Calgary Fringe Festival Pushes Alternative Theatre To The Edge

Thursday 25th, July 2019 / 10:14
By Brad Simm

Fringe festivals are notoriously full of creative performance art that sometimes derails in spectacular ways. But they’re also full of comedy with biting commentary and, if the art is good, it’s the stuff that delivers rewarding insights. Calgary Fringe Festival takes over Inglewood each year in a variety of entertaining forms. Here are five shows that promise to please.

August 2 to 10, 2019
Various locations
Tix: $15,




Kohkum & Me
Motel Theatre (225 8th Ave. SE)

Adopted by Christian parents at six months, Tommy is a young Indigenous man who longs to discover his spiritual roots. He jumps on a Greyhound bound for Vancouver and journeys to the center of his skull. While fasting to ward off a flesh-eating demon, he meets Kohkum, an Indigenous elder who claims she’s Jesus. Drawing Tommy deeper into himself, she transforms him into the mythical character Running Coyote. Part musical, part comedy, Tommy’s adventure roams across strange borders.

Canary in the Gold Mine or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love 5G
ArtPoint Gallery (1038 17th Ave. SE)

With various news outlets recently reporting that horns growing from the heads of young cell phone users addicted to their device this production seems especially topical. The Piti Theatre Company’s Canary in the Gold Mine is a hilarious tale about the wackiness of WiFi. In it, a young wife goes without sleep for two years on account of her newfound “electro-sensitivity.”

Didn’t Hurt
Festival Hall (1215 10th Ave. SE)

Growing up poor among the working-class of Pittsburgh, then in the isolated regions of Northern BC, Didn’t Hurt is the story of poet, actor, singer-songwriter Rodney DeCroo’s struggle with violence, addiction and suicidal thoughts. Not a nice story and not for the faint of heart, DeCroo probes and penetrates into dark corners of toxic masculinity. Its redeeming value reveals how PTSD can be wrestled to the ground and tamed.

An Honest* History of Bullshit
Ironwood Stage & Grill (1229 9th Ave. SE)

Paco Erhard is a writer, stand-up comic, world traveler and very good at doing what he knows best — how to be German. Born in Munich, Erhard’s comedy is driven by social commentary on international affairs tackling touchy subjects such as nationalism, racism, homophobia, religion and terrorism. Best known for his successful show, 5 Step Guide to Being German, Erhard tackles the lies, spin doctors and the fake news so we don’t have to worry. A German has it all under control!

Sex, Drugs and Jazz Hands
ArtPoint Gallery (1038 17th Ave. SE)

Channelling the perils of online dating and recreational drug use, with all its wonderful highs and terrible lows, Winnipeg native Krystle Meixner navigates her way through familiar and unfamiliar territory of sex with strangers, getting wasted and living to tell the tale about who she really is or who she became in the aftermath. With her banjo on her knee, Meixner’s comedy show is a cabaret romp through modern romance.