With so many choices, deciding what to see at the 2017 Vancouver Fringe Festival can be a daunting task.
I’ve scoured this year’s program, taken my knowledge from previous years, and added a good dose of intuition (and a little dark magic) to come up with the ten (+ten) shows that I am not going to miss this year. In no particular order, here they are:
7 Ways to Die – I can be sucker for shows with masks. Told without dialogue, this strange romantic comedy about suicide may be just what our modern lives need right now.
Bushel and Peck – James leaves Jamesy at home at this year’s Vancouver Fringe as Alastair Knowles teams up with choreographer Stephanie Morin-Robert in a performance combining dance, mime, and theatre.
Interstellar Elder – we’ve said it before … there is no such thing as too much science fiction or 80’s television references. Billed as Alien meets the Golden Girls I’m looking forward to this ride into space.
A Soldier’s War – with Dunkirk making a splash on the big screen, and the 100th anniversary of Vimy Ridge still very much our minds, this story based on real-life war-time is just timely.
Everybody Dies in December – while we still remember Nancy Kenny’s 2014 show about the roller derby, she had us with ‘dark comedy’ for this latest work. We’re pretty sure the Fisher family would approve.
Swordplay: A Play of Swords – who could ignore a comedy troupe called Sex T-Rex? It is about as impossible as ignoring a show poking fun at The Princess Bride and Game of Thrones. Did I mention there were swords?
5-Step Guide to Being German – I admit to having more than a passing interest in Germany (ask me about that sometime). I’m pretty sure Colonel Klink won’t be making an appearance though.
Bombay Black – I’m banking on this award-winning play from playwright Anosh Irani to be a refreshing change of pace from the ubiquitous one-person shows. Having had the opportunity to visit India this year myself, I’m also hoping it will be a window into a world we did’t see as a tourist.
Multiple Organism – award-winning Mind of a Snail Puppet Co brings the overhead projector (and its shadow puppets) into the boudoir with its very first adults only comedy. Check your inhibitions at the door.
Slumber Here – always on the look-out for fringe shows in non-traditional venues, this one not only takes place in a park, it is also described as a live-action Shakespearean video game. Power up the controllers!
Six Fine Lines – from the playwright who gave us the Jessie nominated Three Stories Up comes a very personal story about words and how they can sometimes fail us in real life. As a writer I can relate.
And because I have no self-control, here are ten more that I’m hoping to take in (as time permits) as well:
- Cry-Baby: The Musical – who can resist a musical based on a John Waters’ film?
- Teaching Shakespeare – I wish my own lit class looked as funny!
- Let Me Freeze Your Head – are we talking Walt Disney, or someone else?
- Fifty Shades of Dave – is Stuart McLean laughing or turning in his grave?
- Pint of Life – who can resist the call of ice-cream?
- Help! I’m American – we can all feel DK Reinemer’s pain right now!
- Naturally! – we get to choose? I’m putting my thinking cap on now!
- Roller Coaster – TJ Dawe. Need I say more?
- Chris & Travis – I’m determined to finally see these two!
- The Audience Dies in the End – oh, really? We’ll see about that!
The 2017 Vancouver Fringe Festival runs September 7-17 on Granville Island and stages around town. Visit http://vancouverfringe.com for tickets and information.