By Leah Siegel
VANCOUVER – Every year when the Vancouver Fringe Fest rolls around we get a lot of random press releases in our inboxes. It makes sense because the Fringe Fest is pretty random. Rather than trying to sift through the 99 productions that are being showcased, pretending like we know which ones are going to be “the best,” we took the lazy route and just summarized the most exciting ones that we found in our inbox. Prepare to get fringed up Vancouver.
Big Queer Filipino Karaoke Night
In case the title wasn’t clear enough for you, here’s what you can expect: drag, optional imbibing, musings on queerness and identity from writer-performer Davey Calderon, and a rollicking good time. You might want to brush up on your karaoke skills in advance: the audience participates, too. XYYVR.
Who We Care For
A family finds itself on the frontline of the opioid epidemic when one of their own is hospitalized. In this new play that tackles issues such as addiction and mental health, we follow a family in crisis, attempting to stay afloat. Havana Theatre.
A happy family sees their world shattered by the loss of a child in this Pulitzer Prize-winning play that has had a run on Broadway and a film adaptation. Presented by the Frolicking Divas as part of the Fringe’s Dramatics Works Series. The Cultch.
Poly Queer Love Ballad
It’s your typical girl-meets-girl love story. One’s a polyamorous bisexual poet, the other’s a monogamous lesbian songwriter. Together, they put on a slam poetry musical that navigates the vicissitudes of sexuality and gender. (Okay, maybe not so typical.) Winner of the Playwright Theatre Centre’s Fringe New Play Prize. Review Stage.
Ever watch a Ken Burns documentary and wished there were more choreographed dance numbers? Enter stage left TrudeauMania, a new musical covering the life and times of former PM Pierre Trudeau. Politics, John Lennon, and Pierre Trudeau reciting jazzy poetry: what more could you want? Firehall Arts Centre.
It’s the summer of 2009, and 19-year-old Cory Thibert is trying to understand a lot of things. Sex, for instance, adulthood in general, and the cerebral palsy that both of his parents have. Fringe vet Thibert’s first solo show is notable for its light-hearted depiction of a disability that is rarely represented in the theatre world. The Cultch.
Comedy and tragedy meet in this new one-woman show starring Diana Bang (The Interview, Bates Motel). Esther is a 30-something Korean-Canadian who, after an encounter with death, reflects on life, death, the nature of grieving, and her relationships with loved ones. The Revue Stage.
Tomatoes Tried to Kill Me But Banjos Saved My Life
Upon hearing that me might die from cancer, former CEO Keith Alessi gave it all up to pursue his dream of playing the banjo. In this epically-titled piece (who doesn’t love the image of assassin tomatoes?), Keith will perform new songs while reflecting on his own journey. Carousel Theatre for Young People.
Robbie T knows what it’s like to feel out of place: he’s a magician. For this magic show-meets-memoir-meets-comedy routine, expect fun tricks, actual diary entries, and plenty of audience participation. Come for the magic, stay for the celebration of weirdness. Performance Works.
Flute Loops: A Subatomic Opera
Who said science and the arts don’t mix? From the mind of Devon More of Hang Lucy comes “Flute Loops: A Subatomic Opera.” This musical foray into the science of the infinitesimally small received four stars from the CBC and the Winnipeg Free Press, and would make Stephen Hawking and Brian Greene proud. The Cultch.
Keara Barnes mounts an ambitious new solo show inspired by her own international travel. By playing 18 different characters, Barnes weaves stories of ghosts, tigers, and love. A successful run at the Winnipeg Fringe has earned Barnes critical acclaim for her storytelling abilities. Havana Theatre.
Check out www.vancouverfringe.com for show times.