of our improvised play about a centaur in 2 minutes, I wrote and performed a song about centaurs. It was filmed from the balcony with all the Chatcats and Talkybots. To my relief, sometimes the laughter from the lower deck rises above the chatter. Oh, the last note gets cut off cause the battery ran out of juice:
EDITED TO ADD: Ah, the Fringe has a much better version:
Advice for future fringers:
Use dance, music, physicality or video for the Fringe-for-all
If you’re talking, always use a microphone. Walk around with hand-held mics if you insist on doing a scene. Do not speak without amplification. You can’t yell louder than 300 people chatting about how they can’t hear you above the chatter.
Try to avoid complicated props, sound or video cues if possible
Don’t pretend like you’re going to get naked, and then not. That’s lame.