With so many choices, deciding what to see at the Vancouver Fringe Festival each year can be a seemingly impossible task.
Vancouver Presents writers Mark Robins and Katie Gartlan-Close have scoured this year’s program, taken their knowledge from previous years, and added a good dose of intuition (and a little dark magic) to come up with a list of twenty shows, in no particular order, that they are not going to miss at this year’s Vancouver Fringe Festival.
Small Town Boys – this one reminded me of Stand By Me, one of my favourite movies. I’m one of four brothers who also grew up in a “rough and tumble town”.
Mind Magic – Who doesn’t love love magic and mentalists? As much fun to watch as it is to try to figure out how they do it.
Martin Dockery: Delirium – I have always been a huge fan of Martin Dockery’s work and wouldn’t miss this consummate storyteller’s latest work.
Gossamer Obsessions – this sketch comedy show comes recommended from other Fringe performers. High praise indeed.
Box of Freedom – I always thought a shipping container would make for a great site-specific play about human smuggling. And here it is (minus the actual shipping container).
Rocko and Nakota: Tales From the Land – the intersection of Indigenous and modern storytelling has always held a fascination.
The Other Side of the Flood – science fiction on stage is always intriguing. The bonus here is it is described as “spoken word musical theatre”.
Dyck Spacee – A Spy-Fi Improvised Radio Play – there’s a theme happening here. More Sci-Fi, but this time with a sense of humour.
Al Lafrance: I Think I’m Dead – burning the candle at both ends is the new norm.
Unscriptured – religion and irreverence. Who could ask for anything more?
The F Words – receiving an honourable mention from Theatre BC’s 2014 Playwriting competition, this one is personal.
Tomatoes Tried To Kill Me But Banjos Saved My Life – if the name isn’t enough to grab your attention, maybe you will be happy to hear that this show is for all ages. And the tomatoes are evil.
A Sad-Ass Cabaret – why do we love sad-ass music? We get to find out in this musical performance from Fringe superstar TJ Dawe & singer/songwriter Lindsay Robertson.
Hysteria – the all-female Direct Theatre Collective explore modern sexuality, social constructs, and societal bias in this musical show. Also, it “may contain a dance party”, so that’s always fun.
Red Bastard: Lie with Me – the award-winning trickster Red Bastard asks the audience the seemingly simply question: what are the rules of love?
Awkward Hug – Cory Thibert shares his 19-year-old self with us in this coming of age story.
SELF-ish – enter the world of 35-year-old Korean-Canadian, Esther, after a recent tragedy. A funny and intimate tale.
Big Sister – based on a true story, this show is a comedy that follows two sisters in a time of dramatic change.
Rabbit Hole – David-Lindsay Abaire’s Pulitzer-Prize winning drama explores grief through an intimate performance.
F*ck Tinder: a Love Story – in an age of dating apps, we are invited to hear about David Rodwin’s addiction and 120 dates over two years. Yikes!
And because we have no self-control, here are a five more (again in no particular order) that Mark and Katie think are worth checking out as well:
- My Imagination Ran Away Without Me – a mini circus show that takes us on an acrobatic adventure.
- Vampires in Barcelona – a “winning bit of theatrical storytelling” it does indeed feature vampires.
- Weirdo – yes, we are obsessed with magic right now but who doesn’t want to embrace their inner weirdo?
- Poly Queer Love Ballad – a new musical, merging slam poetry with catchy pop-folk tunes. Sounds pretty fringey to us!
- Big Queer Filipino Karaoke Night – a mix of clowning and drag about Filipino-Canadian identity.
The 2018 Vancouver Fringe Festival runs September 6-16 on Granville Island and stages around town. Visit http://vancouverfringe.com for tickets and information.